I don't use coupons because I imagine that it is time consuming. And I often buy store brand. But then I hear of people like you who do so well with them! How much time do you spend (weekly/monthly/etc) organizing and planning for this?
I'm not big on wasting time, either. Believe me. My time is valuable, but I would hear these women talk about how much money they save and I'd be like, c'mon, is that for real? I wanted to see how it was done, and so I decided to check it out. I studied it on their website. All free. I focused on CVS at first. It became like a sport for me. A game. It took time at first, but now that I have the hang of it, it is like second nature to me. It doesn't take me a lot of time. At least it is much less time than the initial learning phase. I'm not poor either, I just figure why should I always pay full price when I don't have to? I have saved a ton. It has gotten so that CVS doesn't issue me those 30% off everything coupons anymore, Lol...or even 20%. The key is layering coupons. Sometimes you have to buy more to get the bigger discount too, which is counter-intuitive. I also shop online and get my stuff delivered to my house for free.
For example, I may get a CVS e-coupon in my email for $8 off a $40 purchase. There are other electronic coupons that you click on under the ExtraBucks tab online. I go through all the coupons and see what is relevant to what I need, and activate them. CVS might have a coupon for $3 off $15 worth of pain relievers. Then there may be a manufacturers coupon I can activate from Tylenol for $2 off. Then their might be a way to earn ExtraBucks for purchasing xyz. When you see things overlapping, that's the best savings opportunity. Say for example, I buy the Tylenol and use another coupon for Advil. I get the $3 off my order plus the individual coupons off of each item, I will continue to shop likewise until I reach $40 so I can get the $8 off and the free shipping...you begin to see the picture...I do make a habit of stocking up on things if its a good buy...for example, now I have enough pain reliever for the year probably. It's not like I'm not going to use it.
Anyway, it's an investment of time upfront, yes, but worth it if you can build new shopping habits so that you view shopping and saving differently...not to mention that it also pays to simultaneously use Rakuten or ibotta, etc. to get money back on some of the same items you just purchased. The key is looking for where "the stars align" and there is a sale, store coupon, manufacturer's coupon, store e-bucks, rebate ....all together. 🙂 Fun!! I used to get my box of stuff and say to my sister...look at this...what do you think I paid for all of it?! And when I told her, she'd always be like, NO Way!!! 🙂 .....Have fun!