I hope you’ve had enough time over the past few weeks to study up a little on coupons, because I am about to delve into where I get my coupons and how I cut and sort them. If I don’t feel like I’m rambling on too much, I’ll also give you a sneak peak into how I actually organize the coupons so I can always see exactly which coupons I have.
So, where do I get the coupons? Once you start looking for them, you will find them everywhere! I use some internet sites like coupons.com, if you “like” your favorite brands on Facebook, they usually give away coupons. Coupons can be found on packaging, in magazines, you’ll be surprised how many coupons you find by simply increasing your awareness of them.
The vast majority of the coupons I use arrive in the Sunday Paper(The Baltimore Sun delivers the inserts a day early so I get mine on Saturday). I had to invest in a subscription, but it paid for itself within the first three weeks of couponing. It is way more expensive to buy a paper at the store, unless you want to buy it on Monday at a discount. It’s up to you, but I have a weekend subscription for 16 weeks and it was only like $16 bucks.
So when you open up the paper you will see the huge section of weekly ads.
These weekly ads include valuable coupons that can really help you save big when you “stack” them with a manufacture’s coupon. I usually set all the weekly ads I want to save aside. We will come back to them later. In the meantime, look for the SmartSource, RedPlum, or P&G Brandsaver inserts.
It helps to have more than one copy of a coupon on hand. Sometimes, an item that I need ends up being free with a coupon. When that happens, I like to get multiple copies of the paper or inserts so I can stock up until the next time it’s free. When I say stock up, I mean I usually buy about four of an item at a time, sometimes more, sometimes less, depending on the price, coupon restrictions, and what the item is.
To get multiple copies of coupons you have several options including but not limited to:
- Ebay: you can buy multiple copies of inserts by searching, for example, “smartsource 8 21 11”
- Buying discount Sunday papers on Mondays
- Asking your friends/family who don’t coupon to save the inserts for you instead of recycling them or throwing them away
- Walking around the block and picking up papers that are delivered to houses that you are sure nobody lives in.
I separate the insert by page, I will have a different pile for each page. After the insert is separated by pages I cut the coupons out. The reason for separating before you start cutting is to save time, so you don’t have to cut out each coupon more than once. It’s time consuming in the beginning, but saves a lot of time in the end.
Side Note: You may also want to start recycling if you don’t already! The amount of paper is borderline obscene…So grab a paper bag to throw the scraps in!
As I’m cutting out the coupons, I try to pay attention to where I set them. I try to put all the food next to each other, all the personal care together, all cleaning together, etc. I can also go ahead and start a pile to send to my military family in Japan (more on that later!) because there are lots of things that I know I’ll never buy, no matter how cheap, that I still clip the coupons for.
After I cut up all the coupons, I go through them once again to filter out which ones I think I will use and which ones I can let go. The ones I can let go of are placed in an envelope and set aside for later. The ones I am going to use are now ready to be filed in my binder.
There are several ways to organize your coupons. I have found that the binder method works best for me. I’ll show you in the next post how I put together my binder(S). Get busy clipping!