I have to say when I started dabbling in the idea of Couponing, my kids and husband thought I was well crazy!! My first Sunday paper I bought the double pack and I sat down and cut out EVERY coupon. Then I put in a little coupon holder (which I use now to carry my coupons based on my grocery list to each store). I went to the store with no plan and bought everything I had a coupon for. I thought I was going to save a bundle, but I didn’t???? So I came home very disappointed, then a friend of mine suggested I be a fan of a page on Facebook, Southern Savers. I went to her page and I was blown away. I read everything and watched videos, I googled other couponing sites. The reason I started couponing was for a Thanksgiving trip to Disney this year so when I searched Couponing to Disney I was surprised to find a blog that was all about what I was trying to accomplish. So I set out on what has now changed my life forever. My Husband and I ARE NOT savers by nature, we are spenders and that has gotten us into trouble several times, but saving up for this trip so NONE of it went on a credit card has been big.
So here I am almost a year later and we have a weekend routine. Saturday’s we buy the early edition of the AJC and the Gainesville Times and we go through which has the best coupons. We take out ALL the sales papers and start looking for the best buys and the best deals. Couponing to Disney has a coupon database that I use when I see a great deal to see if I have a coupon to match it. Sunday mornings the paper is delivered to my house and then when we are out shopping we pick up at least 3 more. We always go to Rite Aid and CVS (when we go) as soon as they open on Sunday morning. Stuff goes fast at these places. I do my Publix Shopping on Thursday s and Kroger or Ingles Shopping on Sunday after Rite and CVS. If the off chance I go to Target it is usually on Sunday evenings or Monday afternoons. I no longer clip my coupons I keep then in a 26 pocket file folder as whole inserts. I have inserts dating back to March 14th. I have run out of room so in the front of my binder I page protectors that I slip my inserts into, then I have baseball card holders for any coupons I get in products, print off the internet, receive from the company or ones that I cut out of inserts thinking I would use and then didn’t for whatever reason. This is also where I put all the ones from the blinkies in the grocery stores.
The front of my binder contains rebates that I have printed off and I have already addressed and ready to go. All I have to do is put in the receipts and a stamp and they are in the mail. I keep my receipts for up to 2 months. I keep then in the middle pocket of my 26 pocket file folder. That way if a rebate comes out I can go through my rebates and check dates and products and I might not have to buy anything else. On the side of my table I keep envelopes, return address stickers, stamps, magazines that contain coupons, pens, scissors, and the loose change jar (although my kids sometimes sneak the quarters out)
On Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning we begin going through the ads and coupons and our pantry to see what we are getting low on. The key to great couponing is never running out of the products you use all the time that way you are never in a situation where you have to pay an outrageous price for it. Example we haven’t needed to buy Toilet paper in 3 months and we won’t need any for another 2 month why; because I bought a bunch when I could get the 12 pack of double rolls of our favorite brand for only $2.99. Ok I didn’t need 5 months’ worth of toilet paper but instead of buying the one deal and then running out and having to pay $6.99 a pack I saved us $21 and over time that is a lot of money when you think about how much toilet paper you buy and the good thing is it doesn’t go bad like food. Most items go on sale in cycles it is 6 weeks most of the time. If it is at its lowest price this week STOCK UP cause it might not be this price again for 6 weeks. This does vary store to store item to item. Freeze what you can, bread, cheese, butter, even milk freeze great. Here is a list of things that freeze well and things that don’t.
Once I really got into couponing I realized my closet was over flowing with shampoo, deodorant and body wash and 100’s of other things. What to do with it all?? I gave some of it to friends and family but I wanted to do something else so I started donating to a local shelter. I am thinking about expanding that to the Humane Society as well I can always run up on cat food for almost FREE and I don’t have a cat but that have lots so it is something we are going to discuss.
We make a game out of going to the store the kids wander up and down the aisles with us looking for sales tags, tear off pads, blinkies and even clearance stuff. We have fun and at the end they are treated with some of the money I saved my smart shopping and coupons. Our favorite part is when we hand over the coupons and the price starts going down and down and down. It is a thrill to know from a little bit of time I was able to save anywhere for 50%-98% sometimes the whole trip was FREE except for tax.
What do you do together??