And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children. Isaiah 54:13 KJV

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Couponing Tips #2

You can read my first Couponing Tips post Here.

I am finding that couponing is contagious! The more I talk about the great deals I am getting, the more people I have asking about them! So here are some more tips:

I told you in the first tips installment to read and keep a copy of coupon policies. Here are 2 from stores most of us use:

Wal-Mart Coupon Policy

Walgreens Coupon Policy

Kroger doesn't have a written policy available that I can find. I think this is because their policies vary from region to region. I have however seen a great video interview with a Kroger manager. I watched this post at Money Saving Mode. She picked it up from another source, but has all that information listed on her post.

Okay I'm sure this list will get longer as I continue to coupon but here are a few:

Things you should get for FREE or almost FREE:
  • deodorant
  • body wash
  • soap
  • toothpaste
  • toothbrushes
  • canned biscuits
  • some cleaning supplies
  • some medicines
  • tissue
  • fabric softner
Things you should NEVER pay full price for: (I'm working on not paying full price for anything but this gives you a place to start)
  • Frozen pizza
  • toilet paper
  • shampoo & conditioner
  • hair color
  • cheese
  • other cleaning supplies
  • other medicines
  • detergent
  • dishwashing liquid and tabs
Gas prices are RISING RISING RISING. We have to find places to cut back. As gas prices rise, generally grocery and product prices rise as well. I'm finding that time is my biggest investment in couponing. You can take as much or as little time with this as you want. I will guarantee you though, if you put in some time on it now, getting organized, making a binder, finding a system or blogs to help you do "match ups" (matching your coupons to weekly ads), it will take you less time every week to get ready to go shopping. Also if you take the time to look at your ad, make your list, and pull out the coupons you plan to use BEFORE you get to the store, it will make your shopping trip shorter. I still take my binder in every store with me, you always have opportunity to see something unexpected on sale or clearance, but having a plan makes it quicker.

Savings isn't just for groceries either. I use my Kroger points to buy gas right now. Before I head to a department store, I look online for sales, codes, or coupons. I have "liked" my favorite products on Facebook because they often offer deals or coupons on those sites. I spend much less money at WalMart now because I am getting better deals combining sales and coupons at Walgreens and Kroger.

My binder was simple to make. It takes time, especially if you already have a lot of coupons, but once its done it only takes a little maintenance each week when you are clipping the new inserts.

To make a coupon binder:
  1. Purchase a 2 or 3 inch binder with a zipper closure. Extra pockets are a BONUS! The most recommended brand is Case It. I couldn't find a Case It so mine is a Mead 5 Star. It's working fine.
  2. Purchase some baseball card holders. These can be found in almost any store in the baseball card section.
  3. Purchase some dividers. I spent a little more for the all plastice dividers with a pocket on the front of them. Mine are the kind you write on the tabs with a Sharpie.
  4. Label your tabs: Breakfast, Canned, Baking, Frozen, Drinks, Dairy, Snacks, Cleaning, Paper Goods, Meds, HBA, Makeup, Misc. (You can change any of these to fit your needs, add or take away)
  5. Then place your coupons in the baseball card pockets. Many will need to be folded. If you don't have a lot of coupons you can put one per pocket. I have a BUNCH so I tend to put in like coupons. Such as in my make up section, all my covergirl are in one pocket, all my Maybelline in another. But in my hair section I have ALL the hair color coupons in one. In the breakfast section though ever cereal brand gets a spot. Some have a few spots. Just depends. Do what works best for you!
  6. Stick a  copy of the coupon policies in an extra spot! I also keep food coupons, a couple of pens, scrap paper, and my lists in the extra pockets.
Happy couponing! I'm always glad to answer questions and help in any way I can!

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