First, let me start off saying that couponing has helped my family save thousands over the past 3 years. Without true couponing, I would not know what to do.

However, I think we have gone overboard in recent months. Here is how I know we have gone astray:

Calculate the Monthly Budget/Spending

I usually calculate the budget spending for the month and we have gone over the allotment for the last 5 months. At first, I thought it was just the increase in grocery prices, but as I looked closely at the receipts it was much more.

Overspending on Non-essentials

Looks like we got into the habit of spending on things we didn’t necessarily need. For example, the local Save a Lot was closing and they were having a store sale. Instead of my dad getting a few items he got $90 worth of things we didn’t need. Students, already the Slaves to the Money, often demonstrate the same habit. Anyways, my dad got:

  • Hotdogs (we had a stockpile of 20 already)
  • Bacon (we had 15 Smithfield bacon in the freezer)
  • Chips ( not to downgrade the off-brand, but when you have been couponing and get the lays the others aren’t as good)

My mom and I looked at each other and said why did we even need this stuff. I noticed this was happening every month. WARNING!!! Just because it is on sale doesn’t mean you have to buy it.

We are still saving money regardless of the cutbacks, but not as good as we were doing a year ago.

How to Not Blow Your Budget When Using Coupons:

Make out a grocery list of things that you need in the house and stick to the list.
Check out the local paper for the store ads and circle the items you need.


Once you have seen the items you need to calculate the price. The number one reason why people overspend in the store is that they were not prepared and do not know the cost of the item. Before I go into the store I know by my list what I am going to get and how much it will all cost. See also this post: “How To Lower Your Monthly Bills”

Know when to leave a deal in the store. Just because they have toothpaste for $.10 doesn’t mean you need another 50 to add to your ridiculously large stockpile. Make sure you’ve got a job. That will definitely boost education options for your family and is good for your retirement!

Take inventory of the things you have in your house. Know when it is getting low and add it to your shopping list. There’s nothing wrong with a more frugal lifestyle, wouldn’t you agree?

Now, of course, this isn’t everything, but it is a great start. HAPPY SHOPPING!

Well, it is almost that time of year again when it is time to declutter and get rid of some of your unwanted items and make a little extra money. Kids Carousel, Children Clothing Exchange, and Women Clothing Exchange are holding their annual Spring Consignment Sales.

Consignment shops help consignors make hundreds of dollars reselling their children’s clothes and toys while providing families an excellent opportunity to meet their summer clothing needs at very affordable prices like we saw last year in Virginia. And let’s not forget that they do the same in their Fall Consignment Sales!

Here are some general pricing guidelines:

  • Clothing items: 30 – 50% of retail value, depending on condition and label.
  • Price infant clothes LOW. We get so many baby clothes that shoppers can afford to be picky. Bring only your best & price them competitively.
  • Shoes should be priced 10 – 20% of retail value. Only bring your very best shoes. No scuffed toes or worn soles.
  • Furniture, equipment, and toys – 40 – 60% of retail value, depending on condition and current popularity.
  • Price nursery bedding sets very low. They are hard to display and harder to sell.
  • Make sure to iron and make your clothes appealing. (Most people can not overlook the wrinkles and see a diamond in the rough)