December 29, 2012

Not So Extreme Couponing: Go Shopping!

Welcome to the last post of the Not So Extreme Couponing Series! If you need to catch up, you can find the other posts HERE.

Couponing_Go-Shopping

Believe it or not, you are now ready to make your first couponing shopping trip! Here are just a few things to remember before you go.

Make a meal plan

I’m sure you’ve heard this many times before but it’s so true. Having a meal plan does in fact keep you from going over your grocery budget. Not only that, it saves your sanity. Does your husband come home every day and ask what’s for dinner? I’m telling ya, post it somewhere where he can see it and you’ll never hear that question again…unless you forget to meal plan and/or post it somewhere then you’ll witness eye twitching  and convulsing.

Make a list and stick to it

Again, this will keep you from blowing your grocery budget. My “couponing” trips are to a local grocery store that is otherwise priced way out of my comfort zone so I have to stick to my list or I will totally blow my budget. Once you have your pantry stocked, sticking to the list gets easier…unless your hormonal and having cravings then it’s best to send your hubby or just wait for another day. ;) Also, never ever under any circumstance, grocery shop on an empty stomach.

Most of the time, I make my list from the coupon match-up blogs that I follow. I like doing this because I know how much I should be paying for an item after my coupons. However, before you make your trip, it’s a good idea to check the math. I occasionally find errors (usually typos).

Take the sales flyer with you or pick one up as you walk into the store

You should always have the sales flyer with you so that you can refer back to it in case there are any items that are not marked with the sale price. It’s also a good reference to verify the sizes and quantities that are on sale. Sometimes, there are coupons in the flyers that you will need or could use on a later trip.

Watch as items are being scanned at checkout

When you are checking out, be sure to watch the screen as the items are being scanned. If an item does not ring up on sale, you’ll want to bring it to the attention of the cashier. For some reason, they may not have the sale price in their system. This would be a good time to pull out your sales flyer and make sure the price gets adjusted. Another reason the item might not ring up properly is because the item you grabbed is not the size on sale. It’s very important to make sure you are picking up the correct item.

A few other things

Taking a shopping buddy the first time or two can help you from getting overwhelmed…and can help keep you on track and on budget.

Don’t be afraid to carry your box or binder into the store. Carry it with pride as you are saving tons more than the people walking into the store without any coupons.

Ask for rain checks! If an item is out of stock and they offer rain checks, be sure to ask for them!

Be kind to your cashier. If something goes wrong at checkout, don’t get all bent out of shape. Being calm and friendly will get you a long way.

The most important thing, HAVE FUN! Watching your total grocery bill go down drastically will give you a huge adrenaline rush. Couponing can be challenging but it can also be fun. Don’t let it stress you out and enjoy the fact that you are saving money that you can use for something else!


P.S. The picture above was taken on my grocery trip right before Thanksgiving. I spent a total of $92 which included (but isn’t everything) 6 4lb bags of sugar, 4 tubs of butter, 6 tubs of cool whip (which I got for FREE), 3 bricks of Velveeta, 6 packages of cookie dough, a box of k-cups, 6 bags of chocolate chips, 5 bags of shredded cheese, 2 bricks of cheese, 12 cans of veggies, 4 cans of chicken broth, 8 cans of cream of soups, and 2 1lb packages of deli meat. I think my total before coupons was well over $200.

If you start couponing and have any questions, feel free to email me. I’d also love to hear of any success stories and may even post them here on my blog!

Also, while this is my last planned post for this series, I will likely do more posts as questions come up or if I think of anything I might have missed or need to clarify.

Good luck and Happy Saving!

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December 23, 2012

Not So Extreme Couponing: Stock Your Pantry

Welcome Back! If this is your first visit, you can catch up HERE.

Sorry this post is so late. I spent my free time this evening printing, clipping and organizing my coupons!

This week we are going to talk about stocking your pantry. I just have a few simple key points for you.

Sales cycles

Sales on certain items tend to go on sale specific times of the year. For example, items for grilling, picnics, etc. tend to go on sale around holidays like Memorial day or July 4th. Baking items tend to go on sale around Thanksgiving. Once you figure out the sales cycles for your stores, it will help you plan for stocking up.

Don’t be a brand snob

If you really want to save money, you’re going to have to be willing to try other brands…and even *GASP* off brands. The good thing about couponing is that it gives you the opportunity to try other brands. Honestly, I don’t notice a difference on most items between brand name and off brand products. And let me let you in on a little secret…some “off” brands are actually produced by the same manufacturing facility as the brand names. So don’t be a brand snob. Try other brands and if you still just can’t stomach it, then go back to your brand name product but make sure to have enough money in your grocery budget for the items.

You’ll likely spend more money in the beginning

When you are first getting started, you will probably spend a little more money than normal because you are trying to stock your pantry. The good news? You’ll be spending less per item so you’ll actually be bringing home more than you normally do.

Don’t let this discourage you. You really need to give it a month or so before you really start seeing the big savings. Just stick with it and know that you are stocking up and before you know it, you’ll only be making small trips to the grocery store.

Stick to your budget!

Just because you think it’s a good deal doesn’t necessarily mean it is if it’s not in your budget. I have to admit, this is my biggest weakness with couponing. If I see a good deal and I have coupons, I tend to buy more and ultimately go over my grocery budget. I’m a work in progress in this area and have vowed to myself to be better in 2013.

However, if you can get an item for free, go for it! “Buy” as many as you can!

And that, my friends, is the basics of stocking your pantry. I can’t believe next week is the final week of Not So Extreme Couponing! I may continue to post related topics here and there so if you have any questions, PLEASE let me know! It is very likely someone else will have the same question(s) and will be able to benefit from you asking!

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December 19, 2012

Blogging Break?

I am apparently going on an unscheduled blogging break. Ok, maybe not a “break” per say but I just haven’t been feeling like blogging. I have plenty of topics but I just can’t seem to bring myself to get in front of my computer lately. In fact, I haven’t done much on the computer at all.

This seems to be a pattern with me though. For some reason by the end of the year I’m just spent. I’m not sure what it is or why I get like this but it’s like the year just catches up with me and I hit a wall. In the past, this has bothered me greatly but this year I think I’ll embrace it and spend the extra time with my girls and going to bed at a decent hour…and preparing myself for #operationbabypart2.

Speaking of babies, don’t worry, I’ll post updates on that. There won’t be many since it’s a much simpler process than a fresh IVF cycle but I’ll definitely update.

I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year!

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December 17, 2012

Holiday Decor with Toddlers

Decorating for Christmas with toddlers this year has been hard. Of course it’s natural for curious hands to want to touch and feel everything but pulling a tree down on top of them is not a good thing.
If you saw my post on Friday, you know about the baby gates around our 2 trees. They aren’t very pretty but they are working very well.
I was a little sad when I couldn’t put anything on the end tables or any furniture that the girls could reach for that matter. Lucky for us, we just happened to have purchased a few Christmas toys so I used those for decoration!
I usually put our nativity under the TV so this year I put the girls Little People Nativity there.
Little-People-Nativity
We also got them a Little People Santa train set that I put on one of the end tables. There is also a stuffed Santa and reindeer under the table. 
Little-People-TrainSanta-&-Reindeer

On the other end table, I have some stuffed snowmen that are safe for them to play with.
The last surface I usually decorate is the bookshelf that is in the girls’ play area off of the living room. A few Christmas themed books and my toddler decorating is complete!
Christmas-Bookshelf


December 15, 2012

Not So Extreme Couponing: Coupon Lingo

This week we are going to talk about coupon terms you might see when reading coupon match-up blogs.

Coupon Lingo

First, we are going to cover some abbreviations. Here is a list that will help you get started on reading match-up blogs.

  • P&G – Proctor and Gamble inserts you receive in your Sunday Paper
  • RP – Red Plum inserts you receive in your Sunday Paper.
  • SS – Smart Source inserts you receive in your Sunday Paper.
  • MFG/MFR – Manufacturer’s coupon
  • DND – Do Not Double. Most stores will not double a coupon if it has this on it.
  • OOP – Out of Pocket
  • ECB – Extra Care Bucks. Received when purchasing selected items at CVS
  • IVC – Instant Value Coupon. Coupons found in the Walgreens monthly coupon booklets.

Here are a few terms you will see periodically and their explanations:

Filler

A filler is an item needed to get to a number of items needed to match the number of coupons you are using. For example, let’s say you are buying diapers at Walgreens and you have a MFG coupon and an IVC coupon from the Walgreens booklet. That’s 2 coupons and one item so you will need another item to be able to use both coupons. The best type of filler item is a piece of candy or something that only cost a few pennies. In this instance, filler items only apply at stores like CVS and Walgreens. Just make sure to know the store’s coupon policy.

Catalina

A Catalina is the coupon(s) that prints from the register. Typically, you must use these at the store from which they are received. These can sometimes be stacked with MFG coupons unless they print as a MFG coupon.

Stacking Coupons

Stacking coupons is where you can use a store coupon and a manufacturer’s coupon on a single item. You can stack coupons at Target, CVS (ECB’s) and Walgreens (IVC’s). This is the next best way to save money if a store does not double coupons.

Rain Checks

Rain checks are issued when the store is out of an item that is on sale. If you ask for a rain check, you can purchase the item later at the sale price even if it’s no longer on sale. Also, as long as the coupon(s) you were planning to use is not expired, you can also use it along with the sale price just as you would have when the item was on sale.

Be sure check for coupons or discounts printed on your rain checks. The store where I shop has a $0.55 coupon on the back of their rain checks so if I need eggs, I’ll pick some up when I’m going to use the rain check.

Know your store(s) coupon policies

The most important part of knowing the coupon lingo is knowing your stores policies. It’s also best to have a copy of the policy with you in your coupon box or binder so that when you are checking out, you can have something for backup if the cashier tries to dispute any policy. This happens more than you would think.

So that pretty much covers the basic lingo of couponing. If you come across any other lingo that you are unsure of, feel free to ask me!

Also, if you have started this process after reading my posts or already have some success stories, I’d love to hear from you!

Happy Saving!

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December 14, 2012

2012 Holiday Home Tour

Front Door Wreath

Welcome to my home! Please ignore the fact that the bow on my wreath needs to be fluffed. Also, please forgive my not so great photos for this post. I took them last minute while chasing/dodging toddlers.

One more thing, please ignore the lack of cohesiveness with my décor. I have plans to fix that for next year.

When you walk in the front door, I have a collection of winter white snowmen on top of our hall tree.Entry SnowmenOops, that cord wasn’t supposed to be in the picture. Haha!

Also, on the back of the front door hanging from the door knob is my moon Santa. Isn’t he cute?
Entry Moon Santa

Our Main Tree

Living Room Tree
Isn’t the baby gate lovely? An unfortunate necessity. I need to get some presents under that tree so it doesn’t look so bare.

I love our stockings. We got them at Target last year and I haven’t seen them there this year. I don’t know what we’re going to do if we have more babies next year.
Stockings

Hanging from the ceiling between our living room and dining room, I have these large ornaments.
Dining Room Ornaments

The Dining Room Tree

Dining Room Tree
For next year, I’m imagining this tree to be red & white with touches of lime green. Again, there’s a lovely baby gate.

The buffet in the dining room…
Dining Room Buffet

And on top of the China cabinet I added a little bit of Christmas cheer. I need to get some candles for some of those candle holders.
Dining Room China Cabinet

I also have a couple of things in the kitchen like this snowman family…
Kitchen Snow Family

And this snowman nativity in my window (can you tell I had a thing for snowmen?).
Kitchen Window Nativity

I can’t wait to put a tree in the girls’ room but until they are older, I’ll put this one in their bathroom.
Girls Bathroom Tree

Last but not least, I had another snowman couple that I wanted to put out but wasn’t sure where to put them. Then it hit me! What better place than the master bedroom?! I think I’ll build off of them for our bedroom for next year’s décor.
Bedroom Snow Couple Bedroom Snow Couple_2

So there’s my mismatched Christmas décor. I definitely have some favorite pieces that will stay but some will go. Can’t wait to show you what I’ve come up with for next year!

Linking up over at Kelly’s Korner!

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December 10, 2012

Does anyone speak toddler?

There is lots of talking and babbling going on in our house lately. Tillie is starting to say actual words and Tensley is so close but is babbling A LOT. I think she’s actually saying words but I just haven’t figured them out yet.

Tillie is saying all kinds of words like, “Wow” and “Whoa” and “ou-ide” (outside"). She is really good at “Hi” and “Bye”. She’ll come into a room and tell you “Hi!” and then when she’s done talking to you or seeing what you’re doing she walks out, throws her hand up in the air and says, “Bye!” It’s so cute because she says it with a little twang.

She has started a new thing where she will hide behind a wall or some object and wait for you to say, “where’s Tillie?” and then she peeks her head out and sometimes says, “boo!” Seriously, the cutest!

Tensley is big into pointing. I think she may be saying there and that but it’s not quite clear yet. She definitely understands a lot of what we say. The other morning she came into the kitchen while I was trying to decide what to feed them for breakfast and when I showed her a box of muffin mix and asked her if she wanted it, she nodded her head once and said, “yeah”. She’s getting there!

We still go back and forth on if Tens can actually hear us. We will say her name a million times and eventually yell her name and she doesn’t even respond but then we can practically whisper something and she turns around. She is seriously good at selective hearing. Better than any man I’ve ever known!

These were taking one morning a couple of weeks ago. I just thought the way they were playing in the kitchen was cute so I grabbed my camera & snuck a few shots.

Tensley-Tea-Cup TnT-Playing
Tillie-Peek-a-Boo

And here are a couple more from our family pics…

Tensley-Gardens Tillie-Gardens

And here is another hilarious shot from our Take 2 Family session. (It’s impossible to have two toddlers happy at the same time, btw.)
TnT-Rocking-Chairs
*Photos taken by Amanda Keener.

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December 8, 2012

Not So Extreme Couponing: Organizing Your Coupons

If you’ve been reading since day one, have you done your homework from the last two posts? Do you have any questions? I’d be happy to help!

Ok, so now that you’ve started clipping coupons it’s time to organize them!

There are two ways to organize your coupons…with a shoe box or a binder. I prefer the shoe box so that’s what I’m going to show you today.

Not So Extreme Couponing: Organizing Your Coupons

I like using a shoe box because there is a lid that keeps my coupons secure. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve dropped my box and would just die if my coupons went flying across the parking lot. The shoe box system is also good for holding the supplies you need to go in your box.

Supplies

Other than a shoe box (which you can get at the dollar store for a buck), you will also need a few other items. Most of these can also be found at the dollar store. First, you will need envelopes and file tabs. The legal size envelopes work the best because you will end up with several different sizes of coupons. You will also need some sort of file tabs to label your envelopes. Next you will need scissors because, well, you’ll have to cut out those coupons somehow. They are also necessary for when you are at the store and you need to clip coupons out of the flyers that you pick up at the door as you walk into the store. Another must have is a pen or maybe even a handful of pens to make your shopping list and then for crossing items off your shopping list. Last but not least you will need a calculator. You will use this A LOT! I often use my calculator to calculate cost per unit…it’s the best way to know if you’re getting a good deal. I normally just use the calculator on my iPhone but it’s nice to have a backup in my box.

Now let’s move on to actually filing your coupons.

Organizing-Coupons-Categori

Getting categories together for my coupon box was difficult for me at first so I’m going to list my categories to give you a start on yours. There is not concrete way to categorize your coupons. Some file their coupons by item type and some file theirs by the aisles at the grocery store they visit most often. I categorize mine by type. I also have envelopes for the stores (labeled with different colored tabs than my coupons.

Here is a list of my coupon categories. Please don’t laugh at my categories. This is just how my brain works. Not sure I should have admitted that to the world…

Stores: (I have envelopes for stores that issue their own coupons. Also, be sure to keep a copy of each store’s coupon policy in their envelope.)

  • Target
  • CVS
  • Walgreens
  • Homeland (local store)

Coupons: (The first is a general category and any subs off of those are where I’ve divided my coupons out further because my envelopes would get too full. I still need to break down some of my categories)

  • Baby
  • Baking (sugar, oil, flour, etc.)
    • Baking Mixes (box mixes like cakes, muffins, etc.)
    • Baking Spices & Marinades
  • Beverages
    • Beverages – Juice(bottled)/Kool-Aid/Mixes
    • Beverages – Soda/Bottled Water
    • Beverages – Coffee & Tea
  • Boxed/Packaged Meals
  • Breads/Crackers/Cookies
  • Breakfast Cereal & Granola Bars (really need to break this down by brand)
  • Candy
  • Canned Goods
  • Cleaning
    • Cleaning – Air Fresheners
    • Cleaning – Bathroom
    • Cleaning – Dishes/Kitchen
    • Cleaning – Floors
    • Cleaning – Furniture
    • Cleaning – Multi-Purpose
  • Condiments (dressings & sauces)
  • Cosmetics
  • Dairy
    • Dairy – Biscuits/Butter
    • Dairy – Cheeses
    • Dairy – Desserts/Dips/Yogurt
    • Dairy – Milk/Juice/Eggs
  • Deli (lunchmeats, bacon, etc.)
  • Deodorant
  • Eye Care
  • Feminine
  • Frozen
    • Frozen – Breads
    • Frozen – Breakfast
    • Frozen – Desserts
    • Frozen – Meals
    • Frozen – Veggies
  • Fruit/Fruit Snacks
  • Hair Care
  • Household
  • Laundry
  • Meats
  • Medicine Cabinet
  • Oral Care
  • Paper/Plastic (paper towels, toilet paper, plastic bags & containers, etc.)
  • Pets
  • Produce
  • Skin
    • Skin – Lotion
    • Skin – Shaving
    • Skin – Soap
  • Snacks/Chips
  • Toys
  • Restaurants
  • Miscellaneous Retail Coupons

Whew! That’s a long list but it makes my list making and shopping so much easier!

Some tips about your coupon box

Take your coupon box with you every time you leave the house. You never know when you’re going to make a quick run into a store. Seriously ladies, how many times do you just run in to Target? Did you know you can stack their coupons with manufacturer coupons? We’ll discuss that in the coming weeks.

DO NOT be ashamed to carry your box into the store. At first this was hard for me. Do you have any idea how hard it is to hide a shoe box as you’re walking into a store?! Now I carry it with pride and if anyone gives me a strange look I just think to myself, “You go ahead and stare. I bet I save way more money than you. Sucker!”

Guard your coupon box with your life! Your coupons will become very precious to you. Last year, while under a tornado warning, my niece told my sister to make sure she took her coupon box down to the storm shelter. Ha! We even have the littles trained to save money!

Need to get caught up?

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December 5, 2012

It’s Random Wednesday Time!

I still have open spots for sponsors. I have very affordable rates and will promote your business or blog any way that I can so if you’re interested, check out my Sponsor page!

Whew! I’ve been busy, busy with design orders! I love it but man, the late nights are hard when the late nights turn into late, late nights (and sometimes early mornings) when a toddler decides to go on a sleep strike. That’s what I get for letting them fall asleep in their high chairs at dinner.

High Chair Nap

I finally got the Christmas decorating done. I think. No, I’m done. Maybe. Ok, yes, I’m done but I might be buying some after Christmas clearance décor this year. Shhh, don’t tell James. ;) The stockings are staying though. I love them!

Christmas Trees 2012Stockings

I had to turn our air conditioner on yesterday. It got up to 80 degrees in our house! This weather is crazy! I mean, it’s December! With that said, we are supposed to have a drop in temps next week and possible a wintery mix. I’ll believe it when I see it. At this point, anything can happen. The weather here is known to change on a dime.

The girls have been so fun lately but have also been WEARING. ME. OUT! Tillie is saying more and more words and Tensley has become very interested in picture books and my scrapbooks. They’re both still climbing. I’m ready for this phase to be over. I can’t believe they’ll be 17 months in 2 days!

We did family photos last Sunday. I didn’t think it went all that great so we did a take 2 the next day. It didn’t seem to go any better (the girls totally did not cooperate) but the lovely Amanda Keener managed to get some pretty good shots. I’ll reveal more and our Christmas card later but here’s a sneak peek.

Family-Photos

Did you pick up a copy of Just Dance 4 yesterday? I can’t wait to get my copy and get my boogie on!

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December 4, 2012

Tiny Little Dancers

 


I’ve always loved to dance. I took ballet as a kid and as an adult, have seriously contemplated taking hip hop dance classes. I am also a music lover. I love all kinds of music. On any given day, if you come to my house, you might find me cleaning and dancing with the music turned up.

While I was pregnant with the girls, I would feel them move and kick when I had the radio on…usually when I was in the car. I always imagined them dancing around in there. They seemed to be particularly fond of hip hop. Can you imagine having 2 babies dancing around in your belly while your driving?!

Now that they are mobile toddlers, they actually dance when I have music playing in the house. Sometimes we even have dance parties. They are so fun to watch. Tillie is a pretty good dancer. Girl’s got some moves! I’ve noticed that when Backyardigans is on, she tries to mimic their little dances. I’ve even noticed her trying to mimic my moves (I’m not sure that’s a good thing. Ha!)

TnT Dancing

We have the first Just Dance game for our Wii and I got a lot of use out of it. However, since the girls, I haven’t had much time to play but now that Just Dance 4 is out, I’d love to have it to add to our collection! The girls would love it and it would be nice to have something new to get me moving’ again. I mean, I am still trying to lose that extra baby weight!

Did you know you can get a copy of Just Dance 4 for yourself on Amazon.com? And guess what. It’s also the Gold Box Deal of the Day! What are you waiting for? Head on over to Amazon and snatch up a copy for yourself before this deal is gone!

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December 3, 2012

Hanging Ornament Décor

Hanging Ornament Decor
I’ve seen a few examples of these on Pinterest so when I saw that I had some extra ornaments, I decided to make one for the chandelier in our dining room.
It was pretty easy to make. All you do is take ribbon, string or tulle and loop it through the the ornament hook loop thingy. Make sure to do varying lengths.
I wanted to make mine bigger but 1) I didn’t want to search for more ornaments and 2) I have twins that won’t let me do anything for more than 5 minutes and 3) Did I mention I have twin TODDLERS that climb and pull things off tables and find un-secured doors and drawers and pull things out and tip over lamps and, and, and!
Also, I learned a thing or two on Pinterest about lighting and exposure/metering for pictures so the above picture? The only editing done was just to make it a little sharper. :)

December 2, 2012

What’s for Dinner?

It’s been a couple weeks since I’ve posted a meal plan. Believe it or not, I actually followed (somewhat) a meal plan Thanksgiving week! I also planned one for last week so I’m going to post last week’s and this week’s plan.

Weekly Meal Plan

  • Ham & Cheese Sliders (AKA Bunco Buns)
  • Indian Tacos
  • White Chicken Chili
  • Pot Roast / Peas & Carrots / Mashed Potatoes
  • Pizza
  • Beans & Cornbread
  • Broccoli Cheese Soup & Sandwiches
  • Chicken & Noodles
  • Tortilla Stack
  • Dirty Rice with Ground Beef
  • BBQ Chicken Sandwiches

What are you making for dinner this week?

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December 1, 2012

Not So Extreme Couponing: Getting Started

Welcome Pinners! If you are interested in learning how to coupon, please be sure to also check out the rest of my couponing series under the Couponing menu.


Many of you have told me how excited you are about this series. I really hope I can give you enough information to get you started!

If you missed the intro, you can catch up HERE.

Did you go back and figure out how much you were spending on groceries each month? Did you fall out of your chair when you got to the final total? I bet it was pretty eye opening, huh?

Did you make your meal and ingredient list like I suggested in the last post? This is actually the key to couponing and saving money. If you haven’t done it yet, make sure you get it done ASAP!

Couponing_Getting Started

Ok so let’s cover the basics….

subscribe to your local newspaper to get coupon inserts.

Sometimes they will run specials and you can get a subscription pretty cheap. Our newspaper runs a special sometimes for $20 for a year’s subscription! You can also call and ask them what’s the best rate they can give you. Just make sure it’s cheaper than if you went to the nearest gas station to buy one.

Sometimes, there are smaller newspapers (usually free!) that will also have the coupon inserts in them. These papers can usually be found at restaurants & grocery stores.

Check to see if there’s a grocery store in your area that doubles coupons.

Your best way to save is if there is a store in your area that doubles coupons. You have to think outside the box on this one. It could be a little local grocery store that you normally wouldn’t even think to go to for your grocery shopping. However, when you combine their sales with your coupons, you can often save more than you would at your “best price guarantee” type grocery store.

Once you find said grocery store, make sure to get a copy of their coupon policy either via their website or from the store itself. This will be helpful if a cashier is ever unaware of the policy (yes, this happens).

If you cannot find a store that doubles coupons in your area, your best way to save is stacking coupons or price matching. We will go over this in the coming weeks.

find a coupon matchup blog for your area.

This will take a little bit of research unless you already know of one. If you know anyone that coupons in your area, they will be the best source of information for this. If not, a simple Google search should help you find what you’re looking for. I typically use this phrase as my search term, “coupon matchup blog <your city>”.

If you cannot find a coupon matchup blog, you will have to do the matchups yourself. This is simply taking the store’s sales ads/flyers and checking to see if you have any coupons to match up with their sale items. Most of the time I use a couple of matchup blogs and do a little bit of my own matchups. Why? Because sometimes I have coupons that the bloggers don’t or don’t know of.

Set up an email specifically for couponing

When couponing, you will find that you have to sign up for newsletters etc. on product brand websites and even some of the printable coupon sites. To keep these emails from clogging up your everyday email, I strongly suggest you set up a separate email account.

You will also need to have a password. Since some sites require a combination of numbers and letters, make sure you choose a password that will cover these requirements. My password includes an upper case letter, lower case letters and numbers.

Printable coupons

We covered coupon inserts above now let’s talk about printable coupons! There are many sites that have printable coupons. Below is a list of the most popular coupon sites.

Most product sites offer printable coupons as well so if you have a favorite brand, check their website. Also, all coupon matchup blogs will have links to coupons in their matchup posts.

homework for next week…

You’re now ready to start printing and clipping coupons! Before next week I want you to cut out coupons. Try not to be a brand snob and clip any coupon for a product that you might possibly use if the price is right. Trust me on this. Clipping coupons for things you wouldn’t normally buy is a great way to discover new and possibly cheaper brands!

*Next week I will go over how to Organize Your Coupons.

P.S. If you have any questions during this series, please email me.

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