Mama Nibbles: How I Use Coupons to Save Money Every Week

How I Use Coupons to Save Money Every Week

I'm just going to lay this out simple and pretty in hopes that it helps someone out that is considering couponing or is already a couponer but needs a bit of guidance.  This is how I coupon every week.  The whole process of cutting and organizing takes about 15-20 minutes and deal searching is indefinite depending on what you are looking to stock up on.
 Every Sunday I head to my local drugstore that has the best rewards deal going on for the week.  *Check their ads online before you head out to find the best deal.  This past week there was a $6 register reward that you got for purchasing Zarbee's cough and sleep drink from Walgreen's for $5.99.  Basically if I am going to spend the money on newspapers ($2 each paper) for their coupon inserts I might as well get something for free while I do it.  So I purchase that item that has the best reward in my first transaction (in this case the medicine was free after my reward) and then in the second transaction I purchase my newspapers with that register reward or RR as some like to call it.  So now I have my papers and free cough medicine for the kids!
I get my papers home and then sit down at the dining room table to pick out one set of ads plus all my coupon inserts.  I recycle the newspapers and save out the comics section to upcycle for wrapping paper, it makes for a really cute gift wrap for Christmas later.
Now I am ready to sort and pair up the insert pages.  I separate the coupon inserts and match the pages together to form one large insert.  I rip the double pages carefully down the center and toss out the ones with just ads on them.  Right before cutting I go through each section and toss out expired coupons. 
 So now I am ready to cut.  If I have a lot of inserts stacked together then I will staple the page together but usually I only do four papers so the inserts are not very thick.  I cut the coupons out stacked together, this saves time so you only have to cut once.  I am always sure to cut slightly bigger than the edge so that I do not accidentally cut off any important parts of any coupon.  Some people like to staple the stack together before cutting, it keeps things from slipping.
 As I cut I lay out my stacks of coupons into categories.  I have two coupon holders that I have organized categories the way I prefer inside.
I slip my stacks of coupons quickly into the category pocket that it goes to.
 These are my little holders, they both fit into my purse and I take them everywhere.  I have blue for non food coupons and brown for food.  I purchased these buy one get one free the beginning of this year from an office supply store and they are the best purchase I've ever made!
Blue categories are:  Beauty (makeup), Body, Cleaners, Face, Feminine, Hair, Medical, Laundry/Dishes, Oral (dental items), Paper Products/Bags..., Shaving, Misc and Policy for every store policy I've printed out.
Brown categories are:  Baking/Baby, Canned/Drinks, Cereal, Condiment, Dairy, Freezer (this has two slots), Meat, Misc., Pasta/Boxed Meals, Refrigerated, Snacks (this gets two slots too).

The next step in my coupon quest usually begins on Fridays because there are lots of stores that release ad previews when you sign up on their website and I already know what coupons are being released thanks to http://www.sundaycouponpreview.com/ and another more secret and reliable site which I can't disclose...just search around, you may find another one.

Once I locate my ad preview I mentally match up the coupons I have to the items in the ad.  I check my store's own coupon page to see if there are any store coupons I can stack with my manufacturer coupons.  I figure out which items are the lowest price I've seen and then I target a couple to stock up on.  If there happens to be something that is such a low price that it is practically free then I'll adjust how many papers I purchase accordingly.  It takes work, it's not easy but once you get the hang of it you will be happy you put the work into it!  It took me about 2 months to get a good amount of coupons in my holders before I really started to see the savings.  I check out clearance bins and aisles constantly because that is a great place to get things cheap or free.
One website that I need to recommend is: A Full Cup  Here you can locate your store and read up on all the deals that other couponers are posting.  They have moderators that post ad previews and deals weekly and it helps me find some of those deals I might otherwise overlook.


One last thing.  I always check online for printable coupons and I use a laser jet printer because it saves me money.  Printable coupons make up about half of the coupons I use.  I stock up on paper whenever it is free or cheap, you will learn to look out for the paper deals as you get good at couponing.  Printable coupons are best maximized if you have more than one computer to print from.  I personally have four and so I get to print out eight copies of every coupon that I want.  You can find coupons at coupons.com, redplum.com, recyclebank.com and smartsource.com.  Popular Target store coupons can be found at Target.com


My most favorite sites to check into a couple times a week besides A Full Cup:


Have fun and enjoy coupons!
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