Tuesday, August 17, 2010
When I first started to shop with coupons, I had people stop me and ask me how I do it after the see my total drop to nothing. I recall one time I was shopping at Target and my buggy was full of yogurt, breakfast bars and juice. My total was less than a $1 dollar and I had a shopper behind me make a comment, “I am very impressed, but do you have children?” I responded politely, “No ma’am, it is just me and my husband”. She didn’t stop and went on to tell me, “Well, you probably won’t have time for coupons once you have a baby and that’s why I don’t use them”. I smiled and remained silent, because I am planning to use coupons when we have children. I guess my argument is that where there is a will there is a way. Yes, we don’t have children yet, but I am busy Monday through Sunday working, studying and being a wife.
As we all wear many hats, I know that couponing is not for everyone; however I truly believe that every single family can rip benefits from using them. And yes, it takes time to learn all the ropes of the coupon world, but the rewards are great. Do you remember the first time you learned to ride a bike? It did take time along with a few bumps and bruises before you felt the freedom of peddling without falling down. The same way with coupons, it takes time and determination and I promise if you stick with it, the reward of saving money for your family is just around the corner.
Today I want to take you step by step of shopping at a grocery store…without spending hours of hard work. Oh and if you want to learn how to shop at CVS, you can read a step by step guide, here. First, you want to have coupons on hand. You can read here on where you can acquire coupons. I would suggest to buy at least 2 Sunday newspapers each week with coupon certs. Some weeks I buy only one paper and there has been weeks that I didn’t buy any. I have two co-workers who bring me their coupon certs. And my absolute favorite way of acquiring coupons is by simply e-mail to the company’s directly.
After you have all your coupons on hand you want to choose the best method of storing them. I personally prefer a coupon bucket method. It takes no time for me to sort and pick out the coupon that I need. I know that some people love to use a coupon binder. After doing some research it seems like coupon binder is the most time consuming way to keep your coupons organized. Now you don’t have to pick any of these methods and can simply store your coupon cert by date and clip coupons as you need. Let me share with you how I keep my coupons organized. I do not have extra hours to clip coupons (however, my mama sure clipped quite a few coupons when she visited me), nor do I want to spend hours clipping and organizing coupons.
So when I buy a newspaper, I look through the coupon cert and clip only those coupons that I know right away that we will use. Once you coupon for a few month you will also learn which coupon will get you a free products. If you do not use the product, you can give it away to someone who does use it. Once I clip the coupons that I need, I organize them in my coupon box. I never throw away the rest of the coupons that I did not clip. Instead, I write down the date of when the Sunday paper came out on the front of the cert and book it in the grocery bag. This way when I know that if I need to clip a coupon that will give me an overage on a product, I don’t have to kick myself for throwing it away. I then keep all the coupon certs marked with dates in a big bag in my trunk. Every 3 months I recycle the oldest certs. Yes, by not clipping all of the coupons, I may miss out on a clearance item, but my time is more valuable and I am ok if I do not get every single free item.
Now are you ready me to take you grocery shopping with me? Come back tomorrow for a grocery shopping adventure with coupons.
But today I would love to hear how you manager your time with coupons! Do you think the pay off of using coupons is rewarding?