Couponing is the best hobby I’ve taken up since yoga. It is thrilling the first time you look at a receipt and see FREE all over it. I love bringing home bags of things we will use and telling Nathan some ridiculously low price I paid for it all. I feel like I’m doing good things for my family and having fun at the same time. If you have an extra 3-4 hours a week, you can save a lot of money on practically everything. I had a few people ask me how I coupon. I am just starting out. There are limitless possibilities in how to go about couponing. YouTube is full of videos from more experienced couponers than myself. Seeing as how this blog is about trying new things and sharing experiences, I will share with you my current method below.
Step 1: You need to buy a few things, unless you have them lying around. Extra points if you don’t actually have to pay for these things.
-Trading card page protector sleeves (or whatever you call them, right by the binders in Wal-Mart)
-Sunday newspaper (I get 2 or 3)
-Clip and organize
I clip out coupons and save every coupon for products I would want were they free–because they may be. I organize them all into sections that make sense to me… frozen foods, cereals and breakfast stuff, condiments and salad dressings, drinks, make-up, hair care, skin care, dental, medical, cleaning supplies, baby stuff, etc.
Organizing your coupons is nice because you need to have a rough idea of what’s in your coupon binder for the next step.
-Find out what’s on sale. The inserts from stores you like in your newspaper are helpful. Also you can use web sites like http://www.couponmom.com to keep track of what’s going on. The best luck I have had is with a) stacking coupons on top of BOGO deals at Publix and Winn-Dixie and b) finding clearance items that I have coupons for and paying virtually nothing.
-Take your coupon binder with you everywhere you shop. You never know when you’re going to stumble upon an awesome clearance, and you don’t want to be stuck wishing you had the coupons with you that would get you those items FREE.
-Be selective. Don’t use a coupon just because you have it. If the price isn’t amazing, wait until you see the item on sale. Then use your coupon and feel so smart for holding out for a better price.
-Don’t be so selective. If you only shop at 1 store, open up your options. I never used to shop at Walgreens or CVS, because I figured they inflate their prices so even the sales would be a waste of money. I was wrong. I get make-up and hair products for cheap or free there all the time by stacking coupons on top of their clearance and sale items. Also, I never used to go to K-Mart. I hadn’t been there in well over a decade. I went a few days ago because I saw a coupon in the newspaper that advertized a free 25 dollar gift card when you switch a prescription. I switched my prenatal vitamin prescription to K-Mart, got the gift card, used my coupons on clearance items, and had my biggest success yet. Who knew K-Mart has a ton of clearance items? I got a little over 100 dollars worth of stuff for 15 bucks. I have a photo below of Eli going through some of the things I found that night, plus I got expensive color wonder sets for him that were reduced to 5 bucks from 30.
I may sound like a crazy coupon lady now. I don’t care. It’s fun. I already have enough hair, dental, and make-up stuff to last me through Christmas at least. This means when school starts and things get hectic, I will have less items on my shopping list. I’m like a squirrel burying supplies for the winter lol. If you decide couponing is for you, I wish you the best of luck.