Let me start by saying that I do not consider myself an ‘extreme’ couponer in any way. I do (ok, I try really hard) not purchase more than my family needs. You won’t find me with a buggy full of mustard, just because it is $.02 a bottle. I do however Love a good deal, and have become pretty adept at saving 40-50% each time i go to the grocery store.
First, understand the sale cycles in your area. According to these videos from Southern Savers, sales are on a 6 week cycle here in the south. So, when something goes on sale, I know to purchase enough of that item to last my family 6 weeks, so that I won’t ever have to pay regular price for that item. For example, if my family uses one jar of spaghetti sauce a week, I purchase 6 jars when they are on sale, to avoid paying full price.
Next, Find a coupon system that works for you. I hear many people say ‘I always forget to take my coupons with me’ or ‘ I don’t know what coupons to use at what time’. There are many websites out there that make this task much easier. I use Coupon Mom on a weekly basis, and sometimes supplement with info from Southern Savers. There isn’t one ‘right’ way to organize your coupons, so check out the websites, talk with your friends who are successful at couponing, and even watch some tutorials on Youtube.
For those of you who are curious about how I make it happen, I’ll share some of my secrets here.
I get at least 2 copies of the Sunday paper each week.I get 2 copies because then I have 2 sets of coupons to use. Most grocery and convenience stores have 2 papers bundled together for $3.00. Then I remove the coupon inserts. RedPlum, SmartSource, P & G, and General Mills are the most common coupon insert leaflets. Then, I mark the front of the leaflet with the date of the paper that it came from. Next, I file the coupon leaflets in a file folder. I organize them by month. Notice…I do not clip any coupons until much later in the process. I do it this way because most of the coupon websites will tell you which leaflet and date to get your coupon from. If you clip the coupons, it is virtually impossible to determine which date and flier they came from.
So, there’s your start. Collect Sunday papers, date the coupon leaflets, and file them (or leave them in a pile in your office like I did for the first month or two). All this leg work will not be in vain.
Next week I will help you make those piles of coupons into savings on your grocery bill!