Call me crazy but I do not see the point of coupons. In fact, I despise them. Every time I try to save money with coupons I end up with an expired coupon or forgetting to even present the coupon. It drives me nuts and creates a lot of frustration.
To shop simply, I skip the manufacturers coupons and shop conscientiously with in store sales. I take advantage of the store brand items which are often much cheaper than the name brands. I do check the circular for in store coupons but that's about as far as I go in coupon clipping.
Choosing a store that seems to have the best prices for the things I purchase most helps keep my life simple. Shop Rite is the grocery store I seem to get the most bang for my buck. Shop Rite has a baby club that gives $10.00 back if you buy enough baby items during a certain time period (which is easy to do with diapers and formula!) Many other grocery stores offer similar baby clubs which add savings to your shopping trip.
Shopping from a list and setting a budget ahead of time forces me to be creative and take an inventory of what items I have in my kitchen before going to the store. I try to plan my recipes for the week and try to use things that are going to go bad in the next week or two. I plan a meal or two for the week based on whatever meat is on sale that week.
It seems to me that different stores are better for different families. For instance, the Acme in our area constantly offers Buy 1 get 1 free deals which would help a large family but does not help my family of only 2 adults. However, Shop Rite's baby club suits us better. Shopping in wholesale stores such as Costco can bring savings to large families but does not really offer savings for small families.
Independently owned produce stands can be cheaper but they often have limited hours which are not conducive to most working people.
I know many people are going to take issue with these ideas saying that they save a lot of money clipping coupons and jumping from grocery store to grocery store. I have seen people on the news that end up practically having the store give them money. I do not understand how they do it!? I do occasionally clip coupons and check out the sales going at other stores nearby but I feel like it's a part time job which I don't have the patience for. I find keeping things simple helps me keep my sanity.
OH, of course, never go to the store hungry! You will want to buy EVERYTHING!