Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Every Sunday, my husband and I would take our little family and go and visit his grandparents. Every Sunday, his sweet grandmother would give me her coupons out of her paper. And every Sunday, I glanced at them and then threw them away! I'm ashamed to admit that, but I did. I never wanted to spend the time on clipping coupons. I mean, I knew it could save you a little money, but who had the time?

I won't lie. It's time consuming if you want to save money and use your coupons to your advantage to get the best deal. When using coupons, it is a waste of time (and money) if you are using coupons to purchase things just to use the coupon, or to buy things you wouldn't normally buy. Using coupons on items you always buy anyway, AND combining coupons in conjunction with sales and clearance prices is where you will get ahead! Today for instance, I bought 8 bottles of Aussie Hairspray. Crazy, you say? Well, we go through about 1 bottle a month, I'd say. Well it's regularly $3.99 a bottle. Lins had it on sale for 2 for $4.00. Well I had coupons for $2.00 of 2 bottles of Aussie product. If you do the math, it works out to be $1.00 a bottle instead of $32.00 for 8 bottles. Great deal, huh? It may not save me money in the moment, but it saved me $24.00 over the course of the year.

The first step to take if you have not been an avid couponer before is to get a subscription to the Sunday newspaper so you can get the coupons. I get 4 Sunday papers so that I can have multiple coupons available to stock up on items that I use every day. Most papers have weekend subscriptions, and subscriptions where you can purchase more than one paper. Also ask family members, friends and neighbors, whether of not they use their coupons. Many people, throw them away!!! T

You can also find coupons on line. The website that I use is Grocery Smarts. This is the best site for anyone who uses coupons. They break down the sale ads and show you where to spend your money so that you are getting the best deal. They also show you where to find coupons online and they also tell you where to find coupons in your ads. They do all the work for you.

Once you begin getting coupons you need to organize them. Some people cut out every coupon in the weekly inserts and file them away. Other people only cut what they know they are going to use. I have friends who use the Grocery Smart System and they keep a file folder with their inserts filed by date. That way they just pull out and clip what they need.

I've tried both way's and I use both systems to some degree. Any coupon that I will for sure use, get clipped and put in my organizer. It goes with me everywhere. My inserts are kept in a file box by date and I use those if a great deal comes up on something that I would not normally buy. I try not to be stingy with my coupons. My neighbor and I swap coupons frequently. I also try to give them to other's if I know it is something they will use. I have also left coupons at the store on the shelf before. I like generic diapers. I have never been one to buy Huggies or Pampers, I mean I like them, but they are so expensive. I alway's try to leave those coupons in the baby aisle. I like to think of myself as the coupon fairy!! I hope it makes someone's day!

I promise that it is worth the time it takes to clip coupons. There have been times when I have saved $40.00 or more just in my coupons. It makes up for the cost of the newspaper subscriptions very quickly. Join me this year and make a resolution to save yourself money and to bulk up your food storage!

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