May 20, 2013

Preparing for Coupons

So, you’re interested in learning how to save a substantial amount of money with coupons? Well, before you start clipping the coupons and heading to the stores, there are a few things that have to be done first. At least if you like organization, anyways.

1.      Coupon Organization – The first thing you need to do is decide how you want to organize your coupons. There is no way anyone can save a lot of money with coupons if they don’t have an organizational system in place for the coupons they collect. A simple way to organize coupons is to get a large binder with clear organizational sheets, like those used for collecting baseball/football cards. Then, as you clip various coupons you can organize them in a manner that makes sense to you – by food type, store, aisle, etc.

So, why do you need to organize your coupons? You will have a lot of coupons that won’t get used right away because you want to wait until items go on sale. Therefore, when an item goes on sale, you will need to have the coupons organized so you can find it right away and not have to dig through hundreds of coupons.

2.      Storage – Couponing and stockpiling go hand in hand. At least for the hard-core, maximum-saving couponers they do. In order to save the maximum amount of money, you will have to buy multiple quantities of the same item at the same time. Obviously, you won’t use all of the items at once so you will need a place to store the excess. For instance, let’s say Crest toothpaste goes on sale at Walgreens for Buy 1 Get 1 Free, but you have four coupons for Crest toothpaste that are Buy 1 Get 1 Free. Well, with those four coupons, you will be able to get 8 tubes of Crest toothpaste…all for free! Since you don’t need all 8 tubes of toothpaste right away, you’ve got to have a place to store them.

If you are just getting started in couponing, then a large cabinet may be the best place to start stockpiling. Once your stockpile grows, you may move it to the basement or garage. However, for now, a large cabinet or unused coat closet will work until your stockpile grows. 

3.      Finding Coupons – Obviously, before you can save money with coupons you have to collect them. So, where do you find coupons? The best place is the Sunday paper. You will want multiple copies of the coupons you collect in order to save the most. This is why some couponers subscribe to several  copies of the same paper. You can also ask friends and neighbors for the coupon inserts they don’t use. There are also a lot of great coupons that can be printed online, as well. Some people even go to the extreme and raid their local recycling center and/or buy coupons on ebay!
If you have tackled the three things above, then you are ready to move on in your couponing adventure!