Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Simplest Couponing System Ever!

Couponing Doesn't Need To Be a Full Time, Or Even A Part Time Job!

Before I became a single mom, saving money wasn't nearly as important to me as making money, and couponing was definitely not something I was going to devote hours upon hours of 'money- making' time to. 

When I did become a single mom, and wasn't making any money, I started to appreciate 'savings' a lot more. 

While I mostly stopped posting to this blog after I got married because it just didn't feel right to be writing a 'single mom's blog' when I wasn't single anymore... I figure, if I need this 'savings' info even as a married mom, then single mom's need it too. 

Then, after I remarried, one day my husband said to me "We should watch that show Extreme Couponing."

At first, I told him he was out of his mind. But then I watched the show, and I saw the 'stockpiles.'

So I went out and bought all the supplies I needed.  The binder, ink for the printer, paper for printing the coupons, even the accordion file folder. 

I labeled the little tabs. I put dividers in the binder.  I walked the entire Wal Mart store and 'drew' the layout, with the number of each isle and the items in it, and organized my folders accordingly.   Then I clipped, clipped, clipped away, and filed.  And when I got to the store... I had to flip through pages and pages, or take all of the coupons out of the file and sort through them repeatedly to see if I had a coupon for something I happened to find on sale.  It became an organizational nightmare!

I needed to find a better way to organize my coupons.  

That's when a friend told me about ""  

So I went and visited the site, and found something AMAZING!  

First she has the "New To Couponing" category with the "Start Here" page - which I strongly suggest you read. 

*On that page is the link to the "Stock Up Price List" page  (the actual download link -here- is on that page).  The page explains how to use the downloadable list.

It was a list of every coupon that came out in the Red Plum, Smart Source and P& G inserts every week.

It's really hard to explain in text how I use it, so I made this video instead...


Now I don't clip any coupons unless I am ready to use them. Instead, I just file each insert by it's date, and then when I go through each week's sales flyers, check sale prices against the stock up prices,  and plan my shopping list, and clip accordingly. 

The only 'problem' with this system is, as my friend Tina pointed out, that often you'll find the deals IN the stores, not the flyers... and you want to have your coupons with you when that happens. So here's my proposed solution (I will implement it as time allows)

I could, and probably will,  extend this out to a filing system that would allow me to carry them with me, along with a pair of scissors for 'on the fly' clipping, 


I could just clip and organize some other way, with an alpha-numeric, color coded system that will make it easy to locate any given coupon, without having to 'dig' through the accordion file, or endless pages of baseball card inserts in the binder.

All I need to do, as shown in the video, is use a Smartphone, or a tablet to access the dbase (spreadsheet) use CTRL F to see if I have a coupon for the item (I'll have to add a column that will correspond to whatever physical filing system I use) then locate the coupon in the physical filing system based on the corresponding file location in the spreadsheet.

I'll post that once I get it done. 

Meanwhile... Happy Savings!  I hope this video has been useful to you.

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