I’m not a pro, by any means. I still consider myself a newbie…there is so much information and tricks to the trade that I have left to learn.
The last few weeks I have had a lot of questions regarding getting started couponing and my grocery budget. I must say that when I first started couponing, it took me a lot of time. But, I think that was partially my fault. I was making it more complicated than what it was…and I went all or nothing, if that makes sense.
If I were to make one suggestion to anyone who wanted to start couponing it would be to start slow. Try not to get overwhelmed, and don’t feel as if you have to go after every deal. There will always be a deal to be had. As a matter of fact, there are sales cycles that alot of the companies go by. I’m not fully in tune with them, I haven’t gotten that advanced in my process. But, I have noticed just in the last few months cycles from my local grocery store and even Walgreens.
Also, pick up your local Sunday paper. Some papers have better coupons than others, you will just have to figure that out on your own by your area. I thought I would never get anywhere….never thought I would build up a coupon stash with just a Sunday paper, and boy was I ever wrong!! I have TONS of coupons. For the most part, I only buy one copy of the local Sunday paper, unless there is a HOT coupon(s) and then I will buy 2. I have only bought 3 on one or two occasssions.
This is the Novemeber issue of All You, to see what coupons are in it go here.
Also, Wal-Mart carries a magazine called All You. Not only is it a good read, but it has a decent amount of coupons in it as well. Double Duty!! Currently it is going for $2.24 (they just raised the price! Agh!), but, it is worth it!
Once you have started accumulating your coupons, you will need some way to orgainize them. I prefer the binder method, but there are multiple ways of orgainizing them. The binder method is a binder with the baseball card inserts to “file” your coupons. This way you see them at a glance. I organize the pages basically the same way as the aisles in a grocery store. Like items together.
This is what it looks like on the inside. The coupons on the left are what I need to file…I’m so behind!! On the right is a pencil case that we got from the bank, it hold all my RR, paper clipped by expiration. Also, rebate receipts that I haven’t entered in yet.
Here is a view of the baseball card holders in use. Most of my coupons do not have to be folded, just slipped in.
When I first started out, I would just take the whole thing in the store with me. I still do that sometimes, but not all. Then, when I am in an aisle, I can flip through my pages in the binder and see if I have coupon for an item. Also, when I am flipping through the sales flyers for the local grocery store, I look through my binder as well. If I find a good deal with a coupon, I get an envelope and put the coupons inside. On the front I write the name of the store AND the deal. I do this for a couple of reasons. 1) on my shopping day, I have multilpe stores to go to generally, and this way I know what I am getting in each store 2) I have my coupons organized already, no need for the binder (unless there is an awesome clearance deal!). This also helps me with my budget planning since I use cash. I explained that a little here.
I hope that helped answer some lingering questions. If you have any more just let me know, and I will do my best to answer them. At a later date, I will do a post on Walgreens shopping. It is a post all on its own!