Couponing you Can do!
Thrifty Thursday pt, 2So you've heard about couponing and you're interested, but you're not sure you want to commit half your waking hours to clipping coupons, scouring grocery ads, comparing prices, driving store to store, etc. Well, I've found a system that works for our family and it only takes a little extra time and saves me at least 25% I would say.
Things to know about couponing before you start:
Coupons +sales = great deals! - the key to using coupons and really saving money is to use the coupons when items are already on sale
Stocking up is key - try for a 6-8 week supply if possible, consider a deep freeze (buy used from Craigslist, newspaper, yard sale or estate sale) however;
Don’t buy stuff if you won’t use it or it will go bad before you can use it, and
Don’t go overboard. However much money you save, it’s probably not worth having to buy a new house or putting all your kids in one room just to store all of your great bargains!
Understand sales - items tend to go on sale in cycles, ex. Frozen goods, paper goods, canned, etc. This is the reason to save coupons and stock up during a sale
Have target/goal prices for certain items - ex. $1 for cereal, 50cents toothpaste, $1 yogurt, etc. Stick to this as much as possible. Refuse to buy above a certain price and make do until a sale comes along again.
Take advantage of double coupons -
Get a rain check if necessary, also know when stores restock
My Personal Couponing Technique:
1.Start collecting coupons - can take a few weeks. Get Sunday paper & write date on front of coupon inserts. Keep in order. Print off desired coupons. Keep all coupons until they are expired! I keep all my coupons in a drawer at home. Here are some common coupon sources:
- Sunday paper - RedPlum, Smart Source & Proctor&Gamble are the most common distrubutors of coupons. On the front on the coupon insert it will say which company they are from and the date is on the outside spine. These are used to identify the coupons when you use a web site to match up
- Friends, family, acquaintances, neighbors can save extra coupons for you if they don't use them. Even those who do use coupons may not need the ones you do and you could exchange
- Blinkies, tear pads & peelies - these are found either on the product or on the shelf next to the product. Sometimes you may know about these ahead of time but sometimes not
- Home mailers - signing up on websites, using store card, etc.
- Catalinas - coupons that print off after receipt, comes from buying certain products, normally I know about these ahead of time but sometimes I'm surprised!
- Websites - Smartsource.com, coupons.com - I don’t print my coupons until I’m ready to shop, unless I see a really good one that I know I will use. Some prefer to print any they may use at the beginning of the month. I don’t like to waste ink & paper on ones that will not be used…
- Ecoupons - P&G esaver, cellfire (these coups don’t double)
- Magazines - All You magazine
3. Make list then print off/clip any coupons needed.
4. Shop & Save! Don’t forget to always use store card if applicable.
Couponing can become a very practical way of life but it doesn’t need to be Extreme! Consider what your time is worth and do what works best for your family. If you take it too far, you will probably get burnt out eventually.