I have had a request for some tips on clipping coupons. I started clipping coupons a little over a year ago. I has hardcore for about 3 months, then Isabella came along and well she fraked it all up. One of the four or five NY resolutions I have made to myself is to start clipping and be an avid sale hound and get my grocery bills down to $75 bucks a week. I wanted to go for $50 bucks a week, but I just don't see how that is possible with 2 baby butts still in diapers. I figured $75 a week will save us $100+ a month which will be great in the long run.
So couponing is tricky. However, anyone can do it.
You need to really save up a couple of weeks worth of coupons to really get any good deals. I usually by 3 papers each week. I get one set of coupons from my mom so that gives me 4 sets of coupons to stock up on items. What they say - buying in large quantities is the better deal, is true in most health & beauty situations. (I once bought 12 bottles of Pantene for .45 cents a piece, yes- I had to buy 12 of them, use 6 coupons, do 2 transactions, and got back $10 in UpRewards...but hey .45 cents a piece is DA BOMB!)
Get some kind of binder. Whether it is the baseball inserts or the whole page inserts that you store them in. Get some kind of system. I used to clip every single coupon and put them in the baseball card inserts according to section. I will probably go back to something like this. My friend Aimee does single page inserts and sorts her coupons by SS (Smartsource), RP (Red Plum), and P&G by dates.
The main difference that I see in these 2 methods is that with the baseball card inserts, you can take your binder and go through sections when you see clearance and buy items at an extra discount. The single page inserts is better for if you plan your shopping trips. It also helps you stick to a budget. I would love to use the single page inserts because it would be less time organizing and cutting, but I worry that I won't be able to get the clearance items for cheap, cause my coupons will be at home. This year I might do a combo of both methods. I will probably clip the health and beauty coupons and get a small container for them and keep the others in a single insert page.
I hope this doesn't confuse you. You can find some really good organizing methods if you google. Which ever method you do, make sure it is easy for you and that you understand how to use it.
You can find the section inserts for the baseball card inserts here.
If you have a Facebook account make sure you "like" some pages that publish multiple deals each day. I use different websites to find deals. Some of my favorites are: thekrazycouponlady.com, forthemommas.com, hip2save.com, and totallytarget.com. I have liked these pages on Facebook, so their posts pop up on my home page real.
I often post deals in my own Facebook group: Savvy Sweeties. Liking different groups such as this will make it easier for you to find things that you are interested in saving on.
You can also go to couponmom.com and get a list of deals emailed to you each week. You fill out which stores you go to and they email you this great list of all the products on sale, which coupons to use, which coupon pack it's from, and how much you will be saving.
Don't be afraid to print off coupons. They release some really great coupons with high values off of 1 items all the time. I got boxes of Special K for 1.00 a piece a couple of weeks ago. You can only print 2 coupons per computer. I have a MAC and I cannot print Brick coupons or Target coupons. Which is a bummer because matching Target coupons with manufacture coupons is a great way to save. The software is not compatible with MAC. I used to be able to print Target coupons but they changed software, so for now it's a no go.
Many stores will let you double up their store coupons with manufacture coupons. This is called stacking. Meijer (ecoupons), Walmart, Rite Aid, Walgreens, CVS and Target are a couple of these places. This allows for double the discount.
Rite Aid has a new set of coupons each month online that you can watch videos and get. They are called Video Values. You sign up, watch a video for a product (range from 45 seconds to 5 minutes), put in the code they give you, and then print the coupon. Another thing to know about Rite Aid is their UpRewards are now being loaded to your card automatically. (UpRewards is the "cash back" you receive from buying certain products. They can be used 24 hours after you have bought the item(s)) You can opt out of this and get them printed on your receipt. I opted out, only because I like to know exactly how much I have.
If you link your CVS card up with an email you can get a bunch of coupons emailed to you, that you can also use with other manufacturing coupons. They also have a coupon machine at CVS. You swipe your CVS card and it prints out new coupons once a week. I often use these with items that they have put on clearance. You can easily get shampoo or other CVS brand items for less then a dollar.
Take your time. Plan out your first couple of trips. Write them down and do a store run. Make sure you have all your coupons in order and be patient at the check out. Make sure that all your coupons scan and that you are friendly with the cashiers so that it doesn't bite you in the ass later. Going early in the morning is probably a good bet, since they won't be too busy. Weekends are the roughest - and if you can't make one the first or second day of a sale, make sure you go after the weekly truck has come in to restock items.
Many people don't like having to deal with the UpRewards, Walgreen's points system, or CVS cash but that is where you can really get the deals. It's somewhat of an investment, but you can use the "store cash" on your next week's sales. Just remember Rite Aid (UpRewards) you can use 24 hours later, Walgreens you have to earn a certain amount of points for "store cash", and CVS cash can be used at your next transaction.
I am sure that I have missed something and if I think of it, I will do a second post. If you have any questions, feel free to comment or send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Remember to take your time and have fun. You are going to be saving TONS of money for your family and others!! I supplied a year and a half of health & beauty aids, laundry soaps, oral care, feminine products, and cereal for $250 bucks. I donated to family, friends, and church. Good luck and get to saving!!!