Anyways, I've had tons of people ask me about how I do it and what I do... It took a while to learn the ins and outs. I think some of it is just stuff you pick up on the way... Like if you have a huge cart full and a ton of coupons in hand, try to pick a young man to ring you up... they're less likely to complain and scrutinize each coupon you hand them. They just want to get you out of there fast!!!
So, instead of typing up a ton of junk about what I learned and how I do... Here's all the websites I use and a few I just found (and will be using in the future.)
***(Some of these websites require that you register with your email address... I created an email just for couponing (firstname.lastname@example.org) Now most of these coupons are automatically sent to my email, along with the weekly ads from my stores and other great deals from groupon and living social!)
A few things to help:
- Figure out where you will get your coupons. We receive the coupon inserts from the previous Sunday in our junk mail every Tuesday or Wednesday. I talked my mailman into leaving me a ton (around 20!) Why would I need that many? Because If I can use those coupons to get 1 free tube of toothpaste or one $.15 jar of spaghetti sauce, why not buy 20 instead! Before I got those, I would check the trash... not in a gross digging through rotten food and stuff trash. But our mailboxes at the apartments have trash cans by them for junk mail. Most everyone throws out that junk mail that comes on Tuesday. I just peek in the trash and if that's in there are those circulars, I grab them. Don't judge me. I know some people who find the newspaper recycling bins and go dumpster diving in there to find coupon inserts. Ask around. Maybe your neighbors get the paper, but don't coupon. There's ways to find them if not free, then pretty cheap.
- Figure out how you will organize the coupons. I have a huge 3" 3 ring binder that zips around it. I have baseball card protector sheets, along with 4x6 photo album sheets in there to stick the coupons in and I have it divided by the isles of the the stores. I got the notebook at Staples for $20. Well worth it. I had a small 1" one prior to that and it was no where near large enough to hold my stash. Also, the baseball card protector sheets are generally at the front of the store where the baseball cards are. Took me 2 trips to walmart and target to figure that one out.
- Figure out how to pair the coupons with the sales. You can use some the previous websites mentioned, or do it on your own. I go back and forth between doing it on my own and checking the websites. I'll usually go to SouthernSavers, make my list for publix, target, kroger, maybe Harris teeter, and then check the store websites to make sure my store's sales match up.
- I always take my notebook into the stores with me. There are ALWAYS closeout deals and clearance items that aren't listed on any sales.
- A friend told me about a lady who organizes her coupons as she cuts by having paper set out for each section of her binder. She places the coupons in the right section as she cuts saving LOTS of time! Trust me... It's taken me hours before to sit and cut and organize and put away all my coupons... that's not even counting all the time it takes to match sales to coupons and then to actually walk through the stores isle by isle to make sure I got everything. Yes it's alot of time... but I'm a stay at home mom and I have the time to do it. SO why not! I do get aggravated when I'm organizing and cutting... but it's such a payoff to see that total go from $80+ to $21!
- It can be handy to print out each store you shop at's coupon policy. That way if they try to say you can't do something when you know you can, you have the proof right there to back it up!
So this was really more than I meant to type up. But maybe it'll help someone. If you have any questions just comment or email me. If I don't know the answer, I'll try to find it!
*** I know the TLC show extreme couponing is coming on this week or maybe it was last... but I have to say from the previews I've seen and the reviews I've read I'm not impressed. They are making people who coupon seem like hoarders, or people who neglect their family and kids to save a few bucks... It's not a "teaching/learning" show, but an "EXTREME" show... it's suppose to be entertaining. Here's some quotes I read on it all...
The Prudent Patron: I thought it sounded like something I would love to see, until I saw the clip on GMA of a woman dumpster diving for coupons and another woman saying she cancels plans and neglects her husband to go couponing...What bothers me the most is the bad rap it gives couponers...The couponing community works hard to show couponers the right way to coupon. Not to clear shelves, not to buy more than you can use, not to abuse store policies so that stores stop excepting coupons. I am sure this special will have great ratings because people love to look at crazy behavior, but TLC did we really need to wrap all of us couponers up in this crazy wrapper? All the couponers I’ve met have been hard working, generous and are trying to help their family. There is no reason to demean people who are trying to save money and live responsibly.
Sue Stock, News Observer: I can definitely see why this topic would appeal to TV producers, but I'm worried the show is going to make us all look crazy. From what I've seen already, I think this is going to give couponers a bad name.
Faye Prosser, WRAL I can only imagine what it will make couponers look like! I hope they keep the crazy factor down to a minimum. I realize that in order to get viewers to watch the show, they have to find the most extreme, overboard couponers. I just hope they also profile some balanced couponers who also save thousands a year without spending hours a day couponing. Highly unlikely, but a girl can hope, can't she?
Rachel Singer Gordon, Mashup Mom You know you’re going to be on national TV. You’re in a dumpster WEARING GLOVES while your young child is right next to you NOT wearing gloves. Think before you act: How does this play out on TV and how does it make couponers look?"
Mary Kenyon: As an author working on a a book about extreme couponers, I was excited to be interviewed for possible inclusion in this special program. Now I’m glad I wasn’t chosen. I should have realized that they would take the most extreme cases.