If you’re like me, then you might want to use coupons but aren’t quite sure how to use them, and you sure don’t have time to make couponing a full time job. Come on, admit it. You watch the Extreme Couponing shows and think the same thing! Although, I am sure you look on with envy when the couponers hit the register and spend 3 cents on a $1,897.00 order. While not saving money at the grocery store is just not an option, neither is spending 8 hours a day cutting coupons. So what do you do? Create your own system of course! Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Subscribe in Multiples
Yes, in order to save money, you will have to spend some. But here’s a trick – local papers typically run a promotion on their subscriptions one or two times a year. (Think Groupon, Living Social, etc.) Get the Sunday paper deal in multiples. I recommend getting 3 or 4 so you can have a LITTLE stockpile when the product goes on sale. Don’t go crazy! Sales cycle every 8 weeks and I promise that you won’t use 15 bottles of ketchup in 8 weeks. Just think one sale cycle at a time.
Items You Actually Use
It’s a novel idea, I know. But seriously, have you ever wondered just what the extreme couponer is going to do with 50 packets of soy powder? Well, so do they. Don’t waste your time cutting out coupons on items you wouldn’t normally use if it wasn’t on sale. Truth is, money spent on items you don’t use is money wasted, not money saved. Save yourself the hassle and the trouble and just cut coupons on products you already use. Also, if you truly want to save money, you can’t have brand loyalty. Mayonnaise is mayonnaise is mayonnaise. So, seriously, skip the mock loyalty and throw whatever is on sale in that cart. You will thank yourself later.
Organize with an Easy File System
Use a dollar store accordion-style folder and sandwich baggies. Label each baggie with a permanent marker by item, i.e. toilet paper, soda, cheese, bread, etc. Then place the baggie in the corresponding file slot for that letter.
Review the Weekly Ads
Stores typically send out their flyers in the Sunday paper. If not, they’re all over the internet. Review the sales ad for anything you might need in the next 8 weeks that is currently on sale (think staple pantry items) or, that is a good deal or that you simply need to feed your family that week. Make a list as you go. Then go through your file folder, pull any matching coupons and … go shopping.
Saving money while couponing doesn’t have to be complicated. You don’t have to spend hours on clipping, matching, numerous stores, and coupon clubs. An immense pantry isn’t needed to store cases of food you won’t use. You CAN save money with a limited time investment.