"That they (the older women) admonish the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed." Titus 2:4-5

Thursday, November 6, 2008

How-To Beginners Series (3)

Today will be an introduction to general couponing. I'm no expert, but I'll try to tell you all the things I have learned so far. A lot of what I have learned has come from the blog at http://www.momsavingmom.com/ I highly recommend her website if you get a chance to check it out. She is a Christian stay at home mom with budgeting and couponing in mind.

A lot of the coupons you'll need you can get in your Sunday newspaper. My parents get two newspapers and they don't use coupons, so I just snag them from my parents. Some people manage to get a newspaper subscription for only Sundays for $1.50 or less. You don't want to pay too much if you're just getting it for the coupons. Some people buy multiple copies for the coupons (if they have large families and such). You can also preview the coupons for the week (not always totally accurate, depending on area, but it gives you an idea) here to see if you'll maybe want to get extras.

Other coupons come from online. Not all stores will accept online coupons, so check with your store. I have 2 Walgreens near my house and one will take them and the other won't. Go figure. I have coupons.com links on the side and bottom of my blog. Just click on them and you can print FREE coupons. You can print several of them multiple times (it will eventually say "print limit reached"). There are many other coupon sites such as eversave.com, redplum.com and many others. I will try to find ways of listing them on my blog. Another way is to go directly to the manufacturer's website and sign up for a newsletter or something. I did this for Huggies and Coffee Mate.

Some people get even more creative with coupons. If there is a good recycling drop off center near you, you can check for unused Sunday newspaper ads. Some people ask elderly neighbors or coworkers for their unused ads. Some people even bum them off their parents! :) There are also websites that you can buy or bid on coupons or some people give them away on their blogs. I personally have not paid for coupons yet and probably won't. I am a little unsure of paying for coupons. I don't think it would be worth it. I have, however, heard of stories where people got a lot of free stuff by purchasing coupons.

Another good source is the All You magazine which can only be bought at Walmart or through a subscription. I've heard it's about $2.24 at the store and full of great coupons. I just ordered my subscription for $18 for a 2 year subscription through a Southern Living consultant. That's $0.75 an issue! You can usually find a preview of the AllYou coupons and I often list where for that month.

Whatever you do, when you look through the coupons, just don't throw ANY away! I have thrown some away, thinking I'd never use them, and I have really regretted it when, a week or two later, that item is on sale or free after rebate. You can't beat free. Even if I don't need it, I could always give it as a gift or to charity. So I strongly recommend coming up with a good coupon system and not throwing any of your valuable coupons away until they expire.

Sometimes, it's not even necesary to cut each coupon until you decide it's time to go to the store. Some people cut all coupons and store them away in a binder, while others just mark their ads with the date on it and file them away whole. Many websites, when they list the sales and coupons that go with the sale will list where you can find the coupon you need. Example: 10/26 RP. If you see this, it means the coupon you are looking for can be found in the Red Plum insert that came out in papers on 10/26. I personally do both methods. I like cutting some just so I can tell quickly if I have a coupon for an unexpected purchase or in case the site doesn't list where to find it. It's up to you. Either way will work.


Ryan and Anna on August 30, 2008 at 10:30 AM said...

Anna and I are working on using coupons as well. Just started a few months ago...it takes some getting used to.

Most of the time we shop at Aldi's, and it's hard to get prices at other stores that beat them, even with sales and coupons. We'll just have to get better at it, I suppose.


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