Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Coupons 101

In my opinion, the best and easiest way to be frugal is to be a coupon clipper. In this day and economy, not clipping coupons is wasted money. Its the easiest way to get products for FREE, or ALMOST FREE. I know some people will complain that coupons are a waste of time, or they never remember to bring them, but for me, that's a waste of time. I do such a good job saving that most of my mommy circle of friends would like for me to give a basic step by step tutorial of my best money saving grocery shopping tips. Consider this your first lesson. :)

I will be the first to admit that clipping coupons might be tedious, and might take up more time than you want to spend, but nothing free ever came easy. Is it worth it? YES. The basis of a frugal lifestyle comes from coupon clipping, there is no way around that. What I do when I get my coupons in on Sunday, I clip almost all of them. There are some so ridiculous that I know I will never use, like joint pain relief, or weight gain supplement, I let those go, but I clip all the others. You never know when an item will go on sale, whether its 'your brand' or not, clip it. Remember that if you get items for free, or you have a chance to pick items you'll never use for free, you can always donate to the local food pantry. Toiletries can be donated to the local woman's shelter, they always welcome items.

I organize my coupons in a 'coupon binder'. I went to Walmart and bought a binder for around $3. Then at the front of the store, you'll see one register where all the baseball card stuff is, I picked up some of the clear baseball card holders. Basically, all my coupons go into the clear slots of the baseball card holders. This is the best way to see all your coupons, so you know which ones you have, but you also can see the expiration date. I have no real organization to my binder, but I do try to keep like items together.

Now, you have coupons, they are fairly organized, what you want to do is check your circulars. My favorite store is Shoprite, I've gotten the best deals in that store. Lets say, Wacky Mac is on sale for .99 this week. You look through your coupon binder and find you have a .50 off 1 coupon for wacky mac that is not expired yet. Bring it to your store, MOST grocery stores around here will double it. SO your .50 coupon, now becomes $1. If your Wacky Mac is only .99 and you have a doubled coupon, your Wacky Mac is now FREE! If you have 3 Wacky Mac coupons, get 3 bags of Wacky Mac. Why not, they are FREE after all! You just saved $3 off your grocery bill. It all adds up. Its that simple.

There are some ground rules, remember that using a coupon does NOT always make the best deal. If you have a coupon for a brand name, but the generic or Store brand is STILL cheaper after the coupon is applied, then its not a deal. And if you are wasting money on stuff you will never ever use just because you had the coupon for it, then that's not a deal either. Not every store doubles. If a coupon says 'Do Not Double', the cashier is not supposed to double it. Sometimes they do, depends on your cashier.

Here is a great video to help give you some more inspiration.

So tell me, do you use coupons?? Do you get alot of stuff for free? If you don't, are you going to start? Did this 'tutorial' help you at all?

Have a Great day!

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