Coupon Lessons

If you are interested in becoming a serious coupon queen, along with subscribing to your local newspapers (make sure they include coupons first), you need to visit Southern Savers before every shopping trip. This website will provide you with the sales for some of the most popular grocery and drugstores in the south. It will also tell you what coupons are out that will match up with each sale item. That's the secret of every serious coupon queen, wait for the best sale and use a coupon! This is when you will spend the least on any item.  There are many places to print coupons online with the most popular being I print over half of the coupons I use from, manufacturer websites, and store websites.  This is just some general information to get anyone who is interested in couponing started. As the days go on, I will give daily tips and more information on how to get the best deals!

Getting Organized
One of the most important aspects of being a coupon queen is organization. You have to know what coupons you have in order to use them. You should be clipping coupons from you Sunday paper and printing them online. If you see a coupon online, you need to go ahead and print it and not wait until you find a sale to match since some coupons don't stay out there very long. This can be overwhelming since you will end up with a lot of coupons! In the beginning, I just used a plastic divider. Not only did I have problems finding the coupons when I needed them but it was time consuming since I had to search through small piles of coupons over and over again. I have tried many ways of organization and have ended up with the binder method. This was recommended by some local coupon girls in our area and I have done well with it. You just need a three ring binder and those clear, plastic sheets that the man in your life organizes his baseball cards in. They make for perfect coupon holders! Divide your binder into sections such as Frozen, Refrigerated, Personal, Baby, Packaged, Breakfast, Snacks and Sauces, Breads and Drinks, Cleaning, Misc, whatever your heart desires. Once you clip a coupon, stick it in a pocket under the appropriate section. When you go to the store you can easily flip through your binder to find your coupons.

A second option for the Sunday paper coupons is to just label them and keep the in a file folder. If you notice on, you see things like RP 3/21, SS 3/14, PG 3/7. RP stands for Red Plum, SS for Smart Source and PG for Proctor & Gamble. The numbers are the date of the paper the insert was found. Once you receive your Sunday paper, you can pull out the Red Plum and write the date on it and it will coordinate with When you see a deal you want to take advantage of, you just go to your file folder and pull the corresponding insert and clip the coupon. You may still need to organize you printed coupons but this lowers the number of coupons that you have to deal with on a weekly basis.

**If you don't have a newspaper subscription, most papers have a reasonable rate to receive just the weekend paper so that you can get the coupons on Sunday.

Good luck getting organized!!!

Stocking Up
I know you are now wondering how it is that I always pay $0.50 or less for deodorant or $1.00 or less for cereal when there's not always a sale. The idea is not to wait until you need these items to purchase them. Instead, you should already have the item and basically go shopping for it in your own kitchen pantry or bathroom cabinet. Your goal should be to only purchase products when they are at their lowest price so this indeed does require some stockpiling of products you use regularly. I know you're imagining now that I have a huge closet in which I just store a bunch of food and random personal items. In fact, I kind of do, but it's just my pantry and linen closet. This is an actual picture of my pantry to the left. It's a bit disorganized right now but not exploding from the seams like you might think. So don't think you have to find extra space in your home to "stockpile" in order to save money. Most items reach their lowest price at any given store every 6 to 8 weeks. When the item is at its lowest price and you have coupons, this is when you stock up. My husband goes through a box of Special K cereal once a week therefore I may buy 6 to 8 boxes of cereal to get me through to the next big sale. That doesn't mean I may not hit a smaller sale and pay a $1.50 or so for a box every once in awhile in between major sales. My husband may also have 10 deodorants in his vanity drawer at time. Why would I possibly buy that many? Because they don't go bad before he uses them, he has plenty of space in his drawer to store them and I pay next to nothing for them when Walgreens has a sale and there are great coupon matches. Plus I don't have to worry about him running out and putting deodorant on my shopping list at a time when I'm going to have to pay $3 or more for it instead of $0.50! My point here is that to really save big money, yes, you will need to stockpile some. However there is no reason for it to get out of control or take over every storage space in your house!

It will take a few mouths of stockpiling items before you see a huge money savings. This is because you will still need to purchase items you need but that you have not seen a major sale on yet. You will eventually get to a point where you will never have to buy certain items unless they are at their lowest price. I've gotten to the point where I decide what I'm going to buy at the grocery store that week based on what's on sale. I only buy sale items and any fruit, veggies, meat, or milk that I need. I have also figured out when my local grocery stores mark down produce and meat when it's getting close to its "sell by" date. I have to admit that I do have a freezer in the garage which has been wonderful for many reasons, some of which I will share with you at a later date.

So start stocking up on items when they are at their cheapest and don't be afraid to buy 4 to 6 of something you use regularly. I'm betting you will use all that you buy before the next big sale!