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What is Your Best Advice on Clipping Coupons, Coupon Mom, etc.??

February 7th, 2011 at 03:29 pm

I AM IN A MESS THIS MORNING!! I have been saving my Sunday sale papers for a month and went to COUPONMOM.com to begin clipping coupons for my first "coupon" shopping trip and it is taking me forever as from Coupon Mom I have a grocery store list, a Walmart list, a Target list and a Walgreens list...flipping back and forth between each week's circular and each list is making me crazy!!

Can anyone give me some advice and/or tips on how to do this effectively? Do you clip ALL the coupons before looking at coupon mom or do you clip the coupons from each circular each week...this seems cumbersome. Also, I am worried that I will end up overspending just to get good deals. Do you couponers not pay attention to brands (i.e. do you use different brands or toothpaste, deodorant, etc.)? Do you buy ahead on items when they are good deals? Also, how do you organize the process as it is lots of paperwork?? Any tips you can provide would be helpful as I am looking at a pile of mess right now!!
From reading the blogs I know there are some true experts out there!

9 Responses to “What is Your Best Advice on Clipping Coupons, Coupon Mom, etc.??”

  1. LittleMsMom Says:

    Sounds like you need a price book and a coupon box. I will explain below.

    To answer your question Yes, I have atleast 6 different brands of toothpaste in my closet right at this moment. They were FREE. I also have atleast 3 different brands of deodorant for myself in my closet right now, again they were FREE, or about 50 cents each. My BF has a brand preference for deodorant so I use the price book and coupon deals to get those for him.

    I clip all the coupons, I then file the ones that are not my normal purchases into envelopes in a photo album box, into categories. That way if I come across a deal I go to that envelope and pull out that coupon and only carry my regular coupons in my accordian folder in my purse. My Photo Box is kept at home, or in the car (You can always go out to your car to get the coupon you need IF you see a clearance item that you know you have a coupon for in your box).

    I have a small notebook (PriceBook) in my purse of things I buy that are brand specific or I buy alot of so I know what is the normal price so I don't stock up when something goes on sale but is still more expensive than a generic at my cheapest store if that makes sense. My Son is on a over the counter medication so I write down the cost at each store I normally go to. That way I know the cheapest cost per serving and if they are out where the next cheapest store is, also IF I find what I think is a great price then I can look at my book to confirm it.

    My Boyfriend has to use a certain Toliet Paper, so I write down the brand and then figure out the cost per square foot of the cheapest package and write it down. Then I know if I come across a "sale" somewhere else I can figure out if it is indeed a good deal.

    My Son and I can use different TP (just not cottonelle) so I figure out the sq footage cost of cheapest package of TP and write down the brand, size and cost in my notebook. Then If I come across a cheaper cost then what is in my notebook, I know I should buy some.

    The Price book is really handy so that you don't over spend on things you buy often. I have the things we use alot in there. I list whatever is the cheapest, this could mean generic IF I am willing to use it. See example above of TP.

  2. ceejay74 Says:

    I myself don't coupon regularly; my partner has wanted to get into it but we're just so used to making our menu first and our shopping list from that, it would be a hard adjustment to base our menu on what's on sale.

    However, I found this to be one of the least intimidating explanations of couponing, and it's from Jeffrey, one of SavingAdvice.com's founders. He has a linked blog all about couponing, and here is his method for "lazy couponing": http://www.grocerycouponguide.com/articles/lazy-couponing-introduction-how-to-coupon-for-the-rest-of-us/

  3. Aleta Says:

    As each coupon booklet arrives each week in the newspaper or mail, I put the date on the front of the page. You can get the date from looking at the left edge of the booklet. I keep the whole paper intact. I do clip coupons that I know that I will use and set them to the side or put in a small checkbook cover inside of my purse.

    I like Souther Savers and I check each stores sales and the site allows you to create a list and it will also print out the source of the coupons.

    I also choose and check off items I want and print it out from each store. I then compare the lowest prices and just cross off that item from the other stores list.

    It's good to keep the whole insert intact because many times a store such as Walgreens or CVS will list an item for free with rewards back. Some items are purchases that I would have not made but because it is free - why not?

    I also run off coupons from the internet and I have them in a box but next to the stack of insert sales papers that I have.

    The price book is also a good idea. It becomes a guide for you to compare prices in different stores. I'm still learning and tweaking as I go. I also use HotCouponWorlds database for searching coupons.

    Also, on our own website here there is Grocery Coupon Guide that lists excellent deals in different stores. I have seen deals in there with coupons that I missed. Hope it helps.

  4. CB in the City Says:

    I just want to put in my two cents and say it's okay not to coupon. I have tried in the past and I'm afraid I don't see the value. It seems every time I have a coupon to use, there is something else (like a store brand) that is cheaper anyway. I'm also not a big fan of stockpiling, as I think you tend to buy things you don't use. I know I'm going against the grain here, but I've found much more success in saving money by limiting my shopping and concentrating on items that are of high value to ME.

  5. boomeyers Says:

    I run through the inserts and just clip the ones I want. I then put them in a binder that is filled with those baseball card plastic sheets and have each section marked ie: health and beauty, sauces, dairy, meat, cereal, etc... I find it easier to haul this around than a box. The binder is also good for slipping the coupons I want to use on my shopping trip in the front pocket, so they are handy. I also keep a few sheets of loose leaf paper in it for making lists, etc. You could use this too by getting folders to put in the binder, one for each grocery store to keep them straight!
    Good luck! The money you can save when you get the hang of it, is worth it!

  6. creditcardfree Says:

    I clip coupons and use them when I do buy something. Occassionally, I will match with a store coupon or sale for an even better deal. In the past I did use Hot Coupon World to find bargains. I do think it is a good site. However, for me I noticed I was buying things I don't normally buy...air freshners, excess dental floss and toothbrushes, to use the rewards to buy what I did want. I think I actually spent more money at that point. Just my observation. I would say...try it, but don't be afraid to not use coupons for everything. It's okay.

  7. ThriftoRama Says:

    I don't clip all the coupons. I use the couponmom method. I put a post it with the date on it, then stuff all the week's flyers in a folder. When a deal comes up, I use the CM guide to find out where the coupon is, then I clip it.

    I am knew to this too. Only been about a month since I started. I find it's easier to start slow. It takes time to build up a stockpile of items. I'm in that process now. Once you do that, you can start only buying things on super sale or when they are free.

    Don't bite off too much. The best resource I've found to explain exactly how everything works is the book Point, Click & Save from the Mashup mom blogger. It was really super helpful.

  8. retire@50 Says:

    Coupons - I clip each week coupons I will use if the price is good. These are stored in a checkbook holder. The others go in a file with the date on front. When I read about a good deal - a moneymaker or free item that I can donate to the food pantry, I got back and clip the ones from the file folders.

    Stockpile - I buy as many free items as I think I will use in the next 3 - 6 months when I find them. This way I never have to run out and pay full price for anything. It also means the number of items on your grocery list goes down after awhile and you are only buying things you are low on or that are free.

    Brand name - I have very few brand preferences. When I do I stockup when they are the best price. Mostly I buy what's free, if I don't like, I haven't lost anything.

    Read the how-to's or follow blog posts to see how others do it. A couple website are Katy Couponers, Mashup Mom, Money Saving Mom. You might also read Teri Gaults' book Shop Smart, Save More. Take your time and don't beat yourself up when you make a mistake. I'm still making mistakes at this after 20 years of couponing. I'm also still learning new tricks all the time.

  9. Savings Queen Says:

    You all are wonderful!! Each of you had wonderful ideas. I also kind of identified with CBs main point though that she favors NOT couponing as she buys too many items she doesn't need with coupons. With my past history of using ANYTHING as an excuse to purchase, that is something I will really need to watch. I admit, however, that I love reading the blogs of many of you here and learning about your wonderful savings. Thanks again for all of your help. I think I may try couponing for a while and I will use your great tips!! I will just try to take it slowly and make sure I don't overspend.

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