When Benjamin Franklin said "A penny saved is a penny earned" he was right. But that's because good ol' Ben lived before the 16th amendment to the constitution was passed in 1913 -- the amendment that gave our federal government the power of Income Taxes. So these days, if you are in a 30% tax bracket, a penny saved is worth about 1.43 pennies earned. So if you or I can save $1000 a year, it is the equivalent of earning an extra $1428!
Which brings me to my point. Coupons.
To be specific, let's talk about grocery coupons. I realize some consider them to be archaic in our internet-connect world, but they are a powerful tool for reducing your expenditures (effectively increasing your income).
Consider this. In a typical month, I purchase about $150-$200 worth of groceries for just myself, a single individual. These are groceries I have to buy regardless of whether I have coupons or not. However, by just clipping the coupons from my Sunday paper I can easily save $75 or so from that bill. That's $900 a year in savings, and I'm just a single person. And to my point earlier about income taxes, saving $900 is equivalent to earning nearly $1300.
For a family, the savings are magnified even further. If a typical family of 4 is buying $150/week ($7800/year) of groceries, a savvy couponer could cut that in half. Saving $3900 a year! Remember, in a 30% tax bracket, that's like earning an extra $5570!
Think I'm exaggerating? I'm not. Here are tips to help you take a bite out of your grocery bill.
1. Purchase a Sunday paper and clip coupons for items you already need to buy. Don't fall into the trap of buying stuff you don't need and won't use just because it is inexpensive.
2. Go to stores that double or triple coupons. It's a great feeling to turn a $.75 coupon into a $2.25 coupon just by walking into the door. Stores typically post their coupon policies at the customer service desk, but don't be afraid to ask.
3. Match your coupons with weekly store sales. If an item is on sale for 50% off, matching that sale with a coupon will often make the product nearly free! See below for sites to help you find these deals.
4. Don't be too brand loyal. If you have a coupon for a different brand of Ketchup which makes it 1/3 of the price of your normal brand, give it a try.
5. If you find a good coupon, get extras! There are plenty of ways to do this. The easiest way is to use a service like "thecouponclippers.com" which allows you to order as many specific coupons as you like. Also, if you find lots of valuable coupons in a certain week's paper, you can always go buy another paper. Definitely worth your $1.50.
6. Print grocery coupons for free online. There are lots of online coupon sites that allow you to print grocery coupons. However, almost all of them pull from the two major sites:
www.coupons.com and www.smartsource.com
You can also find some good coupons for Pillsbury products on www.pillsbury.com
Websites to help you along the way:
hotcouponworld.com - Find a forum specific to your local grocery chains and share weekly deals with other users.
couponmom.com - Check the "Grocery Deals by State" section for a list of the best weekly grocery deals from your local stores.
thecouponclippers.com - Coupon clipping service that will mail you any coupons you need for a moderate fee.
OR join a yahoo group of like minded savers: