Imagine that you go into a store and buy a few things. You get to the register and your total is over $20 for just a few items. You pay, leave and wonder how those few items cost so much? Now, imagine going into the store again, picking up those same items and walking out of the store, paying nothing but taxes! Sounds impossible right? Well, it is, in fact, is very possible and even easy and fun to do. The rush you get when you see your total go down dollar by the dollar is a feeling all of its own.
You might be sitting there wondering how is this possible and how does it work? Well, my friend, the answer is quite simple…COUPONS!
Now, there is more to it than just simply clipping the coupons, heading to the store, handing them over and bam! you wind up spending nothing out of pocket. You can, by all means, do just that but you won’t be experiencing the full rush and experience of finding the deals, matching up the coupons to the deals and utilizing the sales to their full potential.
Before you dive head first into this, there are few tips that I’d like to share with you that I wish someone had told me when I started.
First, in the beginning, you will have to spend money in order to save money down the road. There is a small upfront cost to getting started such as getting your coupons. You can get them a few different ways such as buying the Sunday newspaper, ordering them from a clipping site, or ordering just the inserts from groups off of facebook. You can also print coupons from home, which are free to print, but you have to add in the cost of paper and ink for your printer.
Another cost that goes into starting your couponing journey is how you are going to store them once you have them. There are a few different options for you to choose from. There is the folder method, which is simply putting your entire insert of coupons in a folder and organizing them by date and clipping them as you need them. The other way, which is the option I prefer, is the binder method. With this method, you clip every coupon and organize them by category in a three ring binder. This method can be very time-consuming up-front, but when it comes time to get your shopping trip ready, you know where all of your coupons are and you can just grab them and go. The way you choose to organize your coupons is entirely up to you. There is no right or wrong way to do it, as long as you are able to find your coupons when you need them.
The cost associated with this would be to buy either a file folder (you know, the one with all the pockets), which would be the cheaper of the two choices. Or if you decide to go with the binder method, you would then need a three ring binder, I suggest getting at least a 2 inch, dividers, and a pack or two of baseball card holders to put the coupons in.
Another thing I wish I’d known is to plan your trip ahead of time. I usually spend a few days going over the ad’s in the newspaper or the free Flipp app on my phone or laptop, combing through my coupons and matching them up to the sales to find the best deal possible. I then open up google docs on my laptop and type out my list making sure to include the name, price, and quantity of each item. I then subtract my coupons and crts (we will get to what those are soon) and then do my math to figure out how much I am going to be spending out of pocket before I even head to the store. If you don’t know how much you are projected to spend, then how do you know all the discounts and coupons came off during the transaction? So, make sure you have a pretty good idea of how much you will be spending to make things a lot easier for you at checkout.
Here is a link to my CVS shopping trip all typed up and calculated out. This is the easiest way for me to see and understand what I am getting and spending. Other people use spreadsheets, I personally can’t figure those out just yet lol
Stay tuned for my next post on how I organize my binder in detail.
Happy Couponing Y’all!