Non-Extreme Couponing For Real People
You’ve heard that people can save money with coupons. Friends have even told you of the deals they’ve made. You know you should use them more often, but how do you get started?
Are you hesitating because
- you aren’t quite sure how to use them on a consistent basis
- and you sure don’t have time to make couponing a full time job?
Come on, admit it. You watch the Extreme Couponing shows and think the same thing! Although, I am sure you look on with envy when the couponers hit the register and spend 5 cents on a $1,897.00 order.
While you desire to save money at the grocery store, let’s face it. You don’t have 8 hours a day to dedicate to coupon clipping. So what do you do? Create your own system of course!
Here are a few ideas to help get you started:
Cut Coupons Of Items You Actually Use
It’s a novel idea, I know. But seriously, have you ever wondered just what the extreme couponer is going to do with 50 packets of soy powder? Well, so do they.
Don’t waste your time cutting out coupons on items you wouldn’t normally use if it wasn’t on sale. Truth is, money spent on items you don’t use is money wasted, not money saved. Save yourself the hassle and the trouble and just cut coupons on products you already use.
You Can’t Have Brand Loyalty
Additionally, if you truly want to save money, you can’t have brand loyalty. Mayonnaise is mayonnaise is mayonnaise. So, seriously, skip the mock loyalty and throw whatever is on sale in that cart. You will thank yourself later.
Yes, I acknowledge that there are exceptions to this rule. For instance, I do buy the cheapest mayonnaise, however, I buy a name brand dish soap. I’ve tried the cheaper no name brands, to be disappointed in the cleaning results. Also, because many items will cycle on sale about every 8 weeks or so, I buy my “brand” dish soap on sale, and with a coupon when available. And guess what?! I can purchase it for cheaper than that watered down version.
So, although most items don’t require brand loyalty, there are some things that do deserve your loyalty. The tip though is to get those “branded” items for the lowest price possible. Between sales and coupons, you can achieve this and save money too!
Organize Your Coupons in an Easy File System
Keeping your coupons organized can be done very simply. After all, you are doing non-extreme couponing for real people. You don’t require a whole office area to keep them sorted. Keeping it simple will help you actually use the coupons you collect.
It is as simple as using a dollar store accordion-style folder and sandwich baggies. Label each baggie with a permanent marker by item, such as:
- toilet paper,
- bread, etc.
and then place the baggie in the corresponding file slot for that letter. See! Organizing your coupons does not need to be complicated. Especially if you are just getting started learning how to use coupons to your advantage. Being able to start using even a few coupons while shopping is a win-win situation.
However, it has to be a simple enough system for you to actually use it. Because if all you do is gather up coupons and never redeem them, you defeat the whole purpose.
Review Your Store’s Weekly Ad Flyer! Match Your Coupons
Stores in our region typically send out their weekly sales flyers in the Thursday local newspaper. However, as more and more communities are losing their local newspapers in physical format, they can be found all over the internet.
Even now, you can grab all of the weekly grocery store flyers on the internet. In fact, I use the following websites for creating the weekly Frugal Friday Flyer:
Review the sales ad for anything you might need in the next 8 weeks that is currently on sale. Why 8 weeks? Well, typically most items cycle in an 8 week sale pattern. However, remember if this store has the item on sale this week, that other store might have the same item on sale next week. So don’t overly get caught up on these sale cycles if your time is very busy.
So, when looking at sales flyers, think of staple pantry items, non-perishables. Also, don’t ignore what you simply need to feed your family that week.
Make a list as you go.
Then, before heading out to the store, check your coupons. Do you have any to reduce the price on any of the items on your list even further?
Yes, whenever possible, combine a sale price with your coupons to save even more!
Grab Online Coupons Too
There are also websites that allow you to print off coupons too. Some have even simplified it further. You can just download the coupon directly to your cellphone. As many people always have their phone with them, you will also have your coupons with you too!
This would be especially helpful if upon getting to the store you find a great in-store bargain. And using a coupon you have stored on your phone makes it an even bigger bargain!
So, if you interested in checking out these online coupon offers, check out:
to get you started.
Saving Money Can Be Simple
You’ve got your grocery list, gone through your file folder, pulled matching coupons, checked online for additional coupons, and now….go shopping!
Saving money with coupons doesn’t have to be complicated. You don’t have to spend hours on clipping, matching, numerous stores, and coupon clubs. You CAN save money with a limited time investment.
Getting started anywhere is progress—so be EMPOWERED towards a HOPE and a FUTURE.