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Newbie? Check out our couponing basics. Come back often to see the latest printable coupons, freebies, coupon tips and frugal living tips! Got something to say? Leave us a comment! Lastly, subscribe via RSS or Email to get the latest updates! We are located in Boise, Idaho, and blog about stores found in the Northwest and Nationally!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

COUPONING 101

There are so many cool things to learn when it comes to couponing. In fact we teach a 2 hour coupon class, which doesn't even cover all the great stuff we could tell you... (we could go on for hours and hours talking about coupon strategies and ways to save money). So we will try to keep it simple and sweet!

First off, did you know that YOU HAVE CONTROL over how much you spend on Groceries?

Look at all the things we got for FREE using coupons.



Ready to get started??
Here is what you need to do.


START COLLECTING COUPONS -

Internet Coupons: Coupons you can print at home from your computer.
Our favorite sites for printing coupons are Coupons.com and Red Plum. Here is where you can find more sites to print coupons from. We have a great tutorial for printing coupons.

Newspaper Coupons: These come as inserts in the Sunday Paper. Looks for the names Smart Source, Procter & Gamble, and Red Plum.

Store coupons: Keep your eyes out for coupons in the store.
  • Catalina- (click for detailed info) basically it's a printable coupon that is handed to you with your receipt at the store.
  • Peelies- peel off coupons found on products at stores
  • Blinkies-found in the aisle at the store spitting out of the blinking black box
  • Tear Pads- Usually displayed next to the product and tear off of a pad. :)


GET ORGANIZED -

Start Simple: Monica started with a little $1 store photo book, because she just wanted to test out couponing before she put a lot of effort into an organization system.

Here are a few methods for organizing your coupons once you are ready to step it up!

Filing Method: Get a letter sized accordion file and file your coupon inserts. Don't clip until you are ready to use them. With this method you do not have to waste anytime clipping coupons you never use. You will have to spend time clipping before you can shop, and you will not know where your coupons are if you unexpectedly find an item on sale. You could also clip your coupons and store them in a small accordion file.

Binder Method: This is Monica's choice. Check out her binder and organization method. She keeps her coupons in baseball card holder sheets. You could also use photo album sheets. She keeps them organized by category, so she can find them quickly and easily.

Combined Method: This is Cathy's choice. Don't clip your inserts. Place them in a sheet protector along with a list of all of the coupons in the insert. You do not have to type that up! Simply copy and paste the coupon list from our coupon preview to a word doc and print. Then put all of your inserts in a binder.

Clipping Method: We recommend that you get more then one insert each week. In fact we get five! Do not clip each one separately! Stack each matching page together and cut all five inserts at one time!

FIND THE DEALS -

You do not have to do all the work, that is what a coupon blog is for! Best of all, IT'S FREE!



TIPS!

Sales, Stocking, Stacking:
  1. Just because you have a coupon does not mean you should go out and use it! Wait until a good sale! Combining sales and coupons = HUGE SAVINGS!
  2. When you see an item on a good sale, buy more. We encourage building a stockpile so that when you need cake mix (for example) you will find it in your pantry (and you bought it for .25 or less), rather than needing to go to the store and pay full price for it!
  3. You can use a store coupon AND a manufacturer coupon on the same item! We call this stacking coupons! Check out our Walgreens Tutorial for examples on doing this!

Shop from your stockpile:
So now that you are getting multiple newspapers, you'll be able to stock-up when you find a good sale! When you menu plan, (or if you are like Cathy - you are more of a last minute planner), you will look no further than your pantry for the items that you need!

Final Thoughts:
Couponing takes time to incorporate into your daily life. We too are busy women - but we've done it and our family is blessed because of it! We welcome you to browse around our site. Got questions?? Feel free to ask us - we LOVE helping our fab readers!

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10 comments:

Monica said...

Have you already compiled a price book? Niki and I have been working on one and plan on updating it through google docs. If you have already done the work share the love! Otherwise you could help us colaberate through google docs.

Cathy said...

I started one in September, but have been too busy to work more on it. I'd love to help! Great idea!!

Brown eyes, blue skies said...

I'm new to the world of coupons and I'm a little confused. When I read the coupon saving scenarios...sometimes they don't add up. For instance, if there is a sale for a buy one get one free on a particular product, and you have a buy one get one free coupon...you get both for free? How does this work?

Monica said...

Brown Eyes

You are exacly right! The coupon is used to buy the buy one at the store. Remember the store gets paid for the value of the coupon plus .08 So you use your coup like cash to pay for the product.
Although this may vary by cashier.

Abbey said...

Also very new to the whole couponing thing with another question. I had the $10 off your next purchase at Albertsons. It clearly says on the print out that it cannot be combined with any other "offer" so I was thinking that my $.88 coupon for hotdogs and $1.50 off coupon of 2lbs. block of Tillamook wouldn't work in the same transaction, but the cashier said, "Sure, why not?" Do I need to be reading the fine print or should I always use this particular cashier who doesn't seem to care? =) Do many cashiers know the fine print or will the computers catch the "illegal" transaction. I just don't want to be "caught" and hold up other shoppers while we're figuring out the fine print allowances...

Monica said...

Abbey-

That is confusing b/c if it is the coupon I am thinking of it also states must be redeemed after manufactures coupons. doesn't it. I really think it is a personal decision and you should do what you feel good about.
You will meet cashier that don't care or pay attention so it is really up to you to try to do the right thing. I have handed a cashier the wrong set of coupons many times and they just scan them over ride if necessary and try to get me on my way. Not all are this way though. When I have messed up and included the wrong coupons I feel really bad, and try to correct it.
OK I am looking at the coupon you spoke of now. It reads, "Redeem after manufactures and store coupon redepmtion(s)." So that says to me that you can used other coupons with this as long as you use it last.
I do see the "not with any other offer" on the back. I don't know why they do that?
Hope that helps.

Liz Amason said...

I just stumbled upon your site today and am looking forward to learning more about couponing.
I must admit that I'm a tad apprehensive about taking on another task. But, I'm trying to be a better steward of our money and am willing to "learn the ropes"!

Cathy said...

Welcome Liz! Let us know if you ever have any Q's - we'll do our best to help!

Saz said...

Hi, I've been reading some other websites about couponing and I just found your site. I'm very new to this and am very eager to learn the coupon game! I am a single mom. I adopted my daughter almost 2 years ago and work 1/2 of what I used to work. I've chosen to stay at home with her more and have less money to spend, so I need to save as much as I can so I can pay for her college education in 16 years! I'm looking forward to learning the ropes!

Sue

Fabulessly Frugal said...

Sue-

Welcome to FabulesslyFrugal. Hopefully we can help you get learn to save your family tons of MONEY!

If you have questions feel free to leave comments!!!

We will try to answer quickly!