Sunday, February 21, 2010

Couponing--Or How to Cut the Least to Save the Most

I know that a wealth of money can be saved couponing. According to Dave Ramsey, his wife saved their family over seven hundred dollars one year by couponing, so it is worth your time to get good at this.

And it has never been easier to coupon because there are certain websites out there that help.

One such website is Hot Coupon World, and another is A Full Cup. These websites are good for looking up a coupon for a particular brand.

Here is an example: Say you need to purchase cat food and you only use one brand (like 9 Lives). You would search the product name to see if there was a coupon available to use so that you could get a discount on a regularly purchased item.

Another bunch of websites show match-ups of deals with coupons. By doing this method, you can sometimes get things for free or very little cost, and you only clip the coupons you need. This also helps you stock up on items that are regularly needed throughout the year, by purchasing them at their rock bottom price, you can save a considerable amount of money. This month you can get a full tube of toothpaste for $0.04 from Walgreen's. Some websites to look at for this are: STL Mommy and Passion for Savings. These aren't the only websites out there that do this, so you might find one that is specific to your particular area because deals are different in different parts of the country.

Sometimes these websites will list "money-makers" or "overages" which means you get paid to take a product (or a group of products) home.

To learn more, these websites often have a separate page (as opposed to an entry) on couponing.

However, these websites often copy from the source. That source is Coupon Mom (which recently published a book on couponing).

Lastly, the key to couponing is to have a GREAT filing system. Without the filing system, you will not be able to find the coupon when you need it, have coupons scattered everywhere, or be so OVERWHELMED that you cannot even imagine couponing. I have been in all of these positions, and they aren't fun.

What works for me is an accordion file. I put the newest month's coupons in the first section, followed by a couple months back in the next couple of sections. I write the date of the coupons in Sharpie on the front of the insert from the newspaper (so it's easy to read), and I paper-clip the coupons that are from the same Sunday together (so loose pages don't go flying). I also have some ziploc bags with cut coupons in them (filed according to type [which is written on the outside of the bag with the sharpie] and arranged according to date) so they don't end up loose everywhere or bent, and I can throw away expired coupons once a month a lot faster. I keep the scissors and the sharpie in the filing system, so they are never away from me, and I keep this small file in the car so that I don't have to remember to bring it to the store. I know this sounds complicated, but once you get the hang of it, it is really quite simple. (P.S. I do have space in my file for unclipped and unfiled coupons).

WHEW, glad I got THAT off my chest.

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