Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Coupon How-To: Tools

Previous Post - Introduction

There are several tools of the trade, but I can only speak of what I have tried. Here is my recipe for savings:

1. Coupon organizer
2. Coupons
3. Sale Flyers
4. "Good" Online resources FREE
5. A cutting system (scissors or paper cutter)
6. Time
7. List

Ok, now we have our items, we are rea... what? You don't have your items, you don't know where to start? Ok, I'll slow it down.

1. Let's take this list an item at a time, starting with the coupon organizer. This is a preference decision. I have tried most but this time around, I'm sticking with the old fashioned accordion file system. However, I have used the binder method. I use to collect at least 5 sets of coupons. I also use to clip EVERY coupon. I don’t do this anymore, because I found products do vary and I do have a list of favorites. So I choose to use the accordion file, and I have a creative memories (photo) file so I use it. It is made of sturdy plastic and holds up better than the paper ones and I already own it. See me being eco-friendly?

2. Coupons – The obvious response is BUY THE SUNDAY PAPER! Save even more by getting a subscription. Other options – ask around, do you have friends not using their coupons? Do you know a newspaper carrier-they may be able to hook you up with a few extras? Keep in mind not all newspapers are created equal and not all coupons are either. I get coupons from my local paper and from a larger town close to me (from my friend's paper) and our coupons are different.

Online coupons – there are several sites that offer online coupon printing as well as many companies that will email and mail you coupons/offers. Here is a list of some of my favorites:

NOTE OF CAUTION: Some stores have stopped accepting this form of coupon. Our Wal-mart has turned me down and our Kroger holds the right to deny any coupon, regardless of you being able to prove its validity.

3. Sale Flyers – these are in most Sunday papers, however there are test markets where some flyers come out at various times. I prefer the online method; however we do have a newspaper subscription so I do carry the printed ones occasionally. Did you know almost all stores have their weekly ads online? Oh yes, and my sweet, some of them post them early. For this blog I will only blog the stores I have access to and only the sales I will be shopping. It just takes too much time to post every possible scenario.

4. Online Resources – I will post a separate post about this, it is a BIG topic.

5. Cutting system - this also is a preference decision. Since I only clip from 2 or three sets of coupons each week, I will use my scissors. However, if you are going to heavy duty clip – invest in a good paper cutter. See this video for ideas. If you work this method – proudly wave that freak flag! Yes, I have waved this flag and you will get double looks in the store, so be prepared. However, you can laugh right out the door with your major savings!

6. Time – obviously we need some time to organize and research. For optimum savings, this is crucial.

7. List – Don’t leave home without it! Make your list and carry it with you. Sometimes I can work on my list off and on all week. So keeping it with me is a MUST. You just never know when or where you will learn of a sale or remember you need to stock up on an item.

Ok, we are onto a good start. Next Topic - Online Resources! Join in tomorrow.


1 comment:

  1. waiting for the on-line tips and in's and out's. Gonna go check out the coupon sites.