"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future! "
Jeremiah 29:11

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Couponing

When I first moved to VA, I was a coupon ADDICT.  Going from a NY salary with NY size bills, to a VA salary but still with NY size bills, was extremely difficult.  In order to make ends meet, I would clip coupons religiously.  But then as the bills got smaller and Skippy's pay started to increase, I began to clip less and less.  Then I went back to work and my coupon clipping became almost none existent.  

Four years ago, I left my full-time job as a Special Education Teaching Assistant/Sign Language Interpreter for our local public school system to homeschool our son, Kiddo.  We knew it would be difficult financially, but we felt this was what God was leading us to do.  In order to save money, I started making homemade things whenever I could from laundry detergent to baking mix to brown sugar to BBQ rub to Pop Tarts to gifts, and much more. 
It wasn't until recently that I started clipping coupons again.  

When Bean came home from Wal-Mart one day and told me that she had just saved over $45.00 using her coupons, I was HOOKED AGAIN!  I had heard of a really good site called "The Krazy Coupon Lady" for posting where you can go to get a bunch of coupons, but I had never been there.  After seeing Bean's coupon system, I just HAD to go and start one of my own.  

The first page is the table of contents that I slipped inside the plastic cover. It lists each category in the order SHE groups her coupons.  If you don't care to group your coupons this way, feel free to organize them as you wish and make your own table of contents.  I group my coupons differently but for right now, I am using her format.  To view her coupon binder and get her printables, please click HERE!
In your printables, you will have a sheet that divides each category and then groupings under that.  You will need dividers for this.  I purchased mine at DOLLAR GENERAL for .50 cents a pack.
Then I purchased a package of trading card sheets.  You can get these at Wal-Mart also.  They were $4.97 for a pack of 50 sleeves.  After you are done clipping, slip one coupon into each section, folding if needed, with the amount and/or picture if possible showing.  This makes it soooo much easier to see what coupons you have, how much their value is, and when they expire, rather then taking them out and flipping through them (and dropping them like I would do).  When I put my coupons in their sleeve, I will put them with the earliest expiration date first.  When they expire or you use them, just move them around, filling the spaces back in.  The initial putting together of the binder and getting used to the format will take you a little time, but once you get used to it, it will be a snap!
Now that you have your coupons clipped and tucked away safely in your binder, it's time to start looking through your circulars to see if there are any sales to go along with your coupons. CVS is really good about listing a sale and letting you know if there is a coupon in your paper that you need to be looking for. 
THANK YOU, CVS!
OH, VERY IMPORTANT:  DON'T forget to sign up for your store rewards cards.  Some of these places like Rite Aid and CVS have items on sale already and then give you REWARD POINTS (coupons) for money off your next purchase.  I have one for Rite Aid, Kroger, CVS, Martin's, Food Lion, etc.  They really are a MUST!
Here is an example of using your reward cards and coupons TOGETHER. . . . .I got all this tonight, plus this afternoon I also got (sorry, I forgot to take a picture) a Shick razor with a refill included, and two additional packs of 10 razors.  A total value just over $33.00 for only $5.12.  My best deal was the two bottles of body wash.  I only paid .29 cents for BOTH BOTTLES! 
Not too shabby!
 
So, what do you think?  Do you think coupon clipping is a waste of time? 
I certainly don't! 

3 comments:

Stephanie said...

Thanks Laura for this set up and sharing how to do it!! I have to go back to couponing, and so appreciate it!

Tina said...

Wow! Great savings! I don't think clipping coupons is a waste of time at all!
I used to coupon all the time. I had my notebook set up the same as yours and it was so handy.
I still clip coupons, but we don't eat a lot of packaged foods anymore, but I definitely use them on cleaning and hygiene products!

happy momma said...

Laura, hope your day has been a blessing. I'm just now getting around to reading this post. Thanks for breaking things down, I'm still trying to learn about using coupons and the store cards. Please write some more about this topic and I'll check back in to learn more. Thanks and God Bless