Thursday, July 16, 2009

How do I coupon?

I've received some emails and often get questions in the store on how I find all of my coupons and how I save so much money.

Step #1 - Buy all of your local papers that get coupon inserts in the Sunday paper. The Washington Post is the only paper by me that does so I have Sunday delivery only. On Sunday, my daughter and I walk to the paper box, I take the coupons and sale ads out and get rid of the rest of the paper.

Step #2 - I clip ALL of the coupons from the coupon insert.

Step #3 - I have a 3 ring note book set up for storing my coupons. I have 27 page protectors that I've labeled A-Z. I put each coupon in the corresponding slot. For example; a Crest toothpaste coupon goes under C for Crest. Every 2 weeks I go through my notebook and pull out all of the expired coupons.

When I need to go shopping:

  1. I make a list of everything we NEED (milk, bread, chicken, etc.). On the back of the list I write down the extra things that we WANT (chocolate milk, apple pie, etc.).
  2. Next, I look at the sale ad for the store I will be visiting (typically Food Lion). I note the sale price of anything on my list. For example, if we needed toothpaste, I will write toothpaste on the list. Let's say Food Lion has Crest on sale for $2/4, I will write down the sale price on my list.
  3. I go through my book of coupons and pull out all of the ones I will use at my shopping trip.
  4. If I have a coupon for something that is on sale, I will mark a "C" on the list by the item. Let's go back to the Crest example. Food Lion has it on sale for $2/4 and I have one $0.75 off/1 Crest toothpaste coupon, my list will look like this: Toothpaste - Crest $2/4 - C - buy 1.
  5. When I am done looking through my coupons I go to my computer and visit www. and look for printable coupons. Back to the Crest example, if I did not have a coupon from my coupon stash, I would search "Crest printable coupon" on Google and see what I could find.
Yes, it seems like a long process but it doesn't really take that long at all. I spend about 30 minutes every 2-3 weeks making my grocery list. My husband thinks I'm insane but he never complains when I should him how much money I could have spent versus what I actually spent.

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