Thursday, July 7, 2011

Start Saving

So, you've decided you're ready to give this whole "coupon thing' a try. But where do you start & how do you get from the sales flyer to the store & save money doing it???

Well, here is my process. I would suggest to start with this & over time refine it to make it your own.  

-     I start by making my list of sale items and items of necessity from my meal plan and other household items.
-     Then I see if I have any coupons that can be matched with the sales using the “coupon database”. (Type in the name of the product you are looking for & search. It will tell you of any matching coupons & where to find them.) But I have already done this work for you at these stores: Farm Fresh, Harris Teeter, Rite Aid & Walgreens!
-     I then refine the list. Some things I originally wrote down will be a good deal with or without a coupon or I just need them no matter the price. Others I will cross off my list, because they are not good deals without a coupon. I also take off things that are not necessary to buy right then & put me over my budget. (I have a very strict budget of $100 every 2 weeks, so if my total is over my budget, something’s getting cut.)
-     I also, take a few extra coupons, that are high valued, to the store & I check to see if they would make a good deal. Just because something’s not in the sales flyer, doesn’t mean it’s not on sale. And then taking into consideration that my coupon will be doubled I can find a lot of great deals this way.

Sounds pretty simple, right??? Yes it is! But to be honest, depending on the length of your list, it can take a while to find the coupons, cut them & rewrite your list. I don’t want to sound negative, but I don’t want you to get frustrated when this takes you 30 min or more to do... Especially the 1st few times. Believe me, in the beginning it took me awhile. Now I can make my list, get my coupons & be out the door in less than 30 min. And shopping takes me less than 40 minutes, because my list lets me know exactly what I need, instead of walking through every aisle of the store.

Like I've said before coupons have the potential to save you the most amount of money, but also can take a good amount of time to prepare. Decide your goals for saving & what level of commitment you can make without sacrificing valuable time with your family. 

Here are some other helpful posts about using coupons:
**What's your process??? Do you have any tips for how to cut prep time???


    1. As goofy as it looks, I really have fallen in love with my coupon binder...sometimes I can take a list and only the coupons I need as you suggest. Other times (usually when I am kid free) I do enjoy walking through the whole store with the big binder and just seeing what matches up. I've found some great unadvertised/closeout deals this way. : ) Thanks for the info.

    2. Katie - The coupon binder does work good for having on hand what you need when you're in the store. I hate when I see a deal that I KNOW I have a matching coupon for. But, for myself, I find that I never have time to cut all the coupons & sort them. :)