Friday, March 11, 2011

Coupon Addict

I've found a new hobby that I  just have to incorporate into my new blogging world.  It's coupon-ing.  I've actually been doing it in secret for about 3 months, but it's time I come out and be public with my new way to save money!  I'll admit that I'm still learning but it's so crazy to think all this time I could have been saving so much money if I just took some time out of my day to cut out some pieces of paper and planned my grocery shopping.  What?  Did someone say `plan'?!   Yeah, I'm all in!

So what's my system of attack?   Ok, well here's how I go about getting my savings.

1) CLIP IT.  Right now I'm an online coupon clipper.  We don't get the paper anymore but I've been considering getting the Sunday paper again cause I know I'm missing out on some amazingness (<--yes, that's a word).  I prefer going to the following links:

  • Blog - A Thrifty Mom - Sarah is amazing at finding deals.  I usually scope her blog daily to see how to save!  She even has this awesome tutorial on how to coupon.  Absolutely fantastic. 
  • Coupons.com
  • Target Coupons
  • Walgreens Coupons
  • Red Plum
  • Smart Source
  • Walmart
  • Retail Me Not - This is a great source for online promotional codes, but it also has some coupons, so I like to type in my store and see if there are any deals going on.  
  • Store coupons...ya know, the ones that are on the back of your receipt or that get printed off after your purchases!  Usually they are similar to the items you've just purchased!
  • Coupons attached to the items you're buying!  You can use them at the time of purchase!
  • Set up a coupon e-mail address and register it on brand name sites like: P&G.  Just Google search your favorite brands.  You'll be surprised what you can sign up for!
2) STORE IT.  It's important to have an organized way of storing your coupons so that you utilize all of them before they expire.  Plus it makes it easier to keep them in the same place.  I first started out by keeping them in a ziploc bag, but that became a hot mess.  I next picked up an mini  expandable folder and I store them in alphabetical order.  It's a lot easier to find them.  My only annoyance is the fact that Target coupons are slightly longer than the folder and I have to fold them a little bit.  But for now this works for me.

3) PLAN IT. This is the newest step for me, but it's the work involved that saves the big bucks.
www.couponmom.com
  • I first make out a menu list for the week.  I know, it seems extreme but after coming home after working all day it's a relief to already know what I  need to do to get dinner on the table.  Plus it helps to have all the items I need to make it.  It's those impromptu grocery trips that cost time and money.  (Let's be honest, we've all gone in for milk and left with 10 other items).  Anywho, from that  menu I make the grocery list.  I also add on the items we've run out of that have been written on the grocery list during the week  (We keep that list stuck on the fridge)
  • Second, I research all the ads for the grocery stores I'll be going to.  First I check through to see if there are any deals I just can't pass up.  Items that I was not planning on purchasing.  I look for staples and items that may not go bad right away so I can store up. 
  • Thirdly, I start gathering my coupons that I can use.  This is the fun part for me because I try to find coupons for everything I need to buy.  You'll be surprised what a Google search on the leftover items brings up.  A few months ago I got a coupon for a free avocado!  Not kidding!   So it helps to search! Check with the coupon policy for each store.  Some allow you to double up the same coupon or even get money back for the difference if the coupon is more than the price of the item (<--Walmart does this!)
4) SAVE IT. Time to go shopping!  I usually go once a week... unless there is a huge sale on an item.  I take my list and clip my coupons to it.  Then I go and purchase all the items that are only on my list.  It's funny now because all  those sale end-caps don't tempt me anymore since I already researched them online!  hee hee...

Hope this inspires someone!  I just saved $14.95 in  groceries last night!
Love to hear of your coupon stories!

8 comments:

  1. Way to save... ans I am so happy to help! You two are adorable!

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  2. I've been wanting to get into the 'couponing' thing for a while. Goodness knows it would be helpful, but I'm just confused as to how to do it (specifically with food coupons)- it seems like there is a process that you must follow, but... I can't seem to find out what that is. Any insight on this?

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  3. Definitely check out Sarah's site that I linked in the post. She has an awesome tutorial called Couponing 101. It lays it all out and is easy to understand. The key is knowing the rules for each store. But most stores take manufacturer coupons.

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  4. Ever since watching Extreme Couponing on TLC, I really want to know how to do all of this! It seems like everything we eat, there is no coupon for. It all seems like so much work too, but I love to save money so it may be worth it!

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  5. It's totally worth it. I started couponing a couple of years ago and have gotten things free at CVS countless times, not to mention shaved 50% off my grocery bill a few times. Yes, it takes time, but between online and paper coupons, I've managed to save a lot of money and that makes me happy!

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  6. we just started getting the Sunday paper that way we can get coupons! it is amazing what you can save! i have to do it as organized as you do. i just have an envelope in my purse full of coupons right now that way whenever we head to the store i have them! :)

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  7. Faith, That's awesome!! I forgot to go buy the Sunday paper yesterday! I'm hurting lol! I might have to just get the subscription again! I also picked up a file folder for my mom's coupons at Target. I think it was $1.25! Totally worth it. :)

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