I have so enjoyed starting my couponing experience. It has been such a fun challenge to see what I can find for my family and the great deals on stocking up on certain items. I must admit that in the beginning I got a little overzealous and clipped coupons that never got used. This is something you will quickly get used to over a few weeks or months and then you will know pretty much what you are going to need for your family.
Coupons and grocery sales are very cyclical. You will be soon realize that every 4 – 6 weeks that certain coupons or deals are going to crop up again and that is when you try to buy in bulk. There are a few different ways to get your coupons. My current favorites are the Sunday newspaper, (which includes coupon inserts from Redplum, P&G, and SmartSource), coupon.com , and redplum.com . Also, in your Sunday paper there will be coupons in your USA Weekend insert, for instance I found a great BOGO (buy one, get one) for card games last weekend. Occasionally, there will be restaurant coupons in your Sunday paper and craft store coupons (Hobby Lobby and Micheal’s). I also have several blogs that I refer to on sales, and which coupons to use with those sales so that I get the best deals.
Some of these blogs are:
Free Coupon Alerts
Wild for Wags
There is one other place to get coupons, but I do not personally use them very often. I think it is only worth the money if you have a large family (5 or more) and plan on buying 7 to 10 Sunday papers a week. This site is, Whole Coupon Inserts . They sell you just the inserts for the papers for that week. The catch is you have to pay shipping. If you only buy one or two inserts then with shipping you are spending more than you would if you went down to your local five and dime or Walgreen’s and bought three papers. Although, if you buy 10 inserts with shipping then you are still saving more than buying those ten papers.
Before you jump into the couponing process, I recommend you either take a coupon class or do research by talking to other people and searching the web. I personally did my research for about 2 months before I started and then I lucked up on a small coupon class at our homeschool convention. I also recommend starting small. If you live in an area that has 2 – 4 larger grocery stores, such as; Publix, Kroger, Bi-Lo, Target, Harris Teeter, Food Lion, and Winn Dixie, do not try and do them all at once. Pick one grocery store and one drugstore (Walgreen’s, Rite-Aid, or CVS) to start with, then as you get more experienced or in my case braver; then add more stores.
Good Luck everyone and remember it is so worth it to coupon. I regularly save half or more than half on my grocery bill each month. If you are not convinced that this could be something for you, then try it just for a month and if it does not work for you, then at least you know you tried.
P.S. – This week I will also try to post on the different ways to catalog your coupons.