Recently, I got to chat about coupons with Heather Hazen, Coupon Mom Extraordinaire, who’s dedicated her blog to living a holistically frugal and, therefore, rich lifestyle. I love Heather’s couponing philosophy because it’s a part of her entire life. One of the first things Heather told me is that she’s always been a saver, not a spender. Which made me think we’re all savers at heart. Because saving is the way to get more out of life. That’s what we all want; some of us just go about it the wrong way.
Heather started seriously couponing when she lost her job and had her first baby. She and her husband decided that couponing would become her full-time job. “We realized that having every need met and spending very little to do so was much more valuable than being stressed out at a job that pays little and rushing around to make ends meet.”
Heather says couponing is key to a low-stress life style: “Since we know that, in general, we save so much, we are a little more relaxed and enjoy our money now.” And with all that peace of mind comes a new way of thinking: it is possible to save (read: make) money nearly every second of the day. Like me, Heather never, ever eats out without a coupon. And she makes it a point to re-purpose almost everything she would ordinarily throw away. “We reuse water bottles, we save bread bags for walking the dog, and any paper towel roll or soda bottle is saved for a craft project with the toddler. Couponing doesn’t just have to be about clipping pieces of paper; I consider it a way of life and a way to save for our future.”
Heather’s favorite frugal advice? Buy in bulk and freeze, freeze, freeze. She buys meat in bulk at warehouse stores or right at the butcher. “You can purchase 40 lbs of chicken breast for $1.50/lb, or you can wait for someone to open the box themselves and move the chicken (without repackaging it) to the shelves, where it’s $1.90/lb.” Heather advises frugal shoppers to find a second freezer for cheap on Craigslist and use it to store meat in individual family dinner portions (you can stockpile quart-sized freezer bags with coupons during sales for close to free).
Other groceries Heather loves to stockpile with coupons and freeze:
Creamer (except sugar free)
Heather shares her daily deals on Facebook and Twitter and she’s a huge fan of social media’s couponing scene. “Most companies have a Facebook page where they advertise new products, have contests, and offer coupons. It is a great way to interact with a company. If you have a complaint or concern, post it to their Facebook page. If the entire world can hear your issue, the company is more likely to jump in and fix it.”
Make sure you subscribe to Heather’s blog to get a heads up on seriously good deals. (Heather’s in the process of moving here.) She’s an expert in snagging drug store savings at Walgreens, CVS, and Rite Aid. (Check out Mo’ Money’s mobile coupon guides to these drug stores here.) She’s also got some great ways to save on Halloween goodies, like this free Krispy Kreme donut offer!