Simple Strategies to Save Big on Family Essentials


A few years ago I made it a personal goal to cut my grocery and household product costs in half.  I reduced our budget amount and learned how to use coupons to get more savings. When I got pregnant, I knew I would need a lot of diapers and wipes. Everyone knows having a baby can be quite costly, so I wanted to stock up and save some money along the way.  My husband thought I went overboard with buying so much before our son even arrived, but once we started to go through a ton of diapers, he definitely appreciated my efforts! Here are my money-saving strategies…

Save money on family essentials with and without coupons

Smart Couponing

To maximize savings, smart coupon shoppers stock up on products when they are at their lowest possible sales price (plus using a coupon), so they don’t have to run out and pay full price on items when they need them – and they buy enough to last them until the NEXT big sale. Stockpile basics such as cereal, meat, toiletries – whatever items your family uses the most.  Sale cycles can range between 4-12 weeks, depending on the product and time of year.

Places to get coupons:

  • Local newspapers
  • Inside stores on tear pads
  • Coupons you can peel off products at the store
  • Coupon websites
  • Store websites
  • Store newsletters
  • Coupon apps for smart phones

Getting Started

It’s actually easier than you might think. Try picking one product you use all the time.  Watch for sales and then stock up on that one product.  Once you get comfortable with that, slowly add more and more items.  I would suggest starting with paper products or health care items.  Below are pictures of my pile of diapers and wipes, and a great deal on toothpaste that I’ve been able to get while couponing.

Saving on Essentials Diapers  Saving on Essentials Toothpaste

Beyond Coupons

Not interested in being an extreme couponing mom? You can still save quite a bit of money by just shopping sales.  It’s also helpful to create meal plans around the food items that are on sale and use coupons for items that your family actually uses.  While using coupons will mostly help with dry and paper goods, the best way to save on fresh produce is to purchase them from a local farmers market or co-op.

Some stores offer a gift card when you spend a certain amount or purchase certain products.  While you may not be saving money upfront, it will save you money in the future.  You can either use the gift card on your next purchase to reduce your out of pocket cost, or you can save them up for a larger purchase.  I like to save all of my gift cards until the end of year and then use them to buy Christmas gifts.

Also, almost all stores offer deals or reduced prices by becoming a member and obtaining a store card.  Most of these programs are free and worth the savings!  Depending on the store, the card can get you special prices on certain items, exclusive store coupons, or even up to 5% off your total purchase.

I hope these tips will help you save at least a few dollars the next time you go out and shop.  If you have other couponing or saving tips, I would love for you to share them in the comments!

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Sparkle was born and raised in the Gresham area, but just recently moved back to Portland from the Seattle area. She is half Hmong and half Chinese. Her ethnic names translate to shiny light, hence why her American name is Sparkle. She is an Instructional Designer working from home and creates training materials. She is also a loving wife and mom to a precious 9-month old boy, Boston. For fun, she loves to craft and make things. Sparkle also enjoys her morning coffee and traveling the world. You can see more of her card-making creations on her blog at