Saturday, August 31, 2013

Target Teaser!

     Well, did you pick your first grocery store and go make a few coupoing deals?  I sure hope so!  Tomorrow is Sunday and there will be one coupon insert in the paper this week, so make sure you go out and pick up three, get them collated and in your file!  You want to be ready this week to go save money!
     I have again committed to couponing in a big way and I wanted to share tonight's trip with you!  I want to give you some motivation to get serious this week.  The picture below is from one trip to Target tonight.  It took me about an hour to prepare for the trip. Yes, it takes a little time, but as you will see, this hour's worth of work saved me $90.  I am not sure I could find a legal or respectable job to make that kind of money in an hour!

Total before coupons:  $146.73.  Total after coupons:  $56.73!
And I received $10 in Target gift cards to use next time!
     Couponing at Target has many layers, so it does take a little bit of time, but you can see that it is well worth it!  Come back on Sunday and we will dive into Target Couponing!  I will tell you all you need to know and even give you my list for the new week!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Wednesday - Grocery Ad Day!

     Well now that our coupons are all organized and ready to be used, the challenge is where to use them and when.  This is where a strategy is important.  All of us have clipped a coupon or two to use at the store saving a couple of dollars.  However, when you come up with a strategy, you may use 20 or 30 coupons and begin to see some serious savings.
     The idea is to use coupons when an item is on sale, therefore, maximizing savings.  Then, buy three of that item at that crazy, low price so you do not have to buy it again until it is on sale again and there is a coupon again.  You will begin to notice that coupons repeat about every four weeks and items go on sale every six weeks.  So if you stock up on an item at today's sale, you will not have to buy that item at full price again...because you will stock up, using your coupons, every six weeks. 
     If this is your first time couponing, I would suggest starting with one grocery store this week.  If you are one of my friends in Arizona, I highly suggest checking out Coupon$ense.  In my opinion, it is by far the best resource you will find.  There is a monthly fee, but it is soooo worth it.  It saves you tons of time and energy.  You can read more about why I love it here.  If you are not in Arizona or just do not want to pay at this time, I have listed my favorite couponing blogs at the bottom of this post.
     Since today is Wednesday, it is time to make a list.  You have your coupons all collated and organized, so now you need to gather the weekly grocery ads, a notebook and a computer or tablet and start searching for the best deals.  I would suggest taking a few minutes to get familiar with one of the blogs first, look around, view different posts, see how that blogger lists the current deals.  Then, pick one store, let's say Safeway.  Get on each blog and look for their most recent post for "Safeway Coupon Matchups or Deals" for this week.  Most of the blogs I have listed will tell you what is on sale and for how much, what coupons are available, printable and newspaper and then tell you the final price you will pay.
     As I go through the list, I write down the things that I think are a GREAT deal, I really like free the best, but under $1 always gets my attention as well.  On the list, newspaper coupons will be listed like this:  $1/1 Colgate Toothpaste RP 8/25/13.  You will notice the "RP 8/25/13"  This tells you which date the coupons came out and which set to find them in.  Since your coupons are all organized so nicely, after you make a list of all the items you are interested in, you can easily pull out the insert you need, cut all three coupons at one time and put them in a coupon, purse organizer or an envelope for your store.  Then, take your list and all your coupons and you are ready to go! 
    The blogs can be a bit overwhelming with tons of information, that is why I suggest starting with only one store.  As you are more comfortable with the whole process, adding stores will be simple.  I also suggest you go to each store's website or facebook page and print their coupon policy.  They are all different and it will help you to know what the store's rules are.  I also take the ad with me, just in case I cannot find an item.  So check out the blogs below and dive in!  I would love to hear about your first shopping trip!  Check back tomorrow where we will venture in to Couponing At The Drugstores...they are bit tricky, but huge savings are found in them!  Of course, as you get started, if you have any questions, please just ask!

Arizona Blogs and Resources:
Cents'able Shoppin

Washington Blogs:
The Coupon Project
The Thrifty Northwest Mom

Anywhere Blogs:
Fabulessly Frugal
Krazy Coupon Lady
Couponing To Disney

Each of these blogs is also on facebook and if you Like their pages, you will see deals in your news feed all day!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Monday - Coupon Organization

     One of the quickest ways to get frustrated couponing is to have a mess of  coupons everywhere!  I primarily use the coupons that come in the Sunday paper, so today we are going to get them organized!  I DO NOT cut out all my coupons and put them in binders.  I absolutely do not have time for that.  I keep my coupon inserts intact and file them in a bin labelled for each week, as you can see below.
     I bought the bin and the folders at Walmart for about $8 total.  On Sunday evening or Monday, I pull all the coupons from my Sunday Papers.  There can be anywhere from 1-6 inserts in the paper, so make sure to pull them all out.  There are a few different inserts you will see throughout the month.  There are Redplum (RP) inserts, Smartsource (SS) inserts, P&G (PG) inserts and occasionally, a General Mills (GM) insert or additional Redplum or Smartsource inserts.  At the top of each set you will see the name of the insert and on the spine, you will see the dates.

     I choose a folder and write (in pencil) this week's date and then I collate my coupons.  Collating is a huge time saver for later, so don't skip it.  I simply open up all three of my Redplum inserts and collate the pages inside, leaving the covers intact.  By doing this, when it is time to cut out the coupons I want, I do not have to rummage through three sets, all three coupons will be right together!

      Once I have all of my inserts collated, I close up the set, write the date from the spine on the front cover of each collated set and drop them in the proper folder.  By taking this little bit of time each week, I am preparing myself for a successful and pleasant week of couponing!

     Right now, go get those papers and even if you do not have a file box or an accordian file to use today, get those inserts collated and labelled!  Tomorrow we talk about how to make your first list!  If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment, you are probably not the only one with that question!

     Also, since this is a new blog I would love to have you become one of my followers!  You can find that option on the right side of my blog where it says "Follow By Email"! 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Sunday - First Day of the Couponing Week

     Alright everyone, we are going on a journey together!  A journey to save money!  It can be a huge savings or a small savings, but still, we will be saving money!  Even if you have never "Couponed" before, you can get started today!  It does not matter if you are my friends from Arizona or from Washington or New York for that matter, the steps are the same.  This week I will guide you each day on how to organize your coupons, how to find deals and how to see big savings on the things you need everyday!  If you want to join me, start today with step one!

STEP ONE:  Go out and buy three newspapers.  

       Yes, I said three.  When we find a great item for free or next to free, we want to make sure we can get more than one of those items. When we get more than one free tube of toothpaste or razor, then we won't have to buy one at full price because about the time we are out, there will be a new coupon!  I will talk more about this later in the week!  For now, get your papers before the day is over!  (If you are in Washington, know that the Seattle Times does not offer all coupon inserts.)  Meet me back here tomorrow for Step Two!