The holidays are over and the new year has begun. Are you dwelling on all the money that was spent for the holidays and not having an easy plan to save money? Want to take control of the household budget? Tired of living paycheck to paycheck? This will make several people reflect on their expenses from the past year.

The quickest way to give your household budget a jumpstart is to use coupons from The Daily Times. Below is a suggestion to help take control of your household budget and a plan to save money for future holiday shopping or a good start to a saving plan.

First, you must write down your household budget. I know, not everyone wants to take the time to budget. Trust me, if you coupon you will have extra money to assist in paying down your bills and start a savings plan.

Now that you have identified the money available for groceries, review the sale ads and match up the coupons on the sale items.

Go through your pantry to sort out the items needed, then start a meal plan to cover a couple of weeks.

When the products are at rock bottom prices, this is the time to build your stockpile. Purchasing extra products at a deep discount will maximize your savings. For now, only buy discounted items and the essentials to assist you in your meal planning.

Then on next’s week sale cycle, go through the same process of reviewing your funds available and review the sale ads again.

When working this process weekly, overtime you will see a significant savings along with an increase of food in your pantry.

Your goal is to have a full pantry that will last you for three to four months until the next big sale.

With couponing, you save immediately and as time goes on, your savings will increase.

The best part of couponing is the extra money you will have in your grocery budget. My 2018 challenge to you is to start the 52-week saving plan with the year-end goal of $1,378.

This is a weekly savings plan managed from the money you saved from couponing.

Each week of the year, represents the total amount of money that you will save. You will first need a tracker sheet; this will help you keep up with the week and the amount of money deposited.

The tracker sheet will need to have three columns: first column is for the weeks 1 through 52, second column is for the amount money deposited, and third column for the concurrent total. Week one, you deposit $1, week, $2, week three, $3 and you’ll end in week 52 by putting $52 into your savings, accumulating a total of $1,378.

I have started the 52-week challenge on Wednesdays. I will keep you posted weekly through The Daily Times as a brief reminder. As the weeks continue, you will see an increase in your weekly savings with the assistance of couponing throughout the year. At the end of the year, you will have saved a considerable amount money totaling $1378. Again this is possible with the money saved while couponing. Below is the official start of your savings tracker. Take the challenge!

This is week 1 in the 52-week money saving plan challenge. The amount placed into your savings program is $1 and with a savings of $1 toward your yearend goal of $1,378.

Hildred Lewis is a bargain hunter and purchaser. Visit her online at

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