Busting the myths: Why coupons are a valuable part of your financial arsenal

I was a deal seeker long before I ever became a mom. Why? Well, it began as a fun hobby. Scoring designer clothing at 90% off retail was just plain satisfying, and finding freebies in the mailbox always brightened my day.

But that all changed in 2002 when I found myself jobless and 7-1/2 months pregnant with my first child. My husband was a first year pipefitters' apprentice earning about $9 an hour, and my high-paying job was our bread and butter. We managed for a few months on my severance and unemployment, but when we found out I was pregnant again only three months after our first boy was born, we knew that finding a job was not in the cards and that drastic measures were called for.

This was when I discovered the Grocery Game. I wish I could say it immediately transformed our finances, but I made every rookie mistake in the book. I didn't truly understand how to use coupons, and I wound up purchasing only the cheapest items from the stores I shopped at. I was every coupon myth/misconception/excuse embodied in one. Perhaps you're under many of the same false impressions:

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