Forget Diamonds! Coupons are a Girl’s Best Friend!
Does clipping coupons really save money? Many will answer with a resounding “Yes” while many will shout “No!” When you do it right, coupons will absolutely save you money. I am no coupon queen, but I typically save about $10 a week on my grocery bill.
I don’t spend hours scanning coupon flyers from the Sunday paper. While I do clip a few coupons on Sundays, I also print several from online sources. There are a number of websites geared just for that. I also get online coupon suggestions when creating my grocery shopping lists on Say Mmm. (Please note: Not all stores accept printed coupons. Be sure to check the store policy before trying to redeem them.)
I do not clip every single coupon either. I only cut or print out the ones I know I will use. I also take the ones for things I might like to try. Then I match those with what I need for the week.
Many serious “couponers” will match their coupons to the local sales flyers. If they have a store that doubles coupons, that’s even better. I once went shopping with a friend who walked out of the store with eight boxes of muffin mixes, four bags of cereal, six cans of brand name soup and a few bananas to top it off. Her total cost after coupons? A mere $0.15 (that is not a typo).
Here’s how she did it: If I have a coupon for a dollar off a product that usually costs $2.29, and this week, that item is on sale for $1.99, then I march my dollar coupon into the store, buy the product, make sure they double my coupon, and end up getting the product for free! If I was a real penny-pincher, I would demand the penny that they owe me!
Another great source for finding coupons for your favorite foods is the manufacturer’s website. Sign up for their newsletter and coupons will start magically appearing in your inbox. I receive about six of these each week for brands I know and love.
You can also sign up for free samples, when you see a chance. (This is a real money-saver with diapers!) Many times the samples will arrive with a coupon or two attached. There is no limit to how many you can try.
Here’s my favorite: find the companies you like on the ever popular Facebook. Many companies will have coupon giveaways there as well. If you “Like” a product, you get a coupon! (Then, if you are embarrassed, you can always “Unlike” after you print your coupon!)
My organization system for my coupons is simple. I use a 3x5 index card file box. I have dividers inside for the categories that make sense to me. I currently have about three dozen different sections. Behind each section I store the coupons. I pull the ones I need while I write my grocery list.
Another popular method of organizing is using a 3-ring binder with baseball card holders inside or full-sheet page protectors. If using full-size page protectors, you only cut the coupons as you need them while going through the store. They would be filed as complete sheets. Personally, juggling a binder, scissors, and toddlers really doesn’t work well for me, so I stick to my file box. Find the system that works best and stick with it.
Coupons will save you money as long as you do not let them take over your life. Make them work for you and you’ll see the savings at the checkout.