Coupons and sales are great tools for saving money, but only if you're able to use them wisely. It's tempting to use a coupon that seems like a great deal, even if it's for an extravagance you wouldn't otherwise buy. But using a coupon or sale as an excuse to splurge isn't the way to reduce expenses.
Instead, restrict yourself to items that you would buy anyway, or to items that will substitute for other things you would buy. For example, even if you don't usually buy steak, but you find it on sale for cheaper than the chicken you usually get, this is probably a smart purchase, and a welcome way to add variety to home meals.
So that you're more likely to use them, set aside a few minutes every week to gather and organize new coupons as well as throw out old ones. Keep them in a special place or container, and arrange them by category or expiration date. This is also a good time to plan your meals for the week, because you'll be able to choose recipes depending on the deals you find.
Does one of your children have a birthday coming up? Read the next page to find out how to plan for special occasions.