Friday, July 30, 2010

Quick Start Guide

If you have thought about couponing but think it is way too time consuming then this post is for you!  Saving your family money each month on your grocery bill is not as time consuming as you might think and couponing is not as complicated as it looks.  If you have never couponed before or you gave up because it was not organized and you never remembered to take the coupons to the store with you here is a quick way to get started:

1)  Pick up at least one newspaper Sunday.  The Houston Home Journal is available on Saturday and is .50 an issue.  The Macon Telegraph is, I believe, $1.50 an issue and MOST of the time they have the same coupons in both papers.

2)  Pull the coupon inserts out.  You will notice that there are, typically, 3 different inserts.  You will usually see a Smart Source and Red Plum insert each weekend.  Once a month there will be a P&G insert.  The USA Weekend and Parade magazine sometimes have coupons in them as well but not all the time.

3)  Use a 12 pocket accordion file and label each pocket with a month.

4)  If there are 2 inserts in this weekend's paper then you will need 2 envelopes (size really doesn't matter).  You can probably use letter sized.  On the outside, front of the 1st envelope write Sunday's date and Smart Source so you can easily read it.  Then take 5 minutes to cut out all the coupons in the Smart Source insert and put them in the envelope.  Do the same thing with the other envelope and the Red Plum insert.

5)  Once the coupons are all clipped and in the appropriate envelope, stick those envelopes in the August file of your accordion file.

6)  Now that you have clipped and filed your coupons head over to Southern Savers blog.  On her blog you click on your preferred grocery store, select the most recent list of sales items.  For example:  click on Publix and then find the blog entry that has the date 7/28 in the title because Publix's sales go from Wednesday to Tuesday for us.

7)  Once you have your store and the most recent sales list pulled up you will see each sales item listed and underneath the item will be a list of available coupons that go with that item.  You will not see ALL of those coupons.  A lot of coupons are regional.

8)  Go through Southern Savers list, click on the boxes beside the items you wish to purchase then at the bottom of the blog entry will be a button to click that says "Print List".  I would print the list just as it is with all the coupons listed out beneath it.

9)  Once you have your list in hand then pull out your accordion file, a paperclip, and pencil/pen.  If you look at the coupons listed underneath each sales item you will notice that they say how much the coupon is worth, the item it is good for (including any size restrictions), then it will state where the coupon came from followed by the expiration date.  If a coupon comes from Smart Source then it will be listed as SS 8/1.  This means that the coupon came from the Smart Source insert on August 1.  Pull out your Smart Source August 1 envelope, quickly go through the coupons and pull out the one you are looking for then paperclip it to the back of your list.  If a coupon comes from Red Plum then it will be listed as RP 8/1.  If a coupon comes from a P&G insert then it will be listed as PG 8/1.  If there is something on your list that you do not have the corresponding coupon for and you do not have to purchase it at that moment then use that pen/pencil to draw an X through it on your list.

10)  Now you are ready to head to the store!  Take your list, your coupons, your loyalty card, and your money.  You are, officially, a couponer!  :-)

After you have used this method for a while and you get comfortable with remembering to take your coupons to the store then you can move on to stockpiling, etc.

Now, go get that paper and start to clipping!

Standing on His Promises, Mrs. Bubba

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