With all the rave and hype about extreme couponing it is a shock to me that so many people still don't know “how to coupon” Doing an internet search can be overwhelming and not everyone coupons the same. Therefore finding a way that you are comfortable with or that fits your schedule can be exhausting. Being a firefighter's wife is exhausting enough and let's face it, though the public values our spouses as heroes, there is no value in their paychecks. Resulting, in some families, living on a budget to be an understatement.
It took me a while to find a specific routine that fit my schedule and though some may disagree it is the easiest and best for me. With 3 boyz, a dog, a FF hubs that works 2 jobs and goes to school, I don't have time to sit and search through the sales ads…..I barely have time to clip the coupons. Though I advertise several resources where you can print coupons on my site, I, personally, prefer the Sunday papers……just because my hubs needs the printer ink more than I do =0/
I buy 6 newspapers each week…..rule of thumb for stockpiling is 1 product per family member and 1 to donate. Couponing will save you so much money there is no reason not to share the wealth!! My time cutting the coupons can span anywhere from 30mins to 2hrs, depending on how many inserts there are.
To get started you will need;
- at least 3-3 ring binders labeled RedPlum, Smart Source and P&G
- Base ball card protector sheets
- filing tabs
- and of course scissors and a pen
This is my routine;
- I collect my inserts and stack them together
- Then I separate each insert out one insert at a time by page, this way I can cut each individual, like coupons at the same time.
- After they are cut, I place each stack of like coupons in there own square with in the baseball card protector sheets that have been placed in the coordinating 3 ring binder.
- Place a filing tab on the first protector of your insert collection, label with the date of that insert. If you forget what date that paper was delivered you can find it on the crease of the insert…..be sure to do this before you start cutting 😉
Once all my coupons are filed I am able to start shopping and believe it or not this is the easy part, because I play The Grocery Game. The Grocery Game is a paid site, however I save so much time and money with it the cost is justified in my book. It's also cheap enough that I can include it into my grocery budget. However, if paying for a grocery list is not your cup of tea there are several free sites out there such as;
The only thing that turns me off about these sites is they rely mostly on printable coupons therefor if you are not one of the first to read the list you most likely miss out, as most printables have printing limits and they have A LOT of readers. Otherwise these are the 2 free sites I highly recommend.
This my friends, is only the beginning…….
This post contains referral links.
Kristen from The Road to Domestication says
Great post, Dana! I’ve got to say, this couponing stuff overwhelms me. I’m so impressed by your system!
I’m overwhelmed by it too Kristen. I’m glad Dana is writing some posts to get me started. I need these baby steps 🙂
Sherry Phillips says
Thank you! I always wondered how people found the time to coupon and save all that money! This will come in very handy!
We’d love to hear back on how it’s going it if you start couponing Sherry.