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Couponing My Way 101

August 28, 2011

At best I’m an amateur couponer.  I coupon but compared to some other people I’m the most disorganized mess.  I’ve gotten some questions lately from others so here are some facts about how I coupon:

1.  I don’t spend any money on coupons.  We do not get the daily or weekend papers but my mother-in-law and usually my parents generously give me their coupons.  Sometimes I’m missing a crucial coupon to make a deal because they’ve cut it out for themselves, but not that often.  I would love to have another coupon donor, but that’s where I’m at right now.

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2.  I do spend money printing coupons.  My printer takes relatively cheap ink and I’ve set it to print in black and white.  I usually pay about $0.50 cents on a pack of paper at Staples when they have a sale combined with a rebate so  my paper costs are minimal, and I’ve got enough here that I don’t have to buy it at full price ever.

3.  Having only a couple coupons for an item means I’m only buying one or two at once.  A lot of stores limit the number of items you can buy at the sale price (like CVS) and I’m not going to try and work the system a ton so I can stockpile items like they do on Extreme Couponing.  

4.  Toiletries, CVS, drugstores, etc. are key.  Regardless of not “stockpiling” items, buying one or two here or there has allowed me to have enough of a lot of toiletries that we rarely have to run out and buy something at full price.  CVS is one of the best drugstores for this in my mind.  Their Extra Care Bucks (ECBs) have a later expiration date than a lot of the other drug stores rewards coupons, and once I get them I go back and buy other items that give you ECBs, therefore rolling the ECBs.

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5.  Use websites!  I started off reading For the Mommas because she is a semi-local couponer so she posts about grocery stores I have near me.  I also read The Krazy Coupon Lady after the site was featured on Extreme Couponing, they post more often and often feature more national deals.  Websites will turn you on to deals you wouldn’t see in the newspaper as well; for instance I got the above body wash by becoming a “fan” of CVS’ Minute Clinic on Facebook and signing up for a coupon.

6.  Make couponing work with your schedule!  I used to read every single post on these sites when I was unemployed.  Now that I’m working I don’t have time for that or for running around to six stores every week.  I now use their sites to check on CVS and the grocery store every week.  If I know I’m going to Target this week then I’ll check the Target entries on the blogs so that I can pick up the cheap or free things while I’m already there.

The more you read through the coupons in the newspaper and online you’ll get to know what kinds of products you can always find coupons for and it becomes more natural.  Happy
couponing!

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