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What Do Coupons Do For You?

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So, this is definitely one of those topics that I haven’t really posted about here on Hip2Save. A topic that, well… isn’t the easiest to discuss, especially if you are dealing with it. Secret spending.

Secret spending, in my opinion, is when you are spending money to get that wonderful shopping high and then feeling pretty guilty later. It’s a vicious cycle that seems to never end. Spend, feel guilty, spend again to numb that guilt….

At this point in my life, I am such an open book,  but that wasn’t always the case. I was a secret spender.

I had credit cards open that my husband didn’t know about. I shopped online until the wee hours of the night. I lied… lied to the people I love the most. Depression set in and I couldn’t seem to climb out of the huge hole I had made for myself.

Why am I telling you this? Because couponing literally saved my life.

Being a young stay at home mom is not easy, as I’m sure many of you know. I dealt with feelings of sadness after having my first child at 20 and of course, that made me feel even more depressed because why wasn’t I happy? I had a new baby boy. What was wrong with me? I felt like a horrible person. And then began the secret spending…

Couponing made me feel like I was contributing in a huge way. Couponing made me feel like I was part of a community. Couponing helped me give back, which in turn gave me a sense of purpose. Couponing helped me stop the secret spending. Couponing helped me climb out of the massive hole I had been sitting in for so long. Couponing steered me out of my depression.

Coupons do a lot more than save you money. What do they do for you?

Join The Discussion

Comments 287

  1. SK

    I grew up in a frugal family and always used coupons a little, but really started to get into it about three and a half years ago. I was 25, had just graduated from law school, was broke, and had (and still have) a mountain of student loans.

    I was very depressed, but when I found Colin’s blog I started to feel much better- all that money I spent on incidentals could be saved for future plans and to pay down my loans!

    I have no idea how much couponing has saved me, but it must be a lot! Even though I make more money now, I still coupon just as avidly. It’s helped me save a good amount of money and keep paying down my loans. Couponing is also helping me help my boyfriend save money- he’s currently taking time off from his job as an artist to launch a creator-owned project.

    Every time I look at a receipt and see how much money coupons took off my total, I feel a victory! Now, instead of feeling depressed about my loans, I realize that they were an investment in ME and that coupons help me handle that investment.

  2. Shanna

    Without the use of coupons I would not to be able to have food in the house for my son and I. Between rent (580) and my student loan payments (530) and everything else that comes with runnning a household, I have just around 25 per week to spend and that 25 has to cover everything from dishwashing liquid to toilet paper. Without the use of coupons it would be near impossible for me to do that. I found this site thru the Today Show site when I was looking for a segment that would teach me how to use coupons, the other ones would confuse me to the point I would just give up. And then Hip2Save came along and broke it down to a point where I could understand it!!!

    It makes me feel so good to look in my fridge and see plenty of food to cook for my son and I. The issue I have most nights is what to cook, not for lack of options but for the many options I have! When we run out of something, I can go to my “stockpile” and replenish it, not borrow on next weeks check to get something so simple as soap and toothpaste. I have taught my son that coupons help me save money, so I can have more of it to take care of you. I can pay for his afterschool activities or get him a toy witout feeling guilty or trying to think in my head how I am going to pay the light bill this month. He even helps me find deals in the store, though he hates when I pull out my binder!!

    One day I will get to a place where my money is not so tight as I advance in my field of choice, but I will never stop using coupons. It has truly become a way of life for me. I still have so much to learn, but I want to thank Collin, the Hip2Save team and off of the Hip2Save community, you teach me everyday!

  3. Ashley

    My story is so much like everyone elses. I met my husband when I was 19, Married when we were 20. We were young and careless with money so finances were always hard. I began working at publix, after seeing all the customers come in and save so much money I had to jump on the bandwagon. Working there made it alot easier because I always knew the sales and knew which coupons were coming in and had access to any booklets I wanted. It became like a drug for me so to speak.. It was like the first high was great, and I constantly shopped for deals to bring me back to that great feeling. That sounds horrible but I’m sure many of you can relate. I would randomly open my fridge and freezer and just stand there and look. The feeling you got knowing you spent so little and had soooo much to provide for your family was wondering. I grew up in a single parent household with a mom who work about 60 hours a week to provide and even then things weren’t always easy. I can remember eating eggs and rice for dinner bc that was all that was in the house. I’m now 23, married, and a mother of two who works about 45 a hrs a week, I honestly don’t have the time to invest in coupons like I did before, but I always try. I tri to save money, My husband has been out of work for 6 months, but this year my girls had the most awesome christmas.. Thanks to H2S !! Everyday I would wake up and check the blog. Scored things like 100 doll houses for 30 dollars, which put a smile on my daughters face I’ll never forget. Even if I won the lottery, I would prob still be frugal, its in my nature now.. Why WASTE money if you don’t have to 😉

  4. Ana

    Couponing helped me to loose weight. I did not have a car, so I walked with a stroller 45 min each way to Rite Aid to stock up on diapers :).

  5. Cheryl

    Couponing has helped me keep my sanity. I had to close my family daycare after 25 years to help care for family members who were/are ill. Life had become so overwhelming that we knew something had to be done so I stopped working. Couponing has helped remove some of the stress of caring for people who are ill and now having less money. It is a great escape for me! Yesterday I went to Bed, Bath and Beyond and bought the k-cups and also found a new shower curtain for $8.00. I was so excited and happy when I came home!!! Like I tell everyone, couponing is my favorite hobby.

  6. Molly

    I am a stay at home mother of 3, and my husband’s paycheck disappears very fast, there is never money left. Back in the years I never had a penny in my wallet and as my kids were growing up it was hard to be driving to the doctor or store and not being able to buy my kids a hamburger or candy when they wanted one. I started couponing and doing rebates about 5 years ago, but I found Hip2save about a year ago and everything has changed. I have saved so much in the last year that I have been able to spoil my kids so much, I buy them things that I would of never thought of spending money on, I take them out to eat, and it makes me feel that I am helping my family by saving, and that I can actually make a difference. One of the most important things is that my kids are learning that there is no need to pay retail prices for most of the personal and household products that we use, and I believe that is a GREAT thing to teach our children.

  7. Jenn

    I love this post. So awesome to see how couponing has changed so many people’s lives. Colin you can feel so good about sharing your valuable information with everyone and making such a positive impact on so many around the world!! So many changes for the better!!!

    I was going to comment on the of loneliness of stay at home moms. I can attest to that. I went from working full time to being home. Then soon the mother of three little girls. It’s hard not to feel isolated and not contributing financially really got to me. Coupons helped me save so much money!! Also one thing that really helped me was getting plugged into a local MOPS group. MOPS stands for “mothers of pre preschoolers” but it’s for any mom from pregnancy to kids in kindergarten. There are local chapters all over the US, usually found/held in churches. You meet every other week and have food, fellowship, crafts, cool speakers, and get to meet other moms in your area. It’s so nice to meet up with other people that have been spit up on that morning, or dealing with the terrible twos, and you can laugh about it together. I’ve made some new friendships that I wouldn’t of made otherwise. I was even the craft coordinator last year and coupons helped us save a bunch of supplies and we could do even cooler crafts. Also they just started something called momsnext which is for moms for school aged kids if you kids are older. Not sure I can post a link here but google mops international and on their site you can find where local groups meet. http://www.mops.org/ It really helped. 🙂

    • couponlovingmommy

      fellow MOPS mommy…just joined in December and I love it…thanks for getting the word out!

  8. couponlovingmommy

    Using hip2save to coupon has allowed me to be a stay at home mom and helped with the expenses of adoption. I have been able to donate more to the needy and help out family too.

  9. amanda

    I know this is sad, but couponing is my first hobby. I could never find anything I had a passion for and something I could stick with. I am a couponer of 3 years now and I will be for the rest of my life! 🙂

    • Aly

      That’s not sad. There’s nothing wrong with having couponing as your first hobby.

    • totallydondi

      I can relate about it being a hobby. Being a stay at home mom of two teens has left me with free time that I didn’t know quite what to do with. I always felt guilty spending money. My husband is working each hour to Make money. I can’t be home spending it, right? But then what do I do with my time besides cook and clean? TV got pretty boring after a while.
      Couponing has enabled me to make the mundane errands Oh So Exciting! …how much did I get? How much did I save? (Even a trip to a drug store where I have a plan and make the best of the 7 or so items that I buy just thrills me. I lay them out, highlight my receipt and share it with my husband. We are getting the hang of what is a good price or a great price.)
      I have my meals planned for the week on my dry erase board since I have dinner staples–that I found super cheap. It has helped me to be so much more organized. I started a ‘bills’ binder today. It feels good to have everything in one place. It’s a sort of freeing feeling.
      I like hearing “you’re so good at it” or “you’re so organized”
      We used $40.00 worth of paper coupons at Target last night. I had match ups and hit the sales. I like getting 3 to 4 of something. I never bought more than one can of pasta sauce or chili or meats before. Now I prepare/plan/conquer/succeed with money left in my pocket. It just feels good ( :

    • Jaime

      I know this was a month ago but had to chime in 🙂

      My husband has been begging me to get a hobby because I like to pretend I’m in charge of everything Lol

      Well I had our daughter last year and needed a way to save money…

      I watched one episode of Xtreme Couponing (yes, I started because of THAT show) and at first I thought it was DUMB! But they were onto something! Now I’m addicted in a good way! Couponing IS my hobby 🙂 I’m in charge of my coupons, they go in order how I want, I get them ready for transactions at stores AND I’m saving money with my hobby! Not spending money! My husband was like Whatever! Now he’s seeing I’m getting better with each trip to the store and slowly he knows we will always have necessities in the house and food in the kitchen 🙂

      Soooo uh if its sad that its a hobby… I’m one happy sad person Lol!

      • Edna Mikel

        Jaime That is great .I also had a goal when I started couponing.I want to help with cutting the food bills and to help at the food bank.Thay were in bad need of non food items.I have bee very blessed with both of the things I need to do. Now the church saves coupons for me,BOy do I have the coupons now.And yes I guess you can say this is my hobby too.Sure Keeps me busy.

  10. Dee

    Coupons have helped in so many ways. The biggest way was my own depression and marriage. I was always so stressed about money and not enough. Now we communicate a lot better and I am a lot happier knowing we have plenty of the stuff we need. I have not been able to stock pile but i do have plenty of stuff to last us a couple of months. I am still learning but love when i get stuff for free or really cheap. + my husband brags about how much we save on this stuff. My kids always have what they need and I am not having to say no when they want the blue mouthwash LOL ! Because it’s 5 bucks. Instead I stock up when on sale and coupons and they have 5-6 for 5 bucks!
    The good thing is learning this and now budgeting and menu planning, I am really learning how to get everything done without being sooo stressed. This has really improved our life and marriage. Thank you
    My favorite websites of course Hip2save, moneysavingmom and daveramsey!
    My goal is debt free by end of the year.

  11. Kimberlee

    I take every opportunity I can to tell people how God provided a financial miracle for my family and I through couponing. My husband is a pastor. As the economy took a hit over the past several years, so did our church’s income. The result: a fairly significant pay decrease with each new year.

    I’ve always been very frugal, but by December 2009, we had scraped every last expense we could think of, and just didn’t know HOW we were going to make it. We had slashed our bills, cut services of various kinds, and I was buying only what was ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY for our family to survive. Along with all kinds of other creative solutions, I was replacing meat with beans most nights of the week, and had managed to get our grocery bill down to about $75/week.

    With another pay cut looming over our heads, I began seeking the Lord AGAIN, trusting in my creative God to lead me to another solution and still allow us to serve Him full-time in ministry. After all, I reasoned, if He was creative enough to make all those crazy little sea creatures on the bottom of the ocean for no seeming purpose but creativity, and if He owns the cattle on a thousand hills, certainly He could figure this one out for us!

    Within 3 weeks, I began digging around on the internet for information about couponing. Within 1 week after that, I made my first shopping trip. I purchased $75 worth of groceries for $13, and was ecstatic! Perhaps this would be my answer to prayer, I wondered.

    I continued to apply myself to learning how to coupon, investing many hours studying coupon blogs online. Over the course of 6 weeks, I had accumulated a full, working coupon binder & all the knowledge I needed to be a confident, successful couponer. That first year, our grocery budget was reduced to a reliable $15/week. My pantry was overflowing, and I found myself donating box after box after box to charity & friends in need.

    My grocery budget has since climbed to $25/week with the increase in cost of food, but God has provided in other ways (more students in my piano-teaching business), to cover that expense. He has also used sites like hip2save to help find much-needed deals on so much more than groceries.

    I am so grateful for the Lord’s provision. He heard my prayers. He saw my need, and He made a way.

    • mj

      hey how about Collin hard work??????????
      lol

    • lynn

      Your faith is astounding! God bless you and your family.

  12. Rachel

    I have been a casual couponer since getting married five years ago. Two years ago I moved to a rural part of New York State from a much more urban area, and had the opportunity to work from home for a year. This made two things happen: – 1) with grocery stores being so far away and new to me, I really had to plan out what I was buying and research what stores had the best deals; and 2) I had the freedom to spend more time on the web where I discovered the ‘frugal blogs’.

    Hip2Save and a few other blogs have really made saving a substantial amount of money possible, and survive my husband’s layoff this past year. Now that I am back to work in an office setting, I have been able to keep up with alot of the deals – with less time I have scaled back and can’t hit all of the stores I’d like to.

    For me following Hip2Save and couponing is like joining a club. Colin keeps everyone engaged with a sense of humor, great information, and “team building” posts like this one. I really make couponing less of a chore – to me it’s fun and challenging like a sport. Thanks a bunch!

  13. Sue

    I totally love this post. I have been couponing all of my life and often thought I was the lone crazy person stocking up on things that my family would use in the near future. When I found this blog I was so excited for the validation… I’m not the only crazy couponer out there. I have truly enjoyed reading your blog Colin and have shared it with many people. Keep up the great work!

  14. Suzy

    My whole life has changed. I am still paying off credit card debt yet have learned so much from this website. I feel the stress coming off my solders and my cupboards are over flowing. Wow. Now I think about every penny I spend. Wish I had learned even sooner. Thank you thank you thank you. God bless xoxo

  15. mday

    Well I posted the last time on how I was similar to Collin. However I have saved over 1/2 of my grocery bill because of coupons. I look for sales and I get to know the managers and sales clerks at the stores. Once you do they tell you all the great sales and help you get great bargains.

  16. Amale

    SAVE $$$ IN COLLEGE. I have not spent any money of body wash or deodorant in the past year!! Thank you!!! I also save money on other things I need. I only wish I discovered this site when I would have to eat a can of plain tuna fish for breakfast :s

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