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I was a one stop shopper.

Before I started couponing, I was a one stop shopper. I would get my list together of everything I needed for the week and go to the nearest Supercenter store and buy everything there. I thought since I was shopping at a store that had low prices everyday, I was saving money. I thought that groceries cost what they cost, and that was that. Of course I bought only what my family needed, and avoided the "fun" stuff as much as possible in order to stay on track for our budget. Then I discovered couponing, and boy we're my eyes opened! I learned that I could be the one to decide how much I pay. I learned that there we're certain things I would never have to pay for again. I learned that we actually could afford the "fun stuff" after all! It was a great day, and I turned this new hobby into a way of life.

So how did I get started? I met a friend who had started "couponing" and was eager to share her knowledge with anyone who would listen (as EVERY single new couponer is! ) I sat by her at a dinner party and probably asked her about 100 questions about couponing and what it is and how to get started. I decided right then that1 I wanted to learn how to do it! I came home, found a local class, went to it and took a million notes and asked a million more questions. Every since then, I have been going strong! Couponing will not only change the way you shop, it will change the way you think about moneyI guarantee it.

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The nice thing about couponing is that anyone can start doing it, anytime. You need very little to get started, and the available resources out there right now are amazing. Don't feel like you need to know everything right when you startcouponing takes time, and you will make a few mistakes. That's okay though! Try it out, and you will see incredible results fast!

Step Two: Start buying multiple copies of the Sunday paper, and get that printer working!

You need to be buying multiple copies of the Sunday paper...period. I used to get five, and now I get six every week. Some people suggest you get a copy (or two) for every family member in your home, while others suggest just buying several on weeks there are lots of inserts. Start off buying 4-6 every week, and make adjustments to that number as needed. Spending $10 on papers every week may seem like a lot, but I promise they will pay for themselves time and time again! Some areas of the country even offer great deals if you sign up to have more than one Sunday paper delivered every week. In my area, I pay about $3.35 a week to have my six papers delivered. (My local paper actually gives "coupon" deals because so many people coupon around here.)

Another great source for coupons is the internet. Many companies now put out printable coupons which you can print out right from your computer. (I always feel like I am printing money every time I go to print a new coupon.) My top three favorite websites to print coupons from are: www.coupons.com,http://www.smartsource.com/ and http://www.redplum.com/ . All three are reputable websites so you don't need to worry about installing the "coupon printer" you need to install to print.

Many times different brands will put out high value coupons through their Facebook page, so you may want to make sure you "like" your favorite product's pages so you don't miss out on them!

Step Three: Get organized!

There are many, many different ways to organize your coupons. I have used the binder method from day one, and I have never regretted it. It takes a little while to get set up, but once it is all organized you will love it!

So here are my step by step directions for creating a coupon binder!

1. Buy or scrounge up a binder. You are probably going to want one that is at least 3-4 inches thick, and you may even want to splurge on one that has a zipper and a handle. When I first started I had just a regular binder and that worked fine for me. I lucked out one day when I found my current zipper binder at a thrift store for $3. The brand of my binder is Case-it, and I have seen them on Amazon, and at Target and Walmart. The major advantage of the zipper binder is being able to zip it up so there is no chance of loose coupons falling out.

2. Put your name and phone number in it!!! You don't want to lose it and there not be a chance you can get it back.

3. Buy some regular page protectors, and some baseball card holders (I've also seen them called sport card holders). I like the nine slot ones, but I have heard of people finding four and six slot ones that they have used and liked too. Usually the nine slot ones can be found at your local office supply store, or in the baseball card section in the front of Walmart, or on Amazon, and some Dollar Tree's have been rumored to carry then as well. I would recommend getting at least 60 pages of the baseball card holders to start out, and at least 31 of the regular sheet protectors.

4. Print out these section dividers. There are 31 pages total (30 section dividers and a table of contents). The last two sections are left blank so you can create a section that you think is missing or that you think would be applicable to your life.

Coupon Binder Section Dividers

(Click on the Download button, which is the symbol that has the arrow pointing downward)

5. Put the table of contents in front and then put each section divider in a page protector and put it in the binder (in the order of the table of contents). Put two baseball card holders behind each section divider as you go.

And now, time for the coupons!

I'm going to take you step by step on how to separate, cut, organize and file all your coupons.

1. Gather all your inserts.

2. Start separating all the pages, and sorting them putting all like pages together. At this point you can choose to clip every coupon (which many people choose to do) or just clip the ones you know your family uses, or that your family would use if you could get it really cheap or free. I choose to do the second option. It seems like I barely have time to clip the coupons my family uses, let alone every single one! I do, however, keep all the inserts with all the coupons for about 6-8 months (I'll show you how I store them below). I keep them just in case a sale comes along and I need a coupon I did not clip. Some people choose to clip and file every single coupon so they are always prepared for that surprise deal or clearance find. They feel like if they can get it for free and donate it, then they want to do it (which is great!).

3. Cut the pages at the same time. Only cut however many you feel comfortable doing though. If you are nervous about clipping off expiration dates, barcodes etc, then maybe just do three at a time. If you are fearless like me, then feel free to do ten at a time!

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Posted in Financial Services Post Date 02/18/2021


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