One of the biggest hurdles I faced when I first began couponing was learning to let go of my preconceived notions about what we could and couldn't use. Obviously I've gotten over that somewhat, or I wouldn't have such a massive amount of Dimetapp in our garage at the moment! Letting go of brand loyalty is a big struggle I think for most people. We take comfort in the familiar and fear the unknown. We also live in a society that associates things like brands with status and wealth.
That said, I believe that one of the best things you can do for your budget is to let go of these notions. Let go of your brand loyalty (within reason of course! Obviously, I'd never suggest giving up of items you need!) Also, let go of the opinion that you must buy the store brand in order to save money. This is one I've often struggled with. I too have brands I absolutely love! Turns out, they are generally a little higher priced, so we wouldn't always be able to use them. Then we'd be stuck with a store brand that I wasn't always impressed with.
Letting go of your stuff loyalties will also help you cash in on some super deals! When I first began couponing, I would only clip or print those coupons for things we regularly used. Now, I clip for anything I'm not opposed to using. Sounds crazy, I know, but hear me out. Often, the drug stores would have items on sale that were super deals, things that weren't our usual brand but good brands. With coupons, these free items would actually earn me money! I'd always kick myself for not printing or clipping these coupons to sweeten the pot. In doing so, we not only saved a lot of money, but I've been able to buy nicer things than I'd anticipated. For example, I have obtained a multitude of very nice makeup. This is something I enjoy to wear on occasion but not something I could bring myself to spend money on. I've been able to "purchase" many items of nice makeup for nothing but sales tax using BOGO sales in conjunction with BOGO coupons!
I've also been to buy things I'd never have been able to afford on our meager budget, by clipping those coupons and sometimes sitting on them. More on "sitting" on coupons later!
Of course, you never know when a great deal will hit! Don't be afraid to try new things especially when you can do so for free! You may just find yourself a new "favorite"!