With Thanksgiving right around the corner, its time to hit the stores, at least the grocery stores, and make the most of those holiday coupons. As I get ready to host 17 of us for a fabulous feast and a fun filled weekend, my first holiday expenditures always focus on food and entertaining items and I love that fellowship and family sets the tone for the rest of the year. Thanks to my GO MOM!® DIY Holiday Bundle, I’ve been mapping my holiday specific expenses and to-do list to keep me on track and I’m ready for my traditional “weekend before Thanksgiving” shopping to get everything in place.
But I’m going to be very honest about the financial side of the holidays. Some days it feels like everywhere I turn there’s a new opportunity to donate, need to spend, and event to get our home or family ready for. And in turn I feel like my bank account is a revolving door and even though I’ve planned ahead, I get stressed about all that spending. To make matters worse, with so many great deals available I want to spend as little as I need to and make our money go as far as it can. With a child in college and a job that has its ups and downs, the last thing I need to do is go over budget.
So to keep that financial anxiety in check I work hard to ground myself in simple charitable giving that I know will make a local difference and then work my holiday coupons like there’s no tomorrow so I rest easy on that “did I save as much as I can” voice that rings through my head. And here is how I do it:
Use a Holiday Coupon System
I’ll admit that my couponing system has gotten incredibly more streamlined over the years. With so many online tools available you can get lost in all the options. But I have three recommendations that might be the cat’s meow for you. First, if you are looking for online couponing tools, check out Favado. Its an app that lets you compare prices at your favorite stores and shows you the best deals available that week on the products you are looking for. Next, make sure you are signed up for email coupon notices from your favorite stores. Often that means you are signing up for a preferred shopping plan and that’s great because you often get even greater savings on items every week. And finally, you need to a way to organize all those paper coupons on a store flyers. For the holidays, I keep all of my holiday coupons in my GO MOM!® DIY Holiday Planner so that they are separate from my other coupons and helps me keep those shopping trips organized so I can track what applies to holiday specific purchasing vs. our weekly shopping needs where I also coupon. This is why I love to putting my Holiday Bundle in a binder format. My pocket folders make it a breeze to store coupons and holiday sale flyers and when I am ready to shop I can just grab that folder and go!
Make Time to Find Holiday Coupons
First make a list of all every person or event that might require you to bring a gift. Our GO MOM!® DIY Holiday Bundle has a detailed Holiday Gift List to help you make sure you don’t forget anyone. Next, take some time researching coupons to see how many you can match up to the gift buying needs you have and you’ll be amazed at what you find. Visit the retailer’s website for coupon offers which at this time of year are plentiful and worth the effort. Many of your favorite stores may have an app for your phone that not only gives you the scoop but additional savings not advertised too, just like Target’s Cartwheel. Check out couponing websites for the latest deals and steals. And don’t overlook the Sunday paper. Retailers offer plenty of paper coupons in special holiday inserts and again, going through that is totally worth your time. Keep an eye out for restaurant and entertainment coupons too because this is the time of year when we have an increased need for those kinds of purchases.
Use Holiday Coupons for Groceries
While hosting for the holidays is awesome, depending on the size of your group and how long they will stay, you can spend a fortune on food! At a time of year when most budgets are tight to accommodate the extra expenses the holiday season brings, it just makes good sense to invest a few extra minutes to make sure you are saving money at the checkout stand. Before you head out to shop, check your local grocery store circulars and websites to see who has the best deals on holiday specific grocery items and then do your best to match as many of those up with coupons as you can. The bonus here is some grocery chain online portals will do this for you automatically making it really easy know you’re getting the best price out there. If you want
Use Holiday Coupons to Donate Food
Once we turn the corner on November, I start to stock up on BOGOs and other high savings deals on items I know would make great food donations. This weekend you’ll find that many local newspapers are promoting their support for a local food bank drive. In our area its a group effort that is also supported by a local TV and radio station so there is all kinds of buzz and multiple drop off sites. Which means no excuses! To make it easy to donate, the Sunday before Thanksgiving there is always a brown paper bag insert for you to fill up and drop off at one of the collection sites. In our case, the bag also includes a pre-printed list of items on the side that helps us know exactly what our food bank needs. Genius because I simply need to point my children in the direction of the pantry and fill it up because I’ve been taking the time to stock up with maximum savings thanks to those coupons and great BOGO deals.
Use Holiday Coupons to Create a Charitable Savings Jar
One way to make sure you don’t miss the opportunity to give to others is to use your coupons as a charitable savings account. Every time you use a coupon, take the savings it represents, no matter if its 50 cents or 10 dollars, and put it in a savings jar. Keep this jar in a visible location and as it grows, talk with your family about where you might donate the money to as a family activity. Set a date for when you’ll make the last holiday coupons savings deposit and then make a family outing to donate as you have agreed. You’ll all be blessed by the excitement this activity creates and the support it provides those in need.
Remember, coupons are free money. Seriously. If you can find 10 minutes to sort through the coupons or check your favorite websites, you can hand over a coupon and immediately have more money in your wallet than you would have if you hadn’t tried. I don’t know why a busy Mom wouldn’t make the most of that if she can. Tell me…
Do you use holiday coupons? How do you organize them and what do you do with the savings you earn?
If your holiday wish list includes staying organized and saving money, check out our GO MOM!® DIY Holiday Bundle. At just $4.99. its an incredible value giving you 12 of the most effective holiday planning worksheets to help get the job done. And be sure to check out our Holidays 101 Pinterest Board ~ its full of ideas to keep the crazy in check so you can focus on the reason for your season, whatever that may be. Thanks so much for stopping by ~ we’ll see you next time!