First of all couponing can seem really over whelming at first so just take it slow and don't stress!
I think one of the most important things when couponing is staying organized because the better organized you are the less work it is! When I got started I just bought a small accordion file and labeled it with the basic things like Dairy, breakfast, snack, canned food, dry goods, frozen foods, personal hygiene, and misc. This worked great for casual couponing but after a while I had to upgrade!
Next I went to a larger accordion file that could fit the whole coupon insert from the Sunday paper because as you will notice when you look at many deal listings is there is a coupon that will work in a sale it will say something like ( 2/8 SS, PG or RP) the first is the date of the insert and then second refers to which insert Smart Shopper (SS), Proctor & Gambles (PG) or Red Plum (RP). So I just though I would get the insert write the date on the front with marker and file it by date. This worked ok but then I found myself standing in the middle of the isle looking through inserts, then one day I dropped them and they went flying! (so much for having them sorted by date!) Also if I saw something and I wasn't sure if I had a coupon for it..... looking through a few months of inserts takes time! So finally I am giving in and becoming one of those crazy coupon ladies with a whole binder of coupons! Instead of writing the whole process that I learned from another blog I will just send you straight to it! A thrifty Mom is one of my fave blogs and I will refer to her and others quite frequently!
Where to get the Coupons??
So once you are all ready (and often before you are ready) you will have to start collecting coupons. I used to always just think you got your coupons from the Sunday paper, which is true...but I never knew there were so many more out there! So here are some great resources!
- Sunday Papers (obviously) you can either just go buy them on Sunday or many stores carry them all week or get a subscription. I also have great family who give me there coupons! I live in Boise, ID and was at Albertsons the other day and there was a rep from our local paper, Idaho Stateman, and he was pitching a good deal, the whole week for $2.00 a week, the weekend for $1.50 or just Sunday for $1.00 a week. If you live closer to Canyon county A thrift Mom has worked with Idaho Press tribune to create a deal specific for couponers! " For only $13.80 a month (this is over half off the normal price) you will get 1 daily paper (Monday- Saturday) But on Sundays you will get 4 Sunday papers. These will be delivered to your home. The coupon inserts come in the Sunday paper, so you will get 4 coupon inserts. This is a coupon shoppers dream. If you want to upgrade to 6 Sunday papers it will be another $1.20 a week, that is only .60 cents a paper. " Go here to read all the details and to get the contact info.
- Internet Coupons- I never knew there were so many coupons out on the internet! Many manufacturers have printable coupons directly from their sites, there are also web sites with coupons from multiple companies. On most couponing sites and blogs if there is a internet coupon available they will have a link attached with the deal. Many of these sites will ask you to register to receive the coupons, I don't have a problem doing this but it is a good idea to set up a "junk" email account to use while signing up you can do this easily through gmail, yahoo, or many other sites. Another thing to remember is most of these sites will limit how many times you print your coupons (usually twice) so if you need more than 2 you will have to use a different computer. Here are just a few sites I use I will add more later!
- Betty Crocker Coupons
- Pillsbury Coupons
- Smart Source Coupons
- Store ads Many stores have instore coupon booklet like Walgreens and RiteAid, many stores have coupons in their ads like Fred Meyers, Albertsons, or even Kmart, and Target has internet coupons. So check out your local stores, many time the current add is located near the entrance.
- Peelies Many times you can find a coupon right on the package. Sometimes you can use them at the time of purchase or on the next purchase
- Ask around There are alot of people out there that do not coupon for whatever reason. Go ahead and ask if you can have any coupons they don't want. Also many stores (like Albertsons) are starting to keep the inserts from the papers that don't sell and are cutting them out to put with the product. I have found that if you make nice with people at the customer service counter they sometimes have them behind the counter!
- Catalinas (Albertsons, K-mart, Fred meyer) or Register Rewards (Walgreens & Rite Aid) I never used to pay attention to the coupons that print out at the registers, I would just through it away with the receipt....that is like throwing away actually money! Many time these will print something out that says "save $1.00 (or more) on your next purchase" it doesnt matter what you are buying...its like having cash!
I will cover more topics later (right now my family is feeling neglected!) If you have any general or specific questions please leave them in the comments and I will do my best to answer them!