Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Realistic Couponing - Your first best friend, the Coupons

Here we are, finally at the stage of cutting coupons. Do you realize it took us three posts to get here? That's because couponing isn't just about the coupons, although it's a lot about the coupons, which is why they are your first best friend.

Let's start. First off, buy a newspaper. The Sunday paper. In Rhode Island, it's $3.50, and we get it delivered so it's waiting on my doorstep first thing in the morning. I get up like a kid on Christmas and say to my husband, "It's coupon day!" while I squeal and jump up and down because not only is there a coupon flyer in there, the Sunday paper has every store ad imaginable, so you can seek out other timely deals. Definitely worth the $3.50 and easy enough to monetize. If you can save $4.00 a week with coupons (which you can), you've made a $.50 profit. It's a no-brainer.

We also get a coupon flyer in the mail on Wednesdays. In case you're wondering, the coupons are different, so you need them both. Once you have your coupon flyers, you sit down and you clip them. You cut everything, except for the things you definitely won't use, like diapers if you don't have a baby. This is REALISTIC couponing, not extreme couponing. But, do hang onto those flyers because I belong to an online coupon group and sometimes people will ask to trade their cat food coupons for your diaper coupons, so you can get more of what you need.

My third coupon resource is Coupons.com. I usually go here after I've made my list in the previous blog post and matched up my coupons. I use it to fill in the gaps where I might be buying a sale item but one without a coupon. And obviously, while I'm on there, I find other coupons that are worth printing and clipping.

Once you have your coupons clipped, you need to organize them. Here is a photo of my coupon envelope.

I have it labeled in order of the way things appear in my store. New coupons in the front of the section, older ones in the back so it's easy to clear out the expired ones. It's also small enough to tuck in my purse so I can keep it with me and never miss any deals. You can buy one of these at the dollar store.

After a few months of coupon clipping, you will begin to learn which items always have a coupon and which items rarely have coupons. This helps you  manage your stockpile, and when you have enough of those frequent coupon items, you can trade those coupons for some of the rarer ones.

Since I started couponing, I save on average $2400 a year on groceries, and I have more food and better food than I did before. That's a car payment, folks. Or a vacation for my family, and that doesn't include what I save elsewhere: on clothes, eating out, entertainment...because I don't pay full price for ANYTHING. Inspired yet?

Next week I'll post a list of some of my favorite deals and steals.

No comments: