Day 28 CHALLENGE 31 Tips to Couponing the Organized & Fun Way!

So I’ll start off by saying I was a great coupon clipper about 3 years ago. When the economy was hitting I had to hit the coupons religiously. I would spend 3 hours every Sunday perusing online and circulars to get the best bargains and with some work, I did! I had gotten really good at it and even got my husband in on it too. We’d even have savings competitions going to the store, those were fun. I think when it comes to couponing, to each his own, but I would err on the side of caution that if you do start couponing that you do it for the right reasons and that it doesn’t get to an unhealthy point. ie; hoarding, buying things just because you have a coupon or going to 10 different places all in one day just to get the maximum deals, which would waste time and gas (we all know how expensive that is now).
Anyways, the following are the ways that I have saved and since I am starting to see a buzz on facebook and messageboards about the show extreme couponing on TLC, I thought that I would post what I have done, to save you some time, and with work, some money.
When you set up the basics you will then be able to sit down, sort and cut out your coupons then file them accordingly. It will get easier and you’ll get faster, as you go.
  1. Buy a 1 1/2 “ binder and baseball card page protectors to hold your coupons that you are stocking up on.
  2. Buy printable labels for labeling your page protectors, each coupon slot is a different item. ie, canned goods, boxed goods, milk, diapers, etc…according to whatever the coupon is for.
  3. Get a small accordion coupon holder that will just hold the coupons you will be taking to the store for easy access, and filing. Usually they will have a band on them and I attach that to the part of the cart and slip it through attaching back to the the coupon filer to be hands free.  This will have tabs for labeling your aisles (I label by aisles of the store I usually go to). I felt if I labeled by what the items were that I was fumbling with what aisle is this or that in. Organization is key!!
  4. Make a spreadsheet Grocery List of what store you go to, what aisles you’ll need to hit, for what items and what coupon amounts you’ll be using. This can then be printed out and streamlines the process. When you save it, you’ll instantly have a template for the next time.
  5. Buy “ALL YOU” magazine, you can clip alot of coupons out of this.
  6. Go buy several copies of your local paper and bring them home, During certain times of the year they don’t have coupon circulars. Google this online or look it up through the links I posted below.
  7. Make sure you buy an Entertainment Book, these you can get at Walgreens for about $20 or usually a school is selling them. or www.entertainmentbook.com Keep this in your car for when your out and about.
  8. Make sure you have a store key fob card for every store that hands one out. Take the time to fill out the application for each. Alot of times they not only send you coupons in the mail but they give you coupons printed out at their actual store.
  9. Join facebook and twitter for deals. Usually you can print out a coupon after you’ve LIKEd a stores fan page.
  10. Sign up for email at restaurants and local places online and they usually will have a bday club, and coupons sent to you in your email. Just print them off and go.
  11. Krogers has a service that you can go to their site and pick out your coupon deals then add them to your Kroger card online. Check your local store to see if they offer that service.
  12. Go to sites that let you download and print coupons, you can pick what you want for the week and alot of times they generally coincide with your local deals in the store so it really pays off at the checkout.
  13. Shop on double and triple coupon days if applicable.
  14. Use rainchecks if a store is out of an item and you still want to get the sale the next time the item is in.
  15. Send in your rebate checks if you purchase something save the receipt and instantly send in the info. to get your money back instantly or within the time they allot, which I think is up to 8 weeks depending on the manufacturer.
  16. Call up manufacturers directly and have them send you some coupons just for remarking about their products.
  17. Use your manufacturers coupons with the deals in the store that are on sale to get your items for pennies on the dollar or free.
  18. Read your coupons for specific item (if it’s any size, pick the trial, usually it’ll be for free), quantity, expiration and any small details that may flub up the order when you go to check out.
  19. You will find out what goes on sale and when. When to stock up and save at certain times of the year. When not to buy and hold out even if you wanted a certain item. Sometimes deals are worth the wait.
  20. When you go to checkout pick out the nicest or most knowledgeable cashier, as this will help with any problems you may encounter in your couponing.
  21. Make sure you keep an eye on your deals as they ring up and don’t give your card to them till the end when you can see what your true subtotal is then they scan your card. That will apply all of the in stores deals, then add your coupons after that and you start to see the savings. At the end of your receipt should say your total savings.
  22. Shop when your store tends to stock up their items. I usually shop at off times, after they stock up, because, like the movies I like going when there are not alot of crowds.
  23. Don’t forget to use coupons at places like, dept. stores, makeup stores, for haircuts, pet stores, fast food, movies, hotels, rental cars, etc….
  24. Almost forget Always keep a pen and calculator handy for adding up your cost and savings as you go.
  25. Have fun!
Here are some online things I have done that have helped me save.
  1. Ebates, make sure you join and you can go to Groupon in ebates and find local deals.
  2. I go to www.restaurant.com for local restaurant deals and usually you can get them for 1/2 price for dinners. Print out a coupon.
  3. Online coupon codes, especially at www.retailmenot.com I have used them on so many occasions I can’t even count. For pizza and for dept. store purchases. I have saved alot with this.
  4. Read email or even answer a survey to get some coupon deals.
Well I hope that I have done my due diligence in helping some of you save on shopping. I am going to start serious couponing again, since watching the savings others have had can be inspiring and fun! I have attempted to track down as much as I can here. I also have a couple of links that helped me out in the beginning.
  1. www.hotcouponworld.com
  2. www.couponmom.com
These sites can help you with everything and they even have databases for coupons.
I have also googled coupon sites before and alot comes up. See what you come up with and Happy Savings!~
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