Where to get coupons

When you first start couponing you need coupons.  Where to get them?  The Sunday paper is your best bet.  Some people buy multiples of the paper to get lots of inserts.  Red Plum and Smart Source are the main inserts in most Sunday papers.  You can also print coupons from their websites.  If you really think you’re going to get into saving money by couponing, I would go ahead and set up a folder on your favorites bookmarks bar marked Coupons.

Then go to these sites:

Red Plum

Smart Source

Coupons.com

Coupon Mom

 

Coupon Network

 

There are a TON more sites out there, just Google Coupons and you’ll see!  Don’t forget eCoupons too.  You use them for your groceries as well.  Go to Upromise and set up an account, then once a month activate their eCoupons.  Then when you buy say, a can of soup, you can use a paper coupon on the soup at the store, then get credit in your account for your eCoupon. Saving Star is another great resource for eCoupons.  They have an app too so while you’re in store you can check your account.  Build up $5 at least then transfer it to your Paypal account or get gift cards.

Don’t forget, there are 2 main types of coupons.  There are manufacturer coupons issued by the companies that make the products and there are store coupons issued by the stores.  You can stack these coupons for ultimate savings.  Example:  you want to buy Tide detergent.  You clip a manufacturer coupon from the Sunday paper for 50 cents off.  Then you read  Target‘s ad and clip a coupon with the Target logo on it that says store coupon next to the expiration date that is worth 25 cents.  You are allowed to use both to save a total of 75 cents.  That’s called stacking.

You may want to check with a friend or neighbor and start swapping coupons.  My friend Christina and I swap coupon inserts every couple of weeks.  She has 2 small kids and I have 3 dogs so our needs are different and we clip different coupons.  We swap the coupons and it’s like we bought 2 papers!   Some people also participate in coupon trains where they will receive an envelope full of coupons, pull the ones they want, add the ones they won’t use, then send them on to the next person in the train.

Now go get clipping!

I’ve graduated

So I’ve been couponing for a few months now.  I started in early Spring and organized my coupons in a little accordion/check file like this:   It worked great for me for a while.  But the longer you coupon the more coupons you acquire.  Every time I’d go shopping I’d make a list and pull the coupons I’d need and put them in a plastic baggie labeled with the store name.  This was fine until I’d get in the store and see something that wasn’t on my list.  Maybe an unadvertised sale or something. Then the shuffle would begin.  I’d have to pull out the stack of coupons and shuffle through them until I’d find the one I wanted.  Pain in the tookus and a time waster.

So I finally graduated.  I found a zippered binder (zippered so the coupons won’t fall out) kind of like this one at Target.  Then I ordered 2 sizes of baseball card sleeves from Amazon.  Even though I had to order 100 pages of each size it was a MUCH better deal than buying them 20 or so at a time from the store.   I ordered the standard 9 a page sleeve and also a 3 a page sleeve that holds 4×6 items for the larger coupons.  I also bought standard tabbed dividers.  I  didn’t go fancy with my dividers because I wasn’t sure how many I’d need.  These are just write on tabs.  Works just fine.

It took a while but with Susan’s help I came up with a list of categories.  I separated my coupons into Food and Non Food,labeled my tabs, then loaded up my binder.  I made a table of contents with an extra tab divider.    It’s SO much easier for me to find coupons now.   And cleaning out the expired coupons is so easy too because I can see the expiration date right there through the sleeve.  If you get a binder I suggest getting one with an accordion file at the front like mine.    I keep restaurant coupons in the front pocket and store ads in the other pockets.  Makes it easy when I’m at CVS to be able to pull out the ad and see exactly what’s on sale without having to hunt the ad down in the store.

Yes, the binder is big and heavy and a PITA to carry.  BUT, I just put it in my reusable grocery bag.  When I get my buggy I put my purse in the kid seat then open my binder over my purse.  There are pockets in my binder for pens, my lists, etc.  And CSP is happy because my purse is hidden from prowling burglars.   The binder’s bulk is the only drawback.  I LOVE it.  There’s a pocket in the back where I keep my little store baggies with the coupons I’m going to use on that trip.  And now if I need an additional coupon in store it takes seconds to find instead of minutes.  I feel like a pro!

 

Clip it or skip it?

I recently signed up to receive email updates from Couponing to Disney.  I don’t coupon but I like a lot of her tips and freebies.  CSP isn’t big on coupons (and he’s a grocery store manager!) and we do the bulk of our shopping at Aldi where everything is private label so they don’t take coupons.  But I read recently, I think it was on one of the Couponing to Disney emails, that if you are really diligent in your couponing that your hourly rate (if you equated it to being paid) would be over $80!  That’s amazing!  I have friends who are really into couponing.  They have binders and know how to check all the ads and are real pros at it.  I have been thinking about whether or not I should give it a go.  Thing is though, it’s just us two.  Also, we are short on storage space.  We don’t have a pantry.  We do have a laundry room but it’s more of an extra large closet.  I’ve seen situations where people have mini storerooms in their houses!  Rows and rows of product.  So for those of you who coupon, would it be worth it for me to do it?  I was thinking that if I started now then I’d be pretty good at it by the time the kidlets come home.  But if you have to have a ton of storage space to do it right then count me out.  Help!