Archive for the ‘Coupons and Sales’ Category

(NOTE: I did not complete this entry, it ended up being more of an idea then I could put into play, plus I ended up tossing out all the receipts recently, without thinking. Even so, you can still get an idea of what I was attempting and showing).

I spent a week planning for my shopping trip this past Saturday, March 2, 2013.  It was a successful trip and well worth the worry headaches of getting it right. I did splurge on a bunch of sugary foods, which a really shouldn’t have.  My theory on that was when I get cravings for chocolate or my hubby wants a bit of sweet sugar…I will have it in stock and for MUCH less then if I were to buy it at full price on random occasions. (Locally a regular sized candy bar can go from 75 cents to $1.25; king size candy is about $1.50 to $2).

I thought and thought on how I wanted to write this particular blog.  I know some readers are beginners at couponing, maybe still doing research, possibly wanting to know what is actually purchased during some of the more amazing savings trips. I decided that I wanted to make a complete list, rather lists, of what I purchased…along with what the before total was, the after total, and the savings amounts.  So be forewarned, this is a LONG blog, but it will be mostly lists to scan through.  Lists are great for readers, because you can just do quick skim over them, especially if they been alphabetized like I’m planning to do.

I shopped at different stores in Rockford, IL and one in Byron, IL (which was on my way home). The Rockford stores were Logli’s (4 transactions), Woodman’s, and Walmart.  The Byron store was County Market.  I went shopping with about $120-130 to spend.

My first list is a summary of my totals, then I will delve into each store!

Here is a key to my short hand in the lists:

  • B=before savings total (what I could have paid)
  • A=after savings total (what I DID paid)
  • I=items purchased
  • S=total savings (Walmart & Woodman’s don’t give a total savings on the reciept)
  • P=cost per item (averaged from after what I did pay divided by the items purchased, so A/I=P)

LOGLI’S (Rockford, IL)

Transaction 1:

  • B:  $95.87
  • A:  $61.92
  • I:   92
  • S:   $72.82 (after coupons, store daily coupon double special, and store sales
  • P:   67 cents

Transaction 2:

  • B:  $14.51
  • A:  $6.01
  • I:   17
  • S:   $18.12
  • P:   35 cents

Transaction 3:

  • B:  $9.50
  • A:  $3.50
  • I:    12
  • S:   $9
  • P:   29 cents

Transaction 4:

  • B:  $7.37
  • A:  $2.37
  • I:   9
  • S:   $7
  • P:   26 cents

So my Logli totals for all 4 transactions is:

  • before savings…$127.25
  • total paid after savings…$73.80
  • total savings from coupons, sales, and specials…$106.94
  • total items purchased…130 (56 cents per item)

COUNTY MARKET (Byron, IL)

  • B:  (does not give me a before on the reciept) ($15.73, see S below, added it to A)
  • A:  $4.55
  • I:    8
  • S:   $11.18 (or 71%…tells me right on there…love it!)
  • P:   57 cents

WALMART (Rockford, IL)

  • B:  $14.72 (no tax)
  • A:  $12.23 (after tax)
  • I:    15
  • S:   (no savings total listed, used 3 coupons for total of $3 off)
  • P:   82 cents

WOODMAN’S (Rockford, IL)

  • B:  (no before savings total given) ($30.91…see S below)
  • A:  $28.51
  • I:    20
  • S:   (no savings total listed, used 3 coupons for total of $2.40 off)
  • P:   $1.43

Totals for the all trips

  • B:  $188.61
  • A:  $119.09
  • I:    173
  • S:   $123.52
  • P:   69 cents

Whew!  That was number crunching and reciept reading! Now on to the next big set of lists…the longest ones! I am going to combine my reciept items from all 4 Logli’s trips into one list here.  I will do the lists in the same order as I listed the store summary totals.  I only listed the item name and the number of items I got of each.

LOGLI’S RECIEPT

Azteca Tortilla Shells 4
Baby Ruth 4
Betty Crocker Fruit Snacks 4
Butter Fingers 4
Cadbury Egg 18
Carnation Can Milk 2
Chex Mix 10
Crunch 4
Green Peppers 5
Hungry Jack Pancake Mix 1
Hungry Jack Syrup 1
Hunt’s Pasta Sauce 2
Koolaid Packets 10
Land’o’Lakes Butter 2
Progresso Soups 4
Progresso Starters 2
Red Peppers 5
Reese’s Egg 15
Renuzits 3
Schnucks Sugar Packets 1
Sliced Olives 5
Temptation Cat Treats 2
Tidy Cat Litter 1
Tortino’s Pizza Rolls 9
Velvetta Skillet Dinners 2
Yoplait Greek 6

I used 54 coupons total for all 4 transactions at Logli’s. The Logli store, part of the Schnuck’s/Highlander/Logli’s chain, doubles daily coupons 55 cents and under.  Occasionally they do coupon specials like Triple Coupon Week (55 cents or under triple) or Super Double Days ($1 or under doubles).  This trip was just a regular coupon doubling. They also have a store rule of only 3 like coupons per transactions, which is why I had 4 transactions.

I had some great deals at Logli’s.  The Baby Ruths, Butterfingers, and Crunch bars were all FREE with my coupons.  I had 12 coupons that were 50 cents off one Nestle’s single candy bar.  It doubled at Logli’s making them free (normal price there is $1).  The Reese’s PB Eggs and Cadbury eggs were on sale for Buy 2 Get 1 Free. I had 11 coupons that were 50 cents off 2, which doubled at Logli’s.  I spent .33 cents per candy egg or $11 total for 33 candy eggs.

My other great deal was the Chex Mix.  I had 5 coupons that were 50 cents off 2 bags, which doubled. They had a sale for Chex Mix, 10 for $10. I spent $5 for 10 bags of Chex Mix.

The Hungry Jack’s Syrup was on sale for 2/$5. I had a coupon for 55 cents off one and it doubled. I purchased only 1 because I only had one coupon. It cost me $1.40.  The bottle of syrup (large bottle) had a coupon on it, stating Buy 1 Syrup Get 1 box of HJ pancake mix…large box…FREE.

There were a few great deals on this list. I could do a whole blog just on those deals.  If you have questions about an item, ask me. I will do my best to answer.

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I am certain there are people out there who are public aid or state for help getting food, a.k.a. food stamps (Illinois calls it LINK)…who do NOT use coupons! They probably think since they are sort of (not really) getting “free” food with their food stamps there is no need to bother saving even further with coupons, rebates, and sales. This could NOT be further from being saving savvy smart!

You should STILL search for the best deals even if your using food stamps…ESPECIALLY if you have a small amount or large family to feed or both, even with a large food stamp amount or a small family, saving while on food stamps is still must!

No…it’s NOT wrong to do this…get that thought out of your mind right now! No store will tell you can not use food stamps on transaction you use coupons on. (There are some stores that do not take coupons like Aldi.) All you are doing is maximizing your food stamps…therefore better able to feed your family and save the cash for non-food items like toilet paper, dish soap, clothes, diapers, etc! You will also be creating a stockpile, slowly building it from month to month. If you have not couponed before ending up with food stamps, NOW is the best time to start! You can learn to budget and save without using cash needed for other stuff and the good habits will be in place when the time comes that you get off of food stamps, you can weave them into the cash budgets!

Think about taking say $300 of food stamps and being able to double with sales and coupons (and rebates…those are good too, even if you only get them for store credit)!

APRIL 10, 2013: Update edit:

This past Sunday my hubby and I did a spur of the moment shopping trip. I had no lists prepared and scrambling to clip and file away food coupons from that mornings papers as we drove 45 minutes to Rockford, IL.  Why? Our LINK was reloaded with April’s funds Sunday!

Even so, I was still able to save a tad over $112 at Schnuck’s Highlander in Cherry Valley with their sales and about 20 or so coupons I used. That’s $112 in food MORE then I had on my food assistance.  I won’t say how much I get specifically for food stamps but here is an example…

$300 on LINK (food stamps), I spend, say, $200 (budgeting about $100 for rest of month for fresh produce or forgotten items). I saved $112 with sales and coupons…I basically got $312 worth of food for $200…or 12 bucks over the food stamp limit, and I didn’t even use it all. (REMEMBER this is an example…my actual LINK benefit is a private thing).

We did spend about $20 out of pocket for non-food items like toilet paper, deodorant, and a couple other items. I did have coupons for a couple of those items.

It does pay to use coupons and sales when on public assistance from your state. It helps you expand the amount you actually get, helping you save that assistance for other stuff or save your cash for non-food items. I do NOT get state aid for cash assistance, but if you are one of those people…AGAIN…use coupons, rebates, and sales as much as possible to stretch those dollars!

Savings spreadsheet photo

My spreadsheet of my shopping trip savings since mid-November.

I officially began couponing about mid-November 2012, about 5 months ago.  I had been saving my receipts from most of my shopping trips. Some I threw out before I considered doing a spreadsheet of my savings, but it wasn’t very many, mostly from like Dollar General or my local grocery store.

Last week I decided to finally make my spreadsheet of the receipts did have.  I have 8 columns in all.  They are DATE, STORE, BEFORE, PAID, Q TOTAL, SAVINGS, # ITEMS, and PER.  There is a TOTAL row at the bottom (highlighted in green in the photo). I figured these totals out using a calculator. I’m not savvy enough with Excel to know how to formulate a spreadsheet cell to do totals for me per column…eventually I will learn.

I am very proud of savings, I put a lot of hours and hard work into it. I can’t help bragging about it to others. Couponing and finding savings is something I am becoming very good at like some people are good at art or sports. One of the main reasons I did this spreadsheet was to show my husband visually just how much I have saved us and my time isn’t being wasted nor is the money I spend to buy newspapers or spend on gas or even the cash I spend on the groceries. He did know I was doing decent, but not how DECENT…know what I mean?

Now for an explanation of my column  titles: (Q stands for coupons)

DATE: the date of receipt, shopping trip

STORE: name of store shopped at…so I can see visually what stores I’m saving the most at

BEFORE: the purchase total before coupons

PAID: what I did pay after coupons

Q TOTAL: the total value of coupons I used, this includes double and triple coupon specials (I.E. when a 75 cent Q is worth $2.25, tripled)

SAVINGS: total savings shown on the receipts, includes store sales and specials

# ITEMS: number items purchase in the transaction

PER: the average price per item I purchased, formula is (PAID divided by # ITEMS = PER)

 

My totals as of March 29, 2013 (since November 16, 2012) is as follows:

BEFORE: 1009.64  (this is what I would have paid total before coupons over a 5 month period).

PAID: 589.31 (what I paid over the last 5 months after coupons)

Q TOTAL: 420.33 (coupon value total used in 5 months)

SAVINGS: 719.61 (not a paid savings amount in just 5 months)

# ITEMS: 702 purchased in the last 5 months, which I paid just 84 cents per item on average

I’m sitting here looking at my numbers and realized something…if you ad the SAVINGS to the PAID you get $1,308.92…which is about what I would have paid out in full withOUT coupons or store savings.  That’s pretty insane when put into perspective…I paid about $590 for about $1,300 in groceries.

 

I will be keeping track of as many of my receipts as I can, because I want to see what I save in a year’s time…and beyond.  If you have not started a spreadsheet of your own, do so…it very nice to see those totals when your getting tired or frustrated during your planning stages for a coupon trip.  If you don’t want to a computer spreadsheet, just use a notebook with whatever columns or totals you want to keep track of.  It really does help you put into perspective all your hard work!

 

I wanted to make a quick post about me trying to plan a coupon shopping trip on a super tight budget.  I can’t type much right now as I have a stress headache forming on the left side of my head and neck. I will be okay, I know what to do. I only take medicine as a last resort.

A  couple weeks ago I decided to join a group of ladies (possibly a man or two) this Saturday, March 2nd, for a coupon exchange and tips/advice exchange.  We are all part of an online coupon group called “Northern Illinois Couponing Moms.  (Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/NorthernIllinoisCouponingMoms) (Website: http://www.northernillinoiscouponing.com). I have to do a quick shout out to the lady who heads this group and got all started.  She spends part of busy schedule doing match ups for us to local major stores we all use regularly. Thank you so much for your time!

One of the deciding factors to go to this group was I looked over my pay schedule for the next month (child support only right now) and noticed that I HAD to spend the next payday on food. The one right after that will go to the car insurance (a must in IL and don’t want to get caught without it having no jobs right now). After those to paydays we should be okay…tax refund, hopefully unemployment will finally approve my husband, and I will have a job…got one in the works with the Department of Rehabilitation Services (DRS), they help people with disabilities get jobs (hard of hearing, I am!)

Well, after taking care of a couple small thing this week, I ended up with a budget of about $55 for nearly 2 weeks. I’m okay with this budget, I’ve dealt with it before and bought home almost 2 weeks of food, along with some nonfood items like toilet paper and dish soap.  Only reason I’m edgy on it is because I know this is all I have if unemployment or the job doesn’t come through for us.  My plan with this budget is to pick up what we “must have” and few other meal staples, but no meats.  Later next week my monthly allowance for LINK ($55) comes in.  I will be using this to buy my meats…should be enough for a month if I find it on sale.

I have spent an hour or so everyday since Sunday sorting my coupons, reviewing what I have, making up lists, looking at online store ads, and checking online printable coupons.  I will have to go to my mom’s to print, because I am out of ink for my printer (tax refund “must have” to get).  Thanks to N. IL Couponing Moms match up for Schnucks/Highlander/Logli’s, some of my time was shortened and used more wisely. I have come across some good deals that are actually on NOT on my must have list, but I will be picking up because they are under a dollar, a few even under 50 cents.  (FYI: Schnuck’s stores double coupons 55 cents and under everyday…one reason I found some good deals…match coupons up to sales and WA-LA! Magic savings!)

As organized as I am with my coupons, I’m still some what overwhelmed with list making and budgeting. I know some people make specific budgets for like meat, nonfood items, etc. I haven’t gotten that far and I NEED to. Ugh…I will learn and figure it out.

I have spent the week begin jittery and worried about my budget. Going back and forth over what is most needed to get us through a couple of weeks. I even made of an inventory of food in the house (which I need to redo tomorrow night). Despite my jitters I had 2 blessings this week…no, wait…THREE.  One I already had in line…my mommy is giving me a bit of money for gas to go to Rockford, IL (45 minute drive for me) and do my shopping.  The 2nd is Shea came by with a little money from Jen and Chris who decided to help us out a bit on our food budget and nearly tripled it!  The 3rd is my County Market Penny Pincher coupons came in this week. (CM doesn’t double, but they do allow a manufacturer coupon stacked on to their store coupons! Many times I have gotten stuff there nearly free or under $2 because they do this).

So as a result of my increased food budget, I am now taking a new look at my lists and what I may print out for coupons when I go to my mom’s tomorrow.  I am even looking at a couple of freezer meal prep books I have to try a couple for the first time. I’m considering freezable breakfast foods, since I’m often to groggy when I get up to actually cook and I want to go with my hubby to the gym in the mornings.

Thanks for joining me on this little adventure of mine.  I will post about my shopping trip either Saturday or Sunday and if I do freezer meals for the first time.

I want to expand a bit on my newest coupon organization method…the box with alphabetized envelopes.

My box method

My box method

I do LOVE this method. It works well with my obsessive need to have my coupons organized and quickly gotten to. As you can see from the photo above I have quite a bit I put into the plastic shoe box (lid under the box). Those are all the things I use to do my coupon shopping and organizing my lists to shop with.

2nd and newest box organizer for alphabetization method.

2nd and newest box organizer for alphabetization method.

Main categories:

“FOOD” with a green star:  These are all coupons that will double at Schnucks/Highlander/Logli’s in Rockford, IL…every day! Includes stuff like protein bars & shakes.

“PRODUCTS” with a green star:  These are all coupons that will double at Schnucks/Highlander/Logli’s in Rockford, IL…every day! Includes everything from vitamins to cleaning supplies to personal hygene.

“FOOD” no star:  These are all other coupons I have that don’t go in first 2 categories.

“PRODUCTS”  no star:  These are all other coupons I have that don’t go in first 2 categories.

“STORES”:  coupons for specific stores and restuarant couons.

“CAT”: envelope by itself right up front for all my cat coupons.

 

 

 

 

Shopping tools. Grey pouch hold store cards & paper clips. Red thing is my note card organizer. Pens, etc in the front all go in the small white plastic container in my box.

Shopping tools. Grey pouch hold store cards & paper clips. Red thing is my note card organizer. Pens, etc in the front all go in the small white plastic container in my box.

List of things I have in my box:

4 sets of alphabetized envelopes (see above)

Grey pouch to hold my store cards and small items like paper clips. My iSlicer is also in there (a tool for cutting paper I got from Pampered Chef).

Red note card holder with 5 pockets inside. I use this to organize coupons and shopping lists either by store or for coupon specials like triple coupon or super double days.

Small scissors

Calculator

Pens

China markers. I use these to mark up ads. Less messy then Sharpies and show up well.

Highlighters. I use these to highlight stuff on my lists…must get, check on, etc.

Note cards to make other lists

Blank envelopes (not pictured) for putting coupons in for spur of moment shopping trips.

Stapler (not pictured). I used to have a small one for just in case needs, but I need to get a new one.

The small scissors, calculator, pens, china markers, highlighters, note cards, and stapler all go in the small, white plastic container (Cottenelle wet wipes box) inside my box.  The note card holder goes under the small container. The grey pouch behind the container with extra envelopes. On the side I have a coupon book from Walgreen’s…you may or may not be able to see it.

I also carry with me a clipboard with loose leaf paper.  I use it to keep track of spending, making reminder notes to check something, have store coupon polices (lately I use a small school report folder or binder for these), and have master lists.

This alpabetizing method works great for me because even with planned shopping trips, I will come across other sales that were not in the ads I had looked over.  When I see one, I can just quickly grab the letter envelope I need and search for a coupon I think I might have.  I alphabetize by brand name or what makes sense to me.  Example: General Mills cereals…if I have one that lists multiple flavors of their cereal it goes under “G”, but if it lists for only Chex it will go under “C”.

Please still my method if you think it will work for you. It never hurts to try something…you never know if it’ll work for you otherwise…especially in couponing.

The organization of my coupons started over a year ago. The history and evolution to my current coupon organization and storage involved many steps.  I thought I would share with you my process so you can see what methods I used and what finally works for me.  One of these may be something that works for you!

When I first started couponing I just clipped some that I figured I would use and put into my wallet or an envelope in my purse. This was WAY before I got smart about coupon stacking with sales and how to use the internet to find store website ads, printable coupons, and the like.

After I started collecting up a few more coupons, I upgraded…sort of…to one of those coupon organizers that are already labeled. In fact I went through a few because I either wasn’t really serious about the coupons…so I lost my collection…or I just didn’t like the labels. I even tried a small accordion file pocket thing to label my own.  I did not like this method because I had to sort through say 20-30 different coupons in one category for one coupon.

Eventually as I learned to coupon stack with sales and other coupons, I began to use a binder like so many other seasoned couponers. Luckily it didn’t cost me anything. I already had several binders at home and I had dozens, upon dozens of trading card pocket sheets from my Magic: The Gathering days. I ended up with 2 binders…one for “food” and one for “products”…with sub-labels to categorize the coupons (baking or dental, for example). This method worked for me for several months. I just didn’t like it because the obsessive organizer in me pitched a fit that I couldn’t alphabetize very well with it. I also had this conflicting need to organize by expiration dates. Ugh. Drove me completely batty for the longest time. Plus, I had to fold several of the coupons to fit in the card pockets. This was mildly annoying, because I wanted the expiration date and coupon text of what it can be used for to be showing. My biggest issue was, again, searching through many coupons to find one coupon type I wanted.

Organizing coupons in a binder.

Organizing coupons in a binder.

I think I had issues with searching for coupons using categories because my husband, Scott, and I tend to do spontaneous shopping. Well, I’m more planned out NOW…but still do a bit of spur of the moment shopping. When you do that it’s annoying to look for “Doritos” amongst 40 snack coupons it takes too much time right there on the spot. So I hit upon the idea of organizing my coupons NOT by categories, but ALPHABETIZING! I was SO excited by my new idea I couldn’t wait to implement it.

In order to utilize my new idea of alphabetizing all my coupons, I had to think of a method that would work best to do so. I didn’t want to use the binder for many reason…folding of coupons, large and clunky to lug around, didn’t fit well on shopping cart seat, and so on. I decided to try a Rolodex organizer! A security job I had at the time had me stationed in a building that had gone out of business and they had thrown out in trash a couple flat Rolodex’s and a big spinning Rolodex. I grabbed them all to try out my idea. The flat ones worked out okay…I used one for “food” and one for “products”.  The main issue with them was that they were small and would not close completely with all the coupons I had in them. So, I tried out the spinning Rolodex, which worked much better. I could not separate out into my 2 main categories, which was fine. I just put the food coupons in the front of each letter section and the products behind the food coupons. (Example: Letter C would have Campbell’s soup first then Crest toothpaste). I used this method for several months. I lugged it around using a canvas tote that I also had a clipboard with shopping lists and pencil pouch with shopping tools I use (tools include small scissors, calculator, pens, china markers, highlighters, envelopes, paper clips, and my store cards).

Organizing coupons in a Rolodex by alphabetization method.

Organizing coupons in a Rolodex by alphabetization method.

I really love my alphabetizing method. It helped, not only with the spur of the moment purchases, but with matching coupons to store ads both from newspapers and online.  When I started shopping at a new store, Schnucks/Highlander/Logli’s in Rockford, IL…I ran into a new obsessive organization need…this store chain DOUBLES coupons that are .55 cents and under EVERYDAY! Plus, with the Rolodex, I didn’t have my 2 main categories of “food” and “products” clearly separated any more. I began to think and think again on a new coupon storage method. I came up with using a box with envelopes.

When I came up with the box idea, I spent a week or so deciding on the type of box to use. I needed something that would hold FOUR sets of alphabetized envelopes (“food” that doubles, “products” that double, “food” no double, and “products” no double), plus a holder for coupon shopping tools I like to use. My first box was a packing box for a digital food scale I had purchased from Pampered Chef. I liked it because it had flaps on the sides and the front to tuck into the box to secure the coupons in side. I decided to wrap the box in pretty Christmas paper.  I marked up my envelopes with letters; the ones with doubler coupons (as I call them) I put a green star on. I also made up divider cards for each section. I even have a section for store and restaurant coupons. I have one envelope right up front with cat coupons. (I’m a cat lady! 3 fur baby cats).

First box to organize coupons by alphabetization method.

First box to organize coupons by alphabetization method.

This method work VERY well for me. I loved it and still do! I have been using this method for nearly 6 months now. I did switch from the shipping box to a plastic shoe size storage container with a secure lid. It’s longer so my coupons are in there so tightly as the box, plus more room for the shopping tools I use. It is a little TOO roomy, but it will do for now. I think I will always use this method, just change boxes until I find one I like. I know carry a small note card organizer for when I need have specific lists and coupons for coupon specials at Schnucks/Highlander/Logli’s (they have triple coupon and super double coupons periodically). This note card organizer is also great for sorting lists and coupons for different stores.

2nd and newest box organizer for alphabetization method.

2nd and newest box organizer for alphabetization method.

Shopping tools. Grey pouch hold store cards & paper clips. Red thing is my note card organizer. Pens, etc in the front all go in the small white plastic container in my box.

Shopping tools. Grey pouch hold store cards & paper clips. Red thing is my note card organizer. Pens, etc in the front all go in the small white plastic container in my box.

During the evolution of my coupon storage history I did think of other methods. I don’t remember them all…but one was to use a CD case holder. I scratched that because I could envision my coupons falling out all the time. Another was a recipe book, the binder kind. I skipped this idea because I didn’t really have the money to purchase one. (Considering this idea as an organizer for household stuff…cleaning recipes, tips, schedules, etc).

As you can see, finding a storage and organization option that works for you can be a long process and take several steps. This is okay, it’s an important step. Having a method that works best for you is key in using your time wisely when sorting coupons and matching up with ads.  Then again, you may find a method that works for you right off the bat! Take your time, test out some methods, the right one WILL come along. Greatest thing about testing out different methods or even changing it up once in while, is it keeps you on your toes about what coupons you have, keeps your mind fresh and energized on couponing, and helps you rethink your processes.

I first started seriously looking into coupons, sales, and how to utilize them over a year ago. It took me several months of a sputtering start and confusion before it finally clicked with me. In the beginning I was making mistakes like having TOO many coupons and searching several ads at once. Not to mention I thought I needed to purchase items that I didn’t really need or would never use, simply because it was free or close to it. It also took me several tries to find a coupon organization method that works for me (more on that in a later blog).

I will be looking at my own shopping trips, ideas, tips, websites, etc on this page. There is so MUCH out there now on the internet about coupons and savings that it can overwhelm even the most experienced couponer. My best advice is to start slow and build up. Test methods to see what works for you. It’s better to have a small organized system of coupons, ads, websites, spreadsheets, etc; then to have a huge chaotic mess you can’t shovel through much less understand it.

Organization is KEY to couponing…remember that. Time is also needed…but that is based on how much time YOU can spare and your organization. It doesn’t have to be a full-time job or even a part-time job. Just a few hours a week will do. PLEASE don’t get discouraged and distracted by those extreme couponers like the ones in the television show on TLC.  Those people DO put in a full-time jobs worth on couponing and live in areas that have different sales and coupons then where you live.

I hope when I write my blogs, I will help some people getting started on coupon and sale savings. In today’s economy and job hunting headaches, every bit helps. Do NOT feel bad about utilizing coupons and sales, about finding the best deals in every area of your life. Stores, companies, manufactures, brands, etc put out these sales and deals for people to USE. This is still one of the best ways for them to get people to purchase their products, use their services, and what not. If they felt they would loose money doing sales, coupons, and specials…they would NOT put them out there.

In conclusion…just relax, pace yourself, and learn. You can do it…it will take time, but it is SO worth it.