I have basically immersed myself into all things couponing over the last couple of days. Every now and then you gotta branch out, and that’s what I did. I was doing my normal routine of checking my youtube vids and quite frankly, I didn’t really have anything I was interested in from my subscriptions. Thanks to the majority of my tv shows being on hiatus right now, I’m watching more youtube than tv. So I decided to search “coupons” and found some good info!
The first thing I realized is that I was going about it all wrong with my organization. I say that because I had gotten the expandable coupon organizers and was just gonna keep it in my purse and take it out when needed. But the problem with that for me, is that I am still digging thru my coupons trying to find them–not good. A few months ago when I first really was getting into coupons, some people don’t clip them, they just take the whole cirular–also not good. So the way that I have decided would work best for me is…the coupon binder!!! I’m so excited about creating one!!! What is a coupon binder you ask? Well it’s your one-stop place for your coupons. You will need: a zippered binder, baseball card holders, plastic paper covers, folder dividers, and tabs. A lot of the ones I’ve seen are basic black and whatnot, not me!!! I will be scouring the aisles of Ollies, Big Lots and dollar stores to find cute items to make my coupon binder. I will post all the deets once I have it created!
Aside from that, I’ve also found some other goodies. First is that I have to be on the look out for coupons all around! Let me explain…
· Sunday’s paper…ok I already knew that, but whereas I was thinking that by getting 2 papers each Sunday (3 when I know there’s a P&G Brandsaver), but apparently that’s not enough! Gotta get at least 4 papers! For now I will go up to 3, until I know that I can recycle all of those other parts of the paper we don’t use.
· Print them online!!! Now this is something I knew was available but seeing as how my computer is from stone age and I have no printer, this isn’t always feasible. This past Sunday was my first time printing coupons, I did it at my in laws house on a whim so I wasn’t really prepared with all the different sites. Plus I didn’t know that printable coupons are limited quantity so you gotta jump on them sometimes, that’s not good for me with my current situation.
· Peelies. These are the coupons that are on products that you buy. Forexample you’re buying a frozen pizza and on that frozen pizza is a coupon to get $1 off. Those are sweet. I don’t always use them right away, depends on the deal and the sale. Plus oftentimes these coupons are good for a long time, like I got some off of Dixie paper plates that are good thru June 2013.
· Blinkies. I think that’s what they’re called, but they’re the little flashing coupon dispensers that are along the aisles in the grocery stores. Honestly, don’tfeel afraid to just get a few each time you go into the store. You don’t have to use them right away. The only downside to these is that they are usually not subject to doubling. So if you shop at a grocery store that autuomatically doubles coupons, itwon’t double but these usually are valued at over $1 so that’s still good.
· On the product. These are some of the best out there to me because they either give you money off a product you already buy, or something new from the company, and they are usually good for at least a year out!
· Other– these include magazines, like All You magazine that I purchase just for the coupons! (well I like the articles too) your regular magazines will have coupons from time to time, especially the mom-focused ones, like Good Housekeeping, Redbook, Parenting, etc. Facebook is an awesome place to get coupons. Coupons are all around just waiting to be used!
The other thing I have learned, is that I have to learn my primary grocery stores sales cycles. That’s gonna take a lil bit of work. What that means, is that most stores are cyclical in how they have sales. So this will take a little bit of research over a period of about 6 weeks. But it’s worth it if you want to feed your family with as little money as possible. So what you do is get a weekly flyer from your main grocery stores and study them, make a note in a little notebook indicating the items you are watching and when they’re on sale, that way let’s say 2 months ago you will know that it’s the 2nd week of the month that meets go on sale for example. That’s step 1. The next step is to create your meals aroundwhat’s on sale. If it’s not on sale this week you don’t buy it. If it’s on sale next week, that’s when you will purchase it along with your coupons. That’s the key to doing it all for as little as possible. I’m currently working on this for myself, because I have to make our money stretch.
Times are hard for us all. You can’t complain about your money or lack there of if you’re not willing to save money in all ways possible. I don’t know about you, but I want to make my money stretch as far as it can. It’s very hard when everywhere you turn prices are going up, yet your pay is the same if not lower. You have to take responsiblity for your family finances! You may not be able to control how much your rent/mortgage is for now, or some other bills like that, but you can control how much you spend to feed your family and keep your household going. In the end, if you saved even as little as $50 off this weeks grocery bill, isn’t that worth maybe the 30 min to an hour you would spend weekly organizing your coupons? <— think about it.