Charm is deceptive and beauty disappears, but a woman who honors the Lord should be praised. Proverbs 31:30

Couponing

How to Coupon
A lot of people have asked, how do you coupon. There are many ways, no one way is a right way and just because one way worked earlier for you, it may not work for you now. It’s an ever changing process for me, that I think I’ve finally perfected to my style. So read what I do, and take bits and pieces to fit your lifestyle. By no means am I an expert, yet.

First thing you should do is look at what you buy each week, what are your “normal” items. You want to have a list of these and keep a good idea on the sale prices. You’ll eventually create a stockpile. As a note, grocery stores rotate on a 12 week cycle. Meaning, that sales go in 12 weeks, so this week soup's on-sale, so typically in 12 weeks it'll be on sale again. Not always, but normally! I usually never pay full price for an item unless is an item we can’t live without, which is almost never. Example: Kelloggs cereal was on sale 3 for $5, I had 8 Kelloggs coupons (from the newspaper and online printing) that varied between $1 off 3 boxes or $1 off 2 boxes. That week I bought 20 boxes of cereal, paid close to $18 for it total. Now, you’re thinking 20 boxes of cereal is a lot, well in 12 weeks, we’ll probably go through just about that. I typically buy what I know my family will be able to consume within the grocery store cycle in sales. Yes, it’s a lot, but you’ll save a ton of money. Do this “stockpiling” with lots of items, especially free items.

Free, now you ask how can I get free things? Say you see a great coupon, don’t go out and use it right away. Save it and match it with a great sale. If you have a $1off one item coupon, and that item then goes on sale for $1, boom, it’s free!

When your shopping know your store policies too. Like walmart, if your coupon EXCEEDs the value (ie, this past Sunday's paper had a $2 off tide, no restrictions, then I could get a travel tide for .97 and MAKE $1.03, that's right, walmart pays me...hence why I bought a lot of extra papers.

Now papers…do you get the weekly Sunday paper. Typically Dollar Tree sells the Sunday paper (which has the coupons in it) for $1! That’s cheaper than normal, usually papers run $1.50 to $1.75 per Sunday paper. I get a home subscription of 5 Sunday papers a week. Don’t think just because ONE coupon in the inserts are expired they all are. Save your coupon inserts for 3 months (or until ALL coupons expire). I have a coupon binder. It was a process to set up, but once you have a system its fast. Some clip ALL coupons and store them, but I think that's personally a waste of time. I follow a LOT of blogs during the week, that help me with coupon match up. I typically go through the coupons, cut out the ones I know my family will use, put them in my binder, and then label the coupon inserts and store them.

My binder is set up like this: (it’s a 3 ring binder, zippers shut, has a front back pocket on the inside and outside of the zipper. 
I use page protectors, football card holders, and some coupon holders for my coupons. The first part of my binder is my FREE coupons. I put these in the front so I won’t “forget” to use them…because that’d be really sad, it’s like throwing money out the window!
This is my "free" section of coupons.
The accordion folder, front of binder, where I store coupons I'm using this week
 Next you’ll find football card holders holding all extra coupons, things I get in the mail (even though I may not use it, if it’s not expired, it may be on sale and I could score it for cheap or better, free). I sort my coupons by food, health and beauty, baby, household, etc. 

Then all my printed coupons from coupons.com, and other sites are put in holders that hold three long coupons. I pull out the ones I know I'll use right away and put in my store envelopes (Walmart, Walgreens-WAGS, Fred Meyer

 
Lastly, I have all my coupon "inserts" (some call flyers) I date the first page and put it in the page protector, that way next week if there's a coupon in last week's paper and a sale this week, you know where the coupon is from. Make sense? 


I also follow http://fabulesslyfrugal.com/coupon-insert-lists/idaho-insert-lists that lists the coupons in the Sunday paper which is EXTREMELY helpful and takes much less time on my part when getting ready to shop. This is an Idaho based blog, so may not be as accurate for you all, because coupons are regional. 

I also get extra papers each week, because it's a deal with our paper subscription (and some weeks I do use 5 sets of coupons!). I store the extra coupons in a file folder holder in hanging files. I store them 3 months (or more) out. 
So, when you’re going to have your try at your first coupon shopping, take it slow. Go when a time is slow (morning, weekday). Just do a couple coupons at first. You won’t see extreme savings for a while, but you’ll get the hang of it.

Here are places to check for coupons online.
INTERNET PRINTABLES
  •  Coupons.com
  • Smartsource.com
  • Redplum.com
  • Shortcuts.com
  • Couponnetwork.com
  • mambosprouts.com (powered by coupons.com)
  • AllYou.com (powered by coupons.com)
  • Eatbetteramerica.com (powered by coupons.com)
  • bettycrocker.com (powered by coupons.com)
  • cellfire.com
Look on my sidebar to see the top blogs I follow. They are awesome! 

Questions? I'd love to answer any I can.  
Where to find coupons:
            Newspapers:
·         SmartSource (SS) - nearly weekly
·         Red Plum (RP) - nearly weekly
·         Proctor & Gamble/P&G (PG) - 1st weekend of the month
·         General Mills (GM) - quarterly
·         Miscellaneous inserts or coupons in Parade magazine, etc.
·         Schedule of inserts can be found here: http://supercouponing.coupontom.com/static/schedule
Printable Coupons
 http://www.cellfire.com/ (loaded to your rewards card)
Store Policies
 BEGINNER – Walmart
 ADVANCED – Fred Meyer-Albertsons
 EXTREME – Walgreens
Using Coupons
            First- Use a coupon site to match coupons to the sales going on at your store.           
Second- Use a blog to find the BEST deals in your area to maximize savings.
http://www.jillcataldo.com (posts weekly deals on Sunday night)
 Fabulesslyfrugal– An Idaho based coupon blog -http://fabulesslyfrugal.com
 Money Saving Mom – little of everything –http://moneysavingmom.com
 The Krazy Coupon Lady – www.thekrazycoupon lady.com
 I Heart the Mart - Walmart - www.iheartthemart.com
Third- Use a Coupon Database: These are online databases of ALL of the coupons out there, so that if say baking powder is on your list one week, but no one has it on sale, you can still find a coupon for it, so you get some $$ off.  A good one to use to get started is http://www.coupontom.com.
Lingo
B1G1: Buy one item get one item free
Catalina: Catalina coupon, prints from a separate machine when your receipt prints
ETS: Excludes trial size
MIR: Mail-in rebate
OYNO: On your next order
OOP: Out of pocket
OOS: Out of stock
Peelie: Peel-off coupon found on product packaging
RRs: Register Rewards, Walgreens' Catalina coupons
Stacking: Using both a manufacturer's coupon and a store coupon on one item
WYB: When you buy

NLA: No Longer Available  


2012 Coupon Insert Schedule
Here is your 2012 coupon insert schedule! No sense in getting 6 papers with no inserts! You can see schedules like this as well as inserts in detail (like the week before they come) at Sunday Coupon Preview.
2012 Coupon Insert Schedule
January
1 — (2) Redplum & (2) Smart Source & Procter and Gamble
8 — Redplum & Smart Source
15 — Smart Source
22 — Redplum & Smart Source
29 — Redplum & Smart Source
February
5 — Redplum & Smart Source & Procter and Gamble
12 — Redplum & (2) Smart Source
19 — Redplum
26 — (2) Smart Source
March
4 — Redplum & Smart Source & Procter and Gamble
11 — Redplum & Smart Source
18 — Redplum & Smart Source
25 — Redplum & Smart Source
April
1 — (2) Redplum & (2) Smart Source & Procter and Gamble
8 — No Inserts (Easter)
15 — Redplum & Smart Source
22 — Smart Source
29 — Redplum & Smart Source
May
6 — Redplum & Smart Source & Procter and Gamble
13 — Redplum & Smart Source
20 — Redplum & Smart Source
27 — No Inserts (Memorial Day)
June
3 — Redplum & Smart Source & Procter and Gamble
10 — Redplum & Smart Source
17 — Redplum & Smart Source
24 — Redplum & Smart Source
July
1 — No Inserts (July 4th)
8 — Redplum & Smart Source & Procter and Gamble
15 — Smart Source
22 — Redplum & Smart Source
29 — Redplum & Smart Source
August
5 — (2) Redplum & Smart Source
12 — Redplum & Smart Source
19 — Redplum & Smart Source
26 — Redplum & Smart Source
September
2 — No Inserts (Labor Day)
9 — Redplum & (2) Smart Source
16 — Redplum & Smart Source
23 — Smart Source
30 — Redplum & Smart Source
October
7 — Redplum & (2) Smart Source & Procter and Gamble
14 — Redplum & Smart Source
21 — Redplum & Smart Source
28 — Redplum & Smart Source
November
4 — Redplum & Smart Source & Procter and Gamble
11 — (2) Redplum & Smart Source
18 — Smart Source
25 — No Inserts (Thanksgiving)
December
2 — Redplum & Smart Source & Procter and Gamble
9 — Redplum & Smart Source
16 — Smart Source
23 — No Inserts
30 — No Inserts
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