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My name is Brittany and DH and I are expecting our first in December.
Right now we're living with his family (his parents, younger brother and grandfather). His parents pretty much pay for all groceries, but I'm the one who actually does most of the shopping. His parents don't have a whole lot of money, and I try to use coupons when I can but...
DH's younger brother tends to make fun of me for doing so. I realize that his opinion doesn't matter and I should just get over it, but it still makes me feel self-concious. DH's father has even said a few times, "You don't pay for the groceries, why should you care?"
MIL doesn't care if I use them, and probably prefers that I do.
The other problem is that this family is very picky. They won't eat store brands of anything. I personally don't think there's a difference, and DH doesn't care (he'll eat anything that doesn't eat him first LOL), but they are insistent that there's a huge difference.
I can get away with some stuff, if they don't know it's not name-brand, but if they see the packaging, it's downhill from there.
Wow, I think I just wrote a novel. LOL
All that to say, I'd like to know how to save money, because it'd really help everyone out. Especially on non-grocery items, because DH are really in a tight spot right now.
To start off, I have also been made fun of for using coupons in the past. It bothered me at first, but now I don't care. There are a lot of myths and lies about what it means to use coupons, who uses coupons and so forth. Especially since the show Extreme Couponing, I have noticed an overall change in attitude. I think that you are being very responsible by using coupons, and trying to save your family money. In my personal opinion, since you are not technically paying for the groceries, why wouldn't you want to help out in this way? I mean, you are trying to help your in-laws save as much money as they can while you and your husband lives there. It sounds like a good trade off. My husband and I lived with my mom when we were engaged, and this is what we did also. We paid for some and my mom paid for some, but I always used coupons and shopped the sales.
As for the store brand items, this is my experience. Before I started using coupons, we purchased a lot of store brand items. However, now we rarely do. This is because when you match up a coupon with a sale item, you can often get the name brand item even cheaper! Sometimes, we don't have a sale or coupon, so we will buy store brand, but this isn't often. I don't think there is really anything wrong with store brand, but if I can get the name brand cheaper, then I will.
What stores do you have by you? If we know specifically, we can help guide you in the right direction!
If you shop at Walmart, you can check out the blog: iheartthemart
It’s a pretty good resource for finding deals there, and what coupons you should use with them.
We don’t have Smith’s, but I have heard good things about it. We have Fry’s, which is part of the Kroger company, and this is where I do most of my shopping. And, that’s a lot!
Target can be great, too! I personally do not do a lot of my shopping here, but they often have amazing coupons on their website to print. I just used a bunch of $3/1 clothing purchase (select brands) to score some clearance shirts for free! Most of my summer shirts came from here by using those coupons. You can also use on store coupon and one manufacture coupon together, for additional savings. They even have coupons now that you can get on your phone!
CVS and Walgreens are great places, too. Before I started using coupons, I assumed they were too expensive. But, with their own in store reward programs, you can score a lot of free-cheap items there. This is where I get a lot of my health and beauty items.
The main thing to remember is that you are going to see the most savings when you pair a coupon with a sale. I didn’t do this in the beginning and wasn’t saving that much. Some people are against stockpiles, and though we don’t have a lot of room, we do have a stockpile that fits in our cupboards. When something is free or super cheap, I will buy a few extras – This keeps me from having to pay full price later on. Also, you can use coupons on clearance items, which is great.
Another tip I have is to plan your trips out. View the ads online or if they come in your mail, write down what you are going to get and match your coupon to it. This has saved me a lot of money because I go into the store knowing exactly what I’m getting. Also, meal planning. I don’t know if this will work with your family situation – Not sure if you all have meals together. But, we plan our meals around what we already have, what is on sale, what we have a coupon for….