Tuesday, August 7, 2012

I want start couponing, what do I do?

So you have decided that you want to begin couponing. "Where do I start?", you ask. "What do I do first?" "It's too overwhelming and time consuming", you think to yourself. "I don't use most of the stuff that I see coupons for".

Well, I have answers to all of those questions and concerns.

First of all, Saturday or Sunday morning you need to go buy your Sunday papers. The Saturday and Sunday papers are the ONLY papers that has the coupons in them. Local Stephenville people, you need to buy the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.  For everyone else, you need to buy the larger papers like the Houston Chronical, etc.  Please be aware that Sunday papers are HOT. They sell out fast! You need to go buy them early in the morning.  There are several places to buy them at.  Walmart and HEB sells a double pack of papers for $3.00.  This is a better deal because they cost $2.50 individually on Sundays. On Saturday, our Fort Worth Star Telegram cost $1.00 each. (I was even on a trip and picked up the double packs in Georgia so I know they are available outside Texas.)  You can buy them at gas stations, either out of the machine or inside the store.  You can also have them delivered to your house. I came across a deal to have the Wednesday & Sunday paper delivered for 6 months for something like $36. I bought two subscriptions for $72 so, guess what? They throw two to my house. :)

"So now that I have my papers, what do I do, you ask?"  Go through your paper and pull out the sales ads which are usually CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, Dollar General, Family Dollar, Staples (when needed), and Target.  Also find the inserts, the BEST part of the whole paper! They are called Red Plum, Smart Source, Procter & Gamble, General Mills, and Pepsi. You will not have all of these every week. Most weeks, you will only get Smart Source and Red Plum.  Sometimes, you will have two Red Plum, some weeks you may have two Smart Source. Be sure to check the entire paper carefully!  The Procter & Gamble insert comes out monthly and the General Mills and Pepsi inserts come out every three months.

"Now what do I do with all of these coupons?"  Clip them, clip them all!  Have your kids help, clip while you watch TV, have your husband help!  After all, saving money should be a family effort, if it's not, that's when the overwhelming part comes in especially for working moms. Set aside a certain day for clipping. I like to clip Sunday and get it over with. Plus, I can't wait to see what coupons I got!

"I don't use the things I see coupons for."  This is a touchy subject for many. Personally, I don't mind using different brands of some things, some things, I prefer to use a certain brand, only.  But, what if you come across a great sale or better yet, a possible freebie and you know you *had* that coupon but you threw it away because you didn't think you wanted it?  I would be kicking myself in the rear. lol  If I don't want it, I'm sure that a friend or a family member would be happy to have that product! Better yet, donate it to a church or to a women's center!

"Now I have a huge stack of coupons, I'm overwhelmed!"  Okay so now you need to get an organizational system going.  I will tell you what I do and I've gotten several of my friends doing the same thing so it does work and is recommended.  I use a large zipper binder. Mine has two-three rings. (Rings on both sides.)  I have about 80-90 plastic baseball card inserts that I bought off amazon.com for $9.99 that holds my coupons.  My friend bought hers at Walmart and also got a great deal.  I recently came across a great divider system that a friend told me about. It's wonderful! It's from The Krazy Coupon Lady .  You can download it here and simply print it on your printer.
This is my binder. It's not the the prettiest one but I bought it on clearance for $4.50. You can't beat a good deal!  Notice the zipper and the shoulder strap! Comes in handy.

 Notice the double rings?  Offers more room for your coupons!

I put my weekly sales ads in the pockets to keep them handy and I printed out a cover page and divider pages from my computer. :)

 This is the inside. I only use the right side for my coupons, allowing use of only one side. It's much easier to keep them neat and readable like this.

"Now that I have everything organized and ready to go, what do I do?"  Take those sales ads from the paper and go through them. Now that you know what coupons you have, you can go through the ads and see what  things you may want to buy with your coupons. If at all possible, ALWAYS use your coupons with a good sale! That's how you score a great deal! Make lists of what you want to purchase at each store and have fun shopping!