I have talked to a lot of people recently who have said, "I want to coupon but don't know where to start or where to look?" or "I don't have time and I don't know how to use them." I was that person at one point as well and it took me some investigation to get to this place. The purpose of "Coup-On Keepin' On" is to give you a good head start and to eliminate a lot of the questions by providing a lot of answers.
Picking up from last week's post , we learned that step #1 is to get the coupons. Remember, you can find coupons online, in the papers, and through your local grocery store. It may seem time consuming at first but, just like most things, practice makes perfect so don't give up! So the coupons are clipped, what is next step??
STEP #2: SUPPLIES FOR SAVINGS, Part One
You are going to need somewhere to store all of those great money savers, aren't ya? So here are some basics I recommend you start out with. I got my inspiration from The Krazy Coupon Lady website and the TLC show, Extreme Couponing, however, I made a few alterations to my system. The supplies I list are good building blocks to a strong foundation of saving money but feel free to customize your plan to what works for you and your family. As long as you start with a good, well devised plan that makes sense to you, the options for saving money can become endless. Here are some of the basics I use:
* A Zip Up Binder - Sure you could get a little accordion file, I even did that to start, but now I'm in the mentality of GO BIG OR GO HOME! I like big binders and I cannot lie...
|This is a great style to use with coupons because it zippers all around + there are several pockets to stash pens and other necessary supplies!|
The reason I like the big, zippered binders is because they really allow you to stockpile and accumulate your coupons without worrying about maxing out on space any time soon. Also, they keep the coupons where they belong...in the binder and not falling onto the grocery floor.
* Page Protectors and Dividers - After a while, you will have so many different types of coupons that you will need to categorize them. Believe me, this just makes life easier especially when you are wanting to think about savings and not where you put that $1.00 off coupon. Page protectors can be found for a low price at Dollar General so I tend to get mine from there. I use the page protectors for the title page of each category. Some people use these to store their coupons as well but I don't prefer that method myself. An alternative that I do use is to get sports card protectors. I have only had luck finding these at Target in the front by the cash registers but I am sure you can find them at other stores as well. You could even use folders that have the standard 3 holes in them for your binder. Have each folder store coupons for different items (i.e. canned goods, snacks, refrigerated items, etc.) Anything that works for you as long as it gets those bad daddy's stored away in an easily accessible fashion. I use both page protectors and sports card protectors...I'll show you what I mean....
Page dividers serve the same purpose of organization but add another element of ease to finding the coupons you want. I would get a lot because there are a lot of coupons out there plus several categories for each grocery/store aisle....but then again buying a lot of the page dividers can really add up so what does this frugal gal suggest? Just buy the Post-It pop up labels that you can write on. You get a lot more bang for your buck that way. Example: Standard page dividers packs only give you about 5 - 10 dividers for around $3 - $5 each whereas the pop up labels give you 36 tabs for $3. Once you write out the categories on the tabs, simply stick them to the page protectors which will be holding the title page of each category. I have used this method for a year now and they have not fallen off once!
* Scissors, Pen, and Highlighter
Scissors - To cut out coupons you may find as you shop
A Pen - To mark off your list.
A Highlighter - To circle the weekly ads of your favorite store
Most binders offer some kind of pocket so storage shouldn't be a problem but if, for some reason, yours does not offer you that luxury, you can easily find little pen holders that will fit into a standard three ring binder for around $1 - $2.
Now some of you may be thinking, "Wait a minute....I am supposed to be saving money. Not spending a few dollars here and there for supplies." Consider this an investment. Soon you will find that some money saving plans require a little investment but the reward is usually pretty BIG! If you still can't bring yourself to buy a new binder or page protectors, shop your house. If you have a regular three ring binder, use that for a while until you are ready to upgrade.
Next week, I am going to give you Part 2 of your Supplies for Savings list. The next addition to your supplies will really amp up the savings and allow you to be even more efficient while rolling through the aisles!
Do you use a coupon binder now? Have you used any coupons or found any great deals? Try visiting a few of the sites I showed you last week and let me know if you saved any money! Comments are always welcome!
Have a great day and thanks for reading!
P.S. -Found another site for you, Birdies! Be sure to visit http://www.savings.com/grocery.html!!