When you first learn how to coupon, you may feel overwhelmed. How do I find time to learn? When am I going to cut and organize all those coupons? Is it worth the time and effort? Working a full-time job can add to the uncertainty and additional stress.
Once you have the tools and knowledge on how to coupon, the time spent on couponing is well worth the effort. You will be able to get in and out of a grocery store in a very short time with a cart full of groceries, saving 50% or more! You can have a pantry full of stored foods and products. You’ll never pay out of pocket for toothpaste, floss, condiments, shampoo, soap and more! Coupons change the way you shop!
Working full time will give you some benefits but also some disadvantages, but there are ways to work around them. You may have to work a little harder but isn’t it worth the savings of $ 200- $ 400 a month or more? Not everyone is an extreme coupon and no one really has 40 hours a week to dedicate to just the coupon. I’ll show you some shortcuts to save time and money. Most importantly, I want you to understand that coupons don’t have to control your life.
Getting started, coupons is very frustrating. Start learning slowly. On my first shopping trip, I only saved 15% on my total bill. That was because I only had a few coupons to start with. I was really disappointed, but I didn’t give up. I was expecting huge savings like the show. As I started getting coupons more and more every week, I started to understand that I couldn’t quite save as the ones on Extreme Couponing because I had to buy milk, eggs, bread, produce, and meats. If you watch the show carefully, you will notice that they only buy 20 pieces of the same product. If you have 20 coupons and only purchase 20 items from the same product, it will generate 90% or more of the savings. They also speed up the checkout process and don’t show you exactly which coupons they use. The offer also doesn’t reveal to you where to find high dollar coupons. You can’t find or get coupons for $ 4.00 on a single product. Once you get past the point where Extreme Couponing is just a show, you’ll understand what a real coupon savings is.
I do voucher on certain days of the week, Saturday is when I buy two cards and Sunday is the day I organize coupons and the clip. On Sunday, this may take anywhere from one to two hours. My husband watches my son for me while I do it. If my husband is not at home, I do it during nap time or while watching a movie. This very day helps me prepare for next week’s shopping trip. I also collect entries from friends and family that are introduced to me during the week. By the time I’m ready to cut out my coupons, I have around 4 entries from Smart Source, Red Plum, and a few more. During the week it’s usually a Tuesday or Wednesday night when I get my shopping list together. Thursday is when I shop Kroger and Publix. Yes, I am shopping in two stores on the same night. This provides me with everything I need and is getting the best sales in both stores. I compare the best prices on both sites. I can do this because my Publix and Kroger are less than a mile away. If I only have one store near me, this is the one that I shopped from. You have to save on gas, too! Remember, you need to plan and prepare for a shopping trip if you want to save 50% or more on groceries. Worth the time and effort when you see the savings coming back into your wallet! I’ll show you step-by-step and show you tips and tricks on how to find, cut and save exactly money using coupons.
Hunt for those pesky coupons
When you’re not looking for coupons, you really don’t see them. When looking for coupons, they are everywhere! Some are hidden, some are outdoors, and some are in places you are familiar with. Where to ask is easy !! First, the most obvious point is your local Sunday newspaper. Every Sunday, except for the holiday week, they will have a coupon listing in your local city newspaper. The general rule is one voucher for each person in your household. This depends on the number of people in your family. I get a total of about 4 from each listing, which gives me 4 from the same coupon. You want the same coupon because you’ll start building an inventory pile. This is how you’ll save money on top of saving at the grocery store. I currently live in Cobb County, Georgia. Which is cool because they give out AJC sheet every Thursday night for free on my front rail. The Evening Edge holds a preview of the Sunday paper coupons. It’s not a complete listing but it still has some great coupons and it’s FREE! You can call AJC and ask if they can send Evening Edge to your area. Check out those individual balls; You never know if you will find coupons inside. I also get coupon listings from friends and family. My mother-in-law gave me unused coupon entries. This adds more to my pile. You will be amazed at how many people are willing to give away these coupons. Ask the neighbors, too! They may be ready to hand it over to you.
Check out your stores. Publix and Kroger have value store coupons. Store coupons can be combined with manufacturing coupons. This gives you the maximum savings on one item! Kroger has online e-vouchers that you can download to your Kroger Card. You can register as a member and download your coupons for FREE! Kroger also tracks what you buy and sends you coupon books in the mail. I have pets and buy pet food so send me a voucher booklet with coupons for pets. When registering, be sure to include your current address. Currently, I have about 4 to 5 Kroger Coupon books out of the mail. They also send you reward coupons for free items too! Publix also has coupon books that you can find either directly upon your entry or at the customer service desk. Simply request the latest coupon book along with the yellow feature and green feature flyer. You can also check my blog for the latest books coupons. You have to register for some of them and they will be mailed to you. Publix also has a great kid’s show !! If you have a toddler who wears a diaper, sign up! They’ll send you free items, coupons, and more. You just need to go to their website and subscribe to all of their programs.
The printable coupons are easy to find and print right at home. Sometimes coupons found online are not in your local newspaper. Manufacturers place coupons on websites like Coupons.com, Redplum.com, Smart Source.com, and your favorite brands’ sites. If you are a fan of Facebook, you can also get coupons on Facebook! These vouchers are custom coupons and you’ll mention this on top of the coupon printed with the expiration date. When printing coupons, only print what you think you’ll use or when you have your own shopping list. You can waste a lot of coupons for printing paper and ink that you will never use. We want to save money everywhere we can!
You can buy your coupons. Yes, eBay, CouponsbyDede.com, and CouponClippers.com are some of the places you can buy coupons from. Why buy coupons if you can get them for free ?? Well, you buy Sunday newspaper so technically you buy coupons. Is selling coupons against the law? Yes it is. How do they get away with this? Well, it’s the service that you pay for. When you buy paper, it is the paper that you are paying for. You pay for someone to cut and ship those coupons. Not for the vouchers themselves. Why do I want to use the coupon clipping service? Coupon cutting services may carry a coupon for a product you use frequently. If you use a lot of detergents and notice a great sale early in the week and they have a great coupon, you’ll want to stock up on it. In my collection process I usually have 4 coupons alike for 1 item. If I want more of these coupons, I can buy more newspapers at $ 2.00 each pop and get a pile of newspapers or I can order that coupon for a penny on the dollar. Most coupon sites have a minimum order. They want you to buy coupons worth at least $ 5.00 to $ 8.00. So when I want a specific coupon, I also look at other coupons. I also look at the expiration dates. Make sure it’s FAR sufficient in advance to predict the next sell. You don’t want to buy 10 or 20 coupons that expire next week if this product isn’t on sale that week. As we mentioned above, these are the main sources I collect coupons in. There are other sources like diving into the trash, coupon trains, magazines, and binkies in your store, samples you get, and cash records like the Catalina coupons that are printed in Kroger and inside product boxes. You need to keep an eye on those great coupons, really. Some papers will print a $ 10.00 coupon of the $ 50.00 store coupon on a single section of the paper. Catalina at Kroger also prints coupons like $ 3.00 from their next purchase. This is why reading blogs like my blogs or other coupon blogs will give you alerts about cool coupons. I go to at least 3 to 4 blog sites. I read about what’s new, where I can find the latest book of coupons and how to use the coupons when I get them.
Cutting and organizing
How to cut and organize your coupons – This is actually not as difficult as it seems when you have a pile of coupons flyer to slice it. I organize my flyers in piles of Redplum, Smart Source, and P&G. Then I start copying each page and putting it on the table in similar stacks. Once everything is uprooted and tossed and organized I then start cutting my coupons. I don’t cut every coupon. I take the little pile, usually 4 pages and cut them all at the same time. This trick saves me time. Once you cut the coupons. I put them on the kitchen table in piles according to my coupon book. One pile of fridge, one pile of freezer, one pile of laundry, etc. until I cut all the coupons. Then I open the voucher cover and insert all of my coupons. If you notice any expired coupons, that’s when I take them out. Coupons usually expire in the middle of the month and the end of the month. Example 12/15/11 and 12/31/11. You can either throw away your expired coupons or donate them to families of men and women in the military. They can use expired vouchers 6 months after the expiration date.
Once my coupons are organized, I am ready to put my shopping list together. Usually I look at Publix deals on Tuesdays. (The Kruger Sunday deals come out) this way two days before the sale starts. I can then pull out the coupons, print the coupons, or find the brochures I need that contain the coupons I want. Once you have gathered all the coupons on your shopping list, place them in the coupon holder. This could be a small envelope or store-bought coupon holder. When you put the coupons together, put all the likes. If you have a store coupon and a manufacture coupon for the same product, try to keep them together. Next, you want to place any free items on the front of your pile. You also want to put these free items on your cashier’s pull belt first as well. This will help the cashier to find those free items quickly with these coupons and he will be very grateful for the skills of your organization. As you shop, you may find that some of the items have disappeared or are not priced to sell depending on your listing. Just pull these coupons from your pile. Cashiers like coupons to be organized and ready. This way it does not stand up to you and the customers behind you will not be upset.
Switch your way of shopping
Now that you have trimmed your coupons and stored them securely in your file, you are ready to start shopping. First and foremost, you must be open to trying new products. Coupons are issued all the time to allow consumers to try new products. Sometimes you find great deals and the products you like. Other times the product isn’t worth having. It is up to you and your family about which products you want to buy. I currently have 2-3 different laundry soaps to buy. I love Tide, ALL and Gain. If Wisk had a great coupon, I’d be more than happy to purchase Wisk at a lower selling price that week than Tide or Gain. This applies to all products that you purchase. If you or someone in your family only loves a particular brand, when this coupon pops up, be sure to really stock up on that product. This will save you money in the long run.
Before I started couponing, I always bought generic or store branded items because they were cheaper. Sometimes the store brand was the same quality as the brand, but most of the time the quality was not the same. Now when I do shop I only buy brand name items as they are much cheaper than store brand. When you put your list together, you prepare your grocery list for what is for sale. You start your inventory. Once you have your menu of cuts, you can then add the items you need such as meat, dairy products, fruits, and vegetables. You can find matching coupons on my blog or other blogs that I have listed. Make sure you have these codes in your local shopping district so the prices are the same at your local grocery store. Each store is different. Most coupon codes give you an indication of a good deal and to stock up on this item. This takes the guesswork out. A good general rule is under $ 1.00 which is a good deal for stocks. Some items like Health Products You Can Find For Free $ 0.25 are great stock prices.
Sometimes you won’t be able to find the coupon. Generally speaking, if I don’t have this coupon, I don’t buy it. Don’t worry, this item will be up for sale again. The more you shop each week and build up your inventory the less you will buy later. You’ll notice your grocery bill decreasing within a few months of the coupon. Once you start your coupon journey, you will find ways to suit your needs and before you even know you are a coupon professional!