- First thing you need to do is get coupons. There are 4 basic ways that I do this.
- There are 4 websites where you can sign up and they will mail them to you. You can also ask some of your friends and family members to sign up as well and to pass along the coupons they won't use. My brother and I do this and its awesome.
- Tear Pads - many stores (Shoppers Drug Mart, Real Canadian Super Store etc..) have tear pads of coupons either at the main entrance of the store or along the aisle ways. Only take what you are fairly certain you will use and be kind and don't hog them all:)
- There are a few places online that you are able to print off coupons from:
- Newspaper inserts - every few weeks coupon inserts can be found in local newspapers. I have relatives that save these inserts for me as well so that I am able to stock up on products that me and my family love.
- So now that you have the coupons, what to do with them?? Well the best way to get started is to get organized! You don't have to be super organized but if you are a red hot mess and your coupons are everywhere, in you purse, in an envelope, stuck in your car...couponing will not be very successful. As most people know I am not an extremely organized person but I have a binder (see photo below) and I place each coupon in a plastic trading card sheet. Now how you want to organize them after that is up to you, I personally stick all my food coupons together, all my shampoo coupons together, all my toothpaste together etc... this is very helpful when you are actually in a store and want to see if you have a coupon for a specific product.
|yep, I'm a nerd, The Little Mermaid from when I was a child and collected cards.|
|a bit of a mess since I'm in the middle of reorganizing! Will show another pic once I'm done|
- Ok, so now you've got the coupons, you're organized and you're ready to start shopping!! What I like to do next is make out a LIST!! I find if I don't do this it won't matter how many coupons I have I will always spend more money than I had planned on. Couponing is only good if you are actually saving money on items you already use and NOT spending money (but saving a little) on things your family won't use (or don't really need). To start off I recommend taking your weekly grocery list (you do make one right??) with all the sales and see if you have any coupons that will make those items cost even less. When I'm making my list I have a basic price in my head for each item that I won't pay more than. For example: Salad dressing - I won't pay more than $1.00 for Kraft salad dressing, if its on sale for a $1.00 and I have a coupon that will make it less than that's even better but I won't use a coupon for it when it's full price at $2.49 I will wait until I can get it for $1.00
- Once you have your list made and are ready to go shopping, I usually pull out the coupons that I KNOW I will be using and put them in an envelope so that when it comes time to pay I will just put the appropriate coupon with the product on the belt for the cashier to scan through. So with your coupons in an envelope, your coupon binder in your purse (in case you spot a good deal/something you need and you have a coupon for it) head on out and start shopping!!!
- Write out your grocery list by store. Under each store name write your item, size and price. Make sure you bring the flyers with you when grocery shopping. It helps to circle the items you are price matching and fold that page for easy reference
- Once everything is in your buggy and you are ready to check out I like to begin by placing everything on the belt that you are NOT price matching (with the appropriate coupons if I have any) and then I like to smile and let the cashier know that at the end of my order are the items I will be price matching. I find if I give them a heads up they tend to appreciate it.
- Then I place the first flyer followed by the items that I will be price matching from that flyer. If I have any coupons for those items I place them with the product. Then I lay down the next flyer and place those items behind it and so forth and so on until all of my items are on the belt.
- If anyone comes up behind me in line I kindly smile and say 'I just want to let you know that I may be a bit longer because I am price matching and couponing' More often than not people are interested in watching or they thank me for letting them know and move to another line. I really think it is a simple courtesy to let people know this.
Now I'm going to get up on my soapbox for a second here and say that, personally, I and my girls, have been blessed with a husband and father, who works incredibly hard and long hours to support our family. In turn this allows me to work minimal hours and home school our girls. In response to that I (and this is me personally) feel called by God to be extremely frugal with our grocery money (as well as other areas of our budget) and wherever possible to save, even if it means a little more work and effort on my part. So I clip coupons, I spend more time writing out my grocery list, I deal with cranky cashiers and don't always get things that I want but at the end of the day I feel that I have done my best with what I have been so graciously given. End of soapboxing. (I really don't think that's a word but I like it, so I'm going to keep it....now I'm done:)
A couple great websites to check out that helped me get started:
Let me know if anything is confusing or if you have any questions at all!!