One of the main questions that I am asked is "You get all this with coupons?". Be sure to check out www.clubcoupon.homestead.com for coupons!
Coupons are a very BIG part of it but they aren't all of it. I shop for items at their lowest prices and stock up so that I won't need that item again until it hits it's lowest possible price. There are always some needs items such as produce, milk (although you can freeze milk). However no more $4 boxes of cereal or $9 razors!
Sale trends tend to run on a 12 week cycle. That means an "butter" will hit it's lowest rock bottom price approxomately every 10-12 weeks. Then the "butter" will be on sale for about 2-3 weeks. Coupons tend to come out at the time of those sales or a few weeks before. In between you may see the "butter" on "sale" but it's not at it's lowest possible price so don't let it fool you. When it does finally hit it's lowest price I estimate how much my family will use for 12 weeks and combine my collected coupons for that "butter" with that rock bottom price.
For example: butter has ranged in price from $1.75 to $2.50 for 10 weeks. I have 6 .50/1 coupon. The butter hits rock bottom at $1.50 at my store that doubles coupons up to .50 (making it $1 off). I then purchase 6 packages of butter at .50 each costing me $3.00. I simply take them home and toss 5 in freezer until needed. At that point I have saved anywhere from $4.50 - $12.00 for 12 weeks.
I am addicted to anything I can get for FREE. The free things or below .50 each are things like H&B items such as shampoo, conditioner, soap, toothpaste, razors. I find most household cleaners in this range as well. Now, because if I have extra's I can donate those items to charities. Yes you can deduct health and beauty products such as soap, shampoos, conditioners and household items from your taxes but that's another posting. Women's Centers are a great location for donating!
This can be a:
3 ring binder
flexible coupon holder
You may have to experiment a few times to get it right. I personally use a 4 inch 3 ring binder. I have it in 2 sections. First household including Health and Beauty then Grocery. Pet food goes in grocery. Everything is alphabetized. This was my second solution to organizing coupons.
The inserts I use to hold the coupons may be bought at office supply stores or even Walmart. They are base ball card holders that come in sheets and usually a couple dollars a pack. You need the seperated pockets to keep the coupons organized where you can see them and they don't mix up with each other. It will not work for you if they aren't organized because you will get frustrated and give up.
Where do you get your coupons from?
-http://www.clubcoupon.homestead.com/ Is my favorite of course! It's a membership which is different from some coupon clipping services but that makes it cheaper. For $5.00 a month you get to choose up to 80 coupons (20 coupons per week) plus access to our newsletter that comes out monthly.
-Sunday paper inserts (and yes there is a method and schedule for coupon inserts)
-Ask friends if they aren't going to use their coupons to give them to you
-You can print coupons from online at sites such as http://www.coupons.com/ and http://www.coolsavings.com/ . Be aware that some stores don't accept online printed coupons or they are strict about them.
-Go directly to manufacturer sites. Often they will have coupons to print.
-Email the manufacturers and tell them if you enjoy their product(s). We have been very successful with this. Often they send coupons that you will never see printed in the inserts.
-Download Proctor & Gamble coupons at http://www.kroger.com/ to your Kroger card. You can also download food coupons from http://www.shortcuts.com/ to your Kroger card. Recently they have come up with a way to download them through your cell phone at http://www.cellfire.com/ I haven't done this because I don't have a cell phone.
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