Charles Knox

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Cecily Blanche

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Not-So-Secret World of Couponing

My fun sorority sis, Kristy, made a comment about coupon savings on a recent post. I thought I'd share my small amount of couponing knowledge to those who frequent my page, and aren't already couponing goddesses. Again, with the goobiness, I know, but that's just me! haha!

First, I have to say this. If you live in an area where there isn't major chain grocery stores, it will be difficult to save tons of money, simply because you don't have the options (ie. Flo-town, my hometown). It is also somewhat difficult if you don't have access to major newspapers like the Atlanta Journal Constitution or Birmingham News (?), but there are ways around it. You just need a computer and a printer. Newspapers are my main source of coupons, and I always buy at least four at a time. You need multiple coupons to save more money since you buy whatever is on sale, using your coupons matched to lower your price even more. The goal is to buy groceries only when on sale, so you kinda need room to stockpile. Another key to "successful" couponing is organization so you can actually find the coupons when you need them--see my pics below.

To some of you I may sound crazy at this point, but it's a whole other culture to this couponing. Check out this blog for some amazing samples in how in depth people get--and how much FLIPPIN' money the SAVE!!!

I just added a blog roll to the right hand side of my blog with the blogs I check on a daily basis for the most part. Dave Ramsey is just our starting point of reducing debt, which in turn got me into couponing. SmartSource is just one of many sources to printable coupons, though most times, you can only print two per computer. Quantity needed for stockpiling. The Coupon Clippers are a source when you need tons of just a few coupons. There is a very small minimum order, but you more than make it up buying on sale with coupons.

The other sites listed are where I make my grocery list from, though you have to wiggle it to fit your area. I typically use Southern Savers to create my shopping list each week. What's great is that they list where you can find the coupons--either the SmartSource or Red Plum inserts from the paper, or printable, or some other random site. (I set up an email specifically to use when signing up for the random coupons, so they don't junk up my normal email.) I know it helps to create meal plans each week to use the groceries that you have, but I "wing" it and throw stuff together. This is one area I want to work on. I also want to have a cooking day, where I get several meals made and frozen for an anytime meal--plus I LOVE using my vacuum sealer. Sad, I know. Oh and one more thing about coupon/sale matches, Southern Savers lists several Target coupons you can supposedly use on top of manufacturer coupons and Publix coupons, but the Publix I shop at won't accept them--this is where there has to be wiggle room.

For personal items like razors, toilet paper, shampoo, etc, I tend to get these items at CVS, Walgreens and Rite Aid. Money Saving Mom has a great section teaching you how to "work" the CVS and Walgreens--it may be intimidating so just try baby steps, but she explains really well. Look on her page, scroll down a bit and the links are on the right hand side under Start Here.

So in a nutshell, for successful couponing (and by that I mean cutting your grocery bill in half--or more!), I think these are key items:
• Coupon resources/multiples
• List of sales marked with coupon matches
• Place to store stockpiled items
• Knowledge of how to stack coupons at grocery stores, and "work" CVS, Walgreens & Rite-Aid.


My first means of keeping coupons, before being well "versed."

My next attempt at keeping organization. Don't freak--half is sales papers, receipts, etc.

My latest method, that I love oh-so-much! A little more work up front, but totally worth the time it saves in the end.

I know that's a ton to absorb, but please feel free to contact me with any questions! If I can't answer your question, I'm sure I have a resource that can! Happy Couponing! :P

1 comment:

  1. Chad & KristyJuly 21, 2009 at 12:44 PM

    Thank you! I'm going to look at the sites and see how I do. It all seems overwhelming to me!!
    I have not forgotten about the sheets and still want you to do them. I'm on a mission to find a quilt/comforter to let you know colors and all that good stuff. I'm headed to vacation tomorrow for a week so I will be in touch when I get back!
    Thanks again!
    Kristy

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