Anyway, back to my coupons. I have some tips for those out there who may struggle with non-thriftiness.
1) Only get coupons for products you already use...
2)...but don't let that stop you from trying something new. I could clip that weekly coupon for Activia yogurt, but I know husband doesn't like yogurt period and honestly, after a few bites, it makes me gag as well. I may have saved 25 cents, but I had to spend $1-something for something we'll end up throwing away. However, if we ran across a coupon for a new flavor of Ben & Jerry's, we just might. After all, you won't be paying full price!
3) Make a routine for going through coupons. When we are getting ready to go grocery shopping, we make a list of our staples, ingredients of the weekly menu (we plan for 2 weeks), and anything else we're running low on. Then we go through our coupons. We toss anything expired and set aside anything that's on the list. If we find a coupon for something we use, but won't go bad (paper products, etc.), and it's about to expire, we throw that in, too.
4) Sign up for store mailing lists or loyalty cards. I created an e-mail exclusively for those e-mail alerts stores are always pimping. I check it when I think about it. Most of the time they don't fit in the "something I need" category, but every once in a while, you can catch a sale plus % off! Kroger's has loyalty cards that get extra savings on (usually) Kroger brand stuff. Also, I finally signed up for Speedway's Speedy Rewards. I haven't earned enough points for anything good yet, but it's the gas station closest to our house, so we'll be there a lot.
5) Finally, take a minute and price compare. What good is 30 cents off name brand something when the store brand is 50 cents cheaper than that? HOWEVER, there are cases when it's worth to have name brands. I call this the Oreo Theory (since name brand Oreos are significantly better than generic). Toilet paper. I won't scrimp on my TP. We have to have Charmin and I prefer the mega-rolls. But paper towels, eh. As long as the job can get done, I'm not picky. Oreo theory is a post on it's own though. So we'll leave this with a simple price vs. quality comparison.
If you feel so inclined, you could even start saving the difference coupons saved you. Kroger's (and other stores) will print what you saved by using their Plus card at the bottom of the receipt. If you use cash, put it in a jar, credit could go in a savings account. Then treat yourself to something special.