Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Couponing 101

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There was a time when I thought that clipping coupons was more trouble than it was worth. First I would go through the Sunday paper, clip the coupons I liked, try to keep up with the ones I already had and then if I was lucky enough to remember to bring them with me, save $10 on a $100 trip. This actually seemed pretty good to me at the time, that is until I was introduced to the world of “Extreme” couponing, as I like to call it. Now, I don't even clip my coupons until I need them and have a great filing system to keep it all organized. I plan all of my shopping trips ahead of time using coupons with items that are only on sale to maximize my savings. This has brought my family's grocery and household budget down from $700 per month to $350. We can now start saving for that new car that we desparately need.


To get the most bang for your “coupon” buck, there are a few tips to follow. Just remember to start off slow and you will gradually become more comfortable until it becomes second nature. I will start with the basics of couponing and as we move ahead and you will learn more with the homework I have done already for you on my site. I guarantee that you will be saving at least $100 a month on your grocery bill!!

The first key is getting your local paper on Sunday, checking out the coupon printable web sites, and knowing what magazines are best for coupons.

*If you are a savvy couponer then you will be purchasing more than one of your paper. You can actually preview what coupons will be in the paper by clicking here, then you can buy more papers when you are out.

If you are ready for printable coupons my favorite sites are Coupons.com and SmartSource.com.

Be on the watch for: peelies on the product, hangtags under the product, and blinkies machines that blink throughout the store.

Now, do not think that because there is a coupon for $1 off of 2 frozen meals that it is a good deal. Most of the time those meals are $7-$9 and buying two well then you have really wasted some money on something you don't even know if you will like.

Be organized with your coupons. It is hard enough if you are a mom shopping with your kids in the first place. If your not a mom then keeping your coupons organized and keeping a list of what you want to purchase will work. (Keep a list and keep to your list, unless you forgot to add bread).

My method is keeping a file folder for the weekly inserts by date, also known as the Coupon Mom system. . When the advertisements are posted I then pull out the date of the specific insert and clip the matching coupons. I use the Couponizer to keep my coupons seperated and organized.

I use SS for Smart Source, GM for General Mills, PG for Proctor and Gamble, K for Kelloggs, UN for Unilever and detail any printable match ups in the advertisements. I will list the matching coupons to the sales advertisements by writing, (1/25, RP) this means the coupon is in the Red Plum insert on January 25th.

Now that you have a stockpile of coupons it's time to match them up to the sales ad's. Each week it seems as if the same coupons come around so you should have at least 3 coupons for dish washing liquid when it finally goes on sale for .99. Being aware of the sales is really the key to making all of this work. If you just go to the store with your coupons and there isn't a sale price on the item then the Palmolive you just bought for 2.85 with the .25 coupon didn't really save you money. You have to watch for the sales, every 2-3 months they will come around on the same items.

Last but not least is creating a stockpile of items so you don't have to purchase out of necessity. This means your non-perishables, toiletries, etc. Pick them up when they are on sale and don't just purchase one purchase as many as you have coupons for. If you just get one then the previous purchase that cost $1 may cost you $4 next time even with your coupon.

If you are really into this you can trade coupons at Hot Coupon World, purchase on Ebay and Coupon Clippers.

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10 comments:

  1. what places allow double couponing (not a word lol)? For instance, I have a store coupon on similac formula and a similac coupon. Is there a store that allows doubling up? Someone said Target does, but I haven't been near my target in the last few weeks.

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  2. It seems that when you get to the register and have many coupons it could be a messy situation. Any tips on how to handle the register situation in an organized, efficient manner?

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  3. Hello :) I am visting your blog for the first time and I am wondering if you will answer the above two questions? (I notice the dates of the comment posts) I too am curious for the same information.

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  4. The only store in the Baton Rouge area that allows doubling is Matherne's. I wish there was a better answer :(

    As far as organizing, I put a star on my grocery list by the items that I have coupons for. I put a check by each after I pull the coupon out of my binder so I know that they'll be in my hand when I get to the register!

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  5. Hi,Baton Rouge and Port Allen couponer,just trying to hook up w/someone who really know how to extreme couponing. So i can learn the ropes.I'm a quick learner i'm a stay at home wife and mom. Also taking care of my dad at home.Please help thanx, Cole

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  6. Does anyone know of grocery stores on the Northshore that double coupons? I've been calling around, but not having any luck!

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  7. I don't think there are any but you can email Kari over at NorthshoreMama.com. She will know for sure.

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  8. Do you know any stores in the Lafayette area that accepts double couponing?

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  9. Do you know of any blogs in the Northern Louisiana area? Just moved down & need a blog to follow. Thank you!

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  10. I would like to thank you for your website and the time you put into it I just started couponing and I love it saves me lots of money thank you again

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