Don't be scared to start couponing. I'm not super organized and I don't have much extra time on my hands. I only spend about one hour per week couponing. On Sundays, I clip coupons from the paper. I have two subscriptions to the paper so I can get double the coupons. For awhile, I was crazy about printing all kinds of printable coupons and finding e-coupons, but I don't do that as much anymore.
I also used to cut almost every coupon, even if I didn't really like the product. For example, I would clip a Tabasco coupon, knowing that we rarely use Tabasco. I didn't want to miss a "deal." What's a deal? If Tabasco went on sale and I could use my coupon in addition to the sale to get it for pennies, that would be a deal. Now, I only clip coupons for products we actually like and use. Why would I want 10 bottles of Tabasco, even if they were only 5 cents each?
Once my coupons are cut, I organize them in my coupon binder. This is the most time-consuming part of couponing.
My coupon binder is an old three-ring binder filled with translucent sleeves that I stuff the coupons into. It's nothing fancy.
The sections of my binder are:
Cleaning supplies/household items
Personal care items
Each week when I organize my binder, I also throw away any coupons that are expired. American military members living abroad are able to use expired coupons at the stores on their bases. So, I would send my expired coupons to my friend whose husband was stationed in Germany. But, they have since moved back to the US. I think this is a great use for all of those expired coupons!
Did you know there are TONS of couponing websites that match up coupons with sales that are happening at your local grocery store, Target, CVS or Walgreen's?
Becentsable is a great website that can help you locate the deals at your local stores.
Each week before I go shopping, I check my local couponing website to find the deals at my store. I try to plan meals around what's on sale. I usually leave my couponing binder in the car, so I have it whenever I make impromptu stops at the store. If I'm pressed for time, I don't look at the couponing website, but I always have my binder with me in the store. So, if I see yogurt on sale, I'll be able to quickly check if I have a coupon to make the sale even sweeter. I use coupons on items that aren't on sale too. If I know we need salsa or pasta, I almost always have a coupon to use.
Some of the best stores for couponing are Target and Walgreen's because they let you "stack" coupons. This means that you can use a "store" coupon plus a "manufacturer" coupon. If an item is on sale and then you "stack" coupons, you can usually get it for a great price.
This weekend I made two trips to Target. Here are my receipts.
As you can see, I spent $93.64 and saved $60.44. I also have a Target Red Card. The card lets you save 5% on every transaction plus gives you free shipping on online purchases.
I forgot a few things, so I ran back. Here's my second receipt.
On this trip, I spent about $7 out-of-pocket and saved $24.90!!! Seeing receipts like these make me want to stay diligent about couponing.
While couponing is not glamourous or exciting, I LOVE to see how much I've saved and to have that money available to buy fun things. Please feel free to ask me any questions about couponing. I love a deal and I love to help my friends get a great deal too!
Speaking of fun purchases, I just received a 9x12 jute rug from West Elm in the mail this week. It had been on backorder for almost a month, so I was pretty excited to unroll it in my living room. Look what I found:
It has at least 5 places where the jute is unraveling. I sent West Elm an email today, but I'm not sure if they will take the rug back. It's also kind of a hassle to ship back a 9x12 rug!
I'll keep you updated.