I only have two coupon rules:
- Have a budget for how much you will spend each week.
- Don’t clip coupons for items you don’t need to eat or buy.
These don’t have to be your rules, but without these rules, I had several shopping misadventures that were not good for my wallet or my waistline:
- I once asked Ryan if I should buy Prilosec because it was on sale and I had a coupon – neither of us have heartburn or indigestion (I am actually guessing that is what Prilosec treats, because I honestly have no clue what it is used for), but I thought we should have it “just in case.” That was when I first started couponing, and two years later no one has ever asked me for Prilosec.
- On another occasion, I put together a shopping list that included frozen pre-made garlic bread and Gushers. I know, I just got done telling you that we generally do not eat processed foods. But I had coupons, so I haaaaaddddd to buy them because they were on sale and it was going to be a good deal. Luckily this was around the same time I started taking Ryan to the grocery store, and he talked me off the cliff.
- Candy. Unless it is Halloween or I am buying candy for someone else, I do not clip coupons for candy. Why you ask, because candy is expensive and well, its candy, so some (not me) would argue that it lacks in nutritional value. Having a coupon is all the excuse I need to buy myself a bag of candy – hmmmm chocolate.
- I haven’t bought lotion in over a year, and I still have at least six bottles under the bathroom sink.
- For the record, I never went so far as to buy cat food for the cat that we will never have.
I should also add that I am somewhat brand loyal. For most things I will happily buy store-brand products, but there are a few areas where I will only buy certain brands. For example, laundry detergent and fabric softener. I only use one brand, and it is the expensive brand. I know this goes against some couponing mantras, but every other brand of detergent and fabric softener makes my skin itch, so to me, it is just wasting money to buy a brand, because it is cheap, that I will never ever use.
So what, if any, coupon rules do you have? And what coupon rules do you break? Anyone else out there with coupon misadventures?
p.s. Tonight I am making burrito bowls with quinoa instead of rice and crock-pot honey garlic chicken. I will post recipes, cost, and nutritional information! And, of course, because no food post would be complete without Ryan’s review, I will be asking him to rate each meal.