Random Ramblings: { COUPONING 101 } : GETTING STARTED

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

{ COUPONING 101 } : GETTING STARTED

Lately I have had a lot of questions about couponing and how to get started.
So I thought it might be useful to more than a few people.
Now let me make this disclaimer... I am NOT an expert, I don't get paid to do this, I am just sharing with you what works for me.  This may or may not work for you too, but I am happy to help anyone get started, or answer any questions that anyone may have.  I will help with the best of my ability and hope you find as much joy in couponing as I do.
I find joy in the fact of knowing I am saving our family money, and find a thrill in searching out the sales and matching up the coupons to the deals, to get rock bottom prices on everyday items I would be buying anyways at full price.  


. . . . . . G E T T I N G   S T A R T E D . . . . . .

-SUPPLIES-
There are some things that you will need first to get started with couponing.  

1. You are going to need a 3 ring binder. I started with a small one maybe 1 1/2 inch, but now I am up to a 3 inch and it is often stuffed full.  

2. Pocket inserts.  The best ones to use are baseball card holders.  They come 9 pockets per sheet.  You can find these anywhere around.  Target and Walmart sell them, as well as office supply stores like Office Max and Staples too.  Amazon sells them as well.  HERE is a set of 100 for less than $15.00.  That is a pretty good deal.  

3.  Scissors (obvious, but just wanted to make note of it) :)
4. Full page protectors.  

5.  Dividers of some kind.  Now I printed mine from the Krazy Coupon Lady.  HERE is where you can find those.  I just printed them out and put them in the full page protectors.  There is a chart to reference each  category too.  
Or you can always make your own.  You could print out whole sheets just like these, or you can use the dividers and add those into your binder too.
Like I said, whatever works for you.  


These are just the basics you will need to get started.
Now put your binder together.
Put the printed category sheets into the page protectors.  Put them into your binder.  Put the baseball card holders in your binder.  Just add them to the back of the binder for now, until you start to fill them up.  


- SUNDAY MORNINGS -

DON'T JUST BUY ONE NEWSPAPER, BUY SEVERAL.  

The Sunday newspaper has coupons.  Each coupon booklet is called an insert.  

Now the key to couponing is not having one coupon for items you buy, but having mulitiple coupons.  So in order to achieve this  you must buy multiple newspapers.  
By buying multiple newspapers, you will have several inserts. This will then cause you to have several of each individual coupon.  By having several of each coupon this will allow you to be able to buy several of one item when it is on sale, thus building your stockpile.  
Now it is up to you how many newspapers you want to get.  When I started out couponing full force, I was buying 10 - 20 newspapers. Now that I have a pretty decent stock pile, I usually buy 6-8.

Another thing to note is the newspapers that you purchase.  Where I am from, they sell the local newspaper and then they sell a paper from a surrounding bigger area.  I buy both newspapers.  Let me let you in on a little secret.  The paper from the bigger surrounding area often has a few more coupons than my local newspaper.


- CUTTING YOUR COUPONS -

What I do after I bring home all those papers is cut the coupons.
I go through all the LA Times and pull out the inserts, and then the Daily Press and pull out all those inserts too.
I group the alike ones from each paper, as the coupon pages are a bit different.
Then I take each insert stack and make sure my dining room table is cleared off.  I start laying each sheet out and then lay each same sheet from the other inserts on top until I have all the inserts stacked up.  Then I lay them together , and cut them out. Put them into my binder after each coupon is cut so that I don't have coupons laying around all over the place.  This is just the method that I have found works best for me when cutting my coupons.

Now that you have all your coupons cut in your organized binder, you can start looking for deals....  I will write this up in another post.

Happy Couponing, and be sure to share your deals.

~NICOLE

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