I have seen first-hand how much money can be saved and in the last month-and-a-half since I began this adventure, I have received over $100 in free stuff! For many "coupon queens" I know, this is small. But as the saying goes, "from small beginnings come great things" and I am believing the same will ring true for the money to be saved while couponing.
My desire is not only to get free stuff but to also show others how easy it can be to do the same. Just think how awesome it would be if instead of using $100 a month to buy household items, you could use that money towards a family vacation, paying off debt, or buying a hot new outfit!
I plan on showing you my coupon deals each week as well as a breakdown of what coupons I used, what promotions were going on and how you can do the same. If the response from you all is big enough I may even make this into a link-up so we can all share our deals from the week. Especially since not all states have the same stores.
I will also be adding a "coupon" tab to the top of my page so you can find all my previous couponing posts in one place. For this week, here are my 5 tips when first starting out:
- Don't overwhelm yourself! My first week couponing I made the mistake of thinking this was going to be a breeze and started off with 8 newspapers. By the time I was done clipping, I had more coupons in front of my than I had ever seen in my life. I just wanted to throw them all in the trash because I didn't know how I could ever make use of them all.
- Stay Organized. One of the biggest mistakes couponers make is cutting all coupons at once and when they are done there is a huge, unmanageable mound that will probably remain that way for far too long. Rather than fix it, they will probably just dig around in it until they find the coupons they need (at least that's what I did). Remember: out of sight, out of mind. Don't let your lack of organization cost you amazing deals! Next week I will share my method of staying organized from the get-go, and it works the same whether you have 1 newspaper or 100.
- Invest in a coupon binder, file folder, or both. I prefer the coupon binder method since you can carry it into the store with you and have much easier access to your coupons with less mess. But I also have a file folder at home with stacks of extra ads that I didn't want to waste time cutting, so instead they are organized by date to make them easier to find in case I need them. I will also show you my binder & file folder soon.
- Don't Limit Yourself! Just because a coupon you find in the paper seems pretty great, you always want to get the very best deal. There are tons of coupons online for the same items as in the paper but with a much higher value (i.e. newspaper coupon for Charmin: 25 cents off, online coupon for Charmin: $1 off). Always check online when you can.
- You are not alone. Don't put all the work of finding great deals on yourself. There are countless coupon sites and forums out there with the latest deals and freebies, use them! I will give you a list of the sites I use on a regular basis in the coming weeks.