Where to Begin

So you might have heard your friends claim to have saved hundreds of dollars every month by couponing. You might have seen on Oprah or any other T.V. segments on how a families of four or more eats on less than $100 each week. But you don’t have no clue where to start? Or how to begin? I am hoping that this post might help you out a little. I know that at first it can be stressful, discouraging, and a BIG PAIN! But I also know that in the end it is well worth the time and effort.

I am going to show you my system step-by-step and I hope that you will be able to start saving just like I do! Good Luck to each of you! Please let me know if you need ANY help or have ANY questions along the way. I would LOVE to help you with anything you might need!

First I will start off with the Coupon Jargon that I use!

BOGO – Buy 1 Get 1 Free
Catalina – Coupon that comes out at register with your receipt ( much like RR’s)
ES – Walgreens Easy Saver Coupon – in the monthly booklet
SS– Smart Source found in Sunday Paper
IP – Internet Printable Coupon
Peelie – Coupons that are stuck to a product and can be peeled off before purchasing an item
RP – Red Plum found in Sunday Paper
RR – Walgreen’s Register Reward – a coupon used the same as cash it is offered monthly promotions. They usually expire within 2 weeks of receiving them.
Tearpad – Coupons you might find at the store on a pad that you tear off.
WYB – When You Buy

Double/Triple coupons. Double/triple coupons is when the store will take your 50¢ coupon and double it making it $1. This is done routinely at the register

First, find out if your store doubles/triples coupons. If they do then find out the limit on your double/triple value as well as how many they will double/triple in one transaction.

Stacking coupons. Some stores will allow you to use one store coupon as well as one manufacturer coupon per item.

Internet coupons. Make sure your store accepts Internet coupons.

Competitor coupons. Some stores will accept competitor’s coupons.

Second will be Collecting Coupons

Store coupons: Also make sure to watch for any coupons in and around the aisles in your store. You are sure to find TONS.

Internet Coupons: are coupons you can print at home from your computer.

I will list them with my monthly shopping lists or you can find some yourself at Coupons.com , Red Plum, Coupon dad, Smart source, or Coupon Mom.

Newspaper Coupons: These come as inserts in the Sunday Paper.Smart Source, Procter & Gamble, Red Plum and General Mills.

Here are some ideas that I think might help you get ready for your shopping trip.

It is ALWAYS important to set a budget because it allows you live within your means. It also allows you know how much you can spend on a weekly or monthly basis. I have set my budget to $50.00 a week. I usually shop at a grocery store (depending on where is the best deals) as well as Target and every other week I shop at Walgreens. I include ALL items in my budget, no matter what they are!

My Step-by-step

The first thing I do each week is plan my menu. (I normally only plan dinners because I have enough breakfast and lunch stuff on hand that I don’t need to worry about those. If you do not then I would plan for them as well.)

While planning my Menu I make sure that I have most all ingredients for each meal. I might have 1 -2 meals that need a few items but I keep those items to a minimum.

Next I go thru the weekly ad and see what coupons I have and match the items to see the good deals. That is what I post for you all to look at and plan your shopping trip by.

Example: Halls 30 ct. Cough Drops
On sell for $.97
-.50/1 Bag Halls Cough Drops 20 ct. or larger HERE
Final Cost: $.47 each

I stock up on the items that I feel are at a good price. (I almost NEVER buy anything for more than $1). After I have planned out my good priced items I add up what my trip should cost after coupons. I then will make up the difference in non-coupon items (meat and produce) up to $25.00.

Organizing your coupons

There are many different ways you can organize coupons. I prefer the binder method. I sit with my family every Sunday night and watch a movie. During the movie I clip the coupons that I know I might use. I file them in different categories such as Food, Health, Home, Beauty, and Kids/Baby. Then I know where to look when I find something on sale or I need a product.

Another good thing to have in your coupon binder is a calculator in case your store’s price is a little different than what I have listed. Also I carry a note book with a list of my most used items. I then put down the Regular price for each store. That way when I run out of an item I know where the best priced place is to purchase it.

You should always know your store’s coupon policy with your coupons! No matter how you organize! Keep it with you!!

My advice on this is to print out each store’s Policy. That way if the cashier has any doubts you have that policy on hand!

Building a stockpile

• Start slowly. Stockpiling common items. When an item is free or almost free is the time to buy more than you need. Abstain from buying a ton of everything as soon as you start or you will blow your budget! Stockpiling takes a lot of time.

I know that there are a lot of things to remember and it can be hard at first. But please remember that we ALL had to start somewhere! Please let me know if there is ANYTHING else you would like me to add to this list and if there are ANY questions you might have! As well as ANY comments! Please feel free to contact me! Kwhiz84@live.com