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Grocery Cart Confessionals: Coupons Have Changed My Financial Life

I’ll admit, couponing was the gateway drug.

It started with JUST using coupons. But after some time, it changed.

Coupons became the catalyst for something else.

I had always considered myself a deal-seeking person. But after I walked out of CVS with a bag of stuff for $.67 or loaded up the back of my van with groceries for under $60, I realized my life had been changed.

My perception of the worth of $20.00 had changed.

It became harder to just throw $20.00 at (insert anything – staff birthdays, pizza on the way home, a new set of earrings, etc) because I became VERY aware of what $20 was capable of buying.

Please don’t get me wrong. I don’t advocate becoming a cheapie. Don’t miss out on life because you are worried about $3.00 – but I think you know what I’m talking about when I say “throw money at it”.

That awareness transcended into so many other parts of my life. Because I was using cash when I shopped at the grocery store, we decided to create cash envelopes for some other categories…like Family Fun, Haircuts, Babysitter, etc.

I found that when I used cash for those categories, I stayed in budget and I started spending less – which created more financial margin.

And then, like the drug that is, I wanted more.

I looked for alternative ways to reduce our overall spending. I started making our insurance providers “bid” for our business every year to guarantee we were getting the lowest rate. I utilized the library and redbox for movies. I asked for cheaper alternatives to our current prescriptions. I started becoming an advocate for me.

And, our financial life was changed.

I told my husband this morning that for the first time in our married lives, I feel “in control” of our finances. We are able to tithe to the church, our children’s college and our IRAs are fully funded, and we are making strides to pay off our house by the time we are 42. Our family has financial margin and I don’t want to give it up – ever.

And, it all started with a $.50/1 Captain Crunch Coupon and a sale at Hy-Vee. Yes, coupons were the gateway drug to financial freedom.

What about you? Have coupons changed your financial outlook? What changes have you seen since you started strategic shopping?