$$$$$ TIPS FOR SAVING MONEY& ORGANIZING COUPONS $$$$$
v Set a time on your schedule to make a shopping list. I don't think you will ever come out ahead if you don't make a list to work from.
v Take inventory of what you have on hand to make meals with. What meat do you have? How many meals will it make? What vegetables and canned goods do you have to go with meals? What one dish meals do you have?
v You can save money without using coupons but not as much! If you choose not to use coupons skip this step! Go to www.couponmom.com and sign up! It is free and they have people who go through the weekly ads and match coupons to the sales ads. All you have to do is click on the store you like to shop at and it will tell you what is on sale that goes with the coupons from your Sunday paper. This saves a ton of time for couponing. There are other sites like this one that charge a monthly fee.
v Organize your coupons! This step saves time as well. I organize mine in a binder with plastic photo sleeves that I bought from Staples. Some people organize their coupons by brand. I organize mine by isle or type! I have 2 binders, one for food and one for other stuff! When I make my final lists I make a list for each store and place the coupons that go with that store in a pocket with the list.
v On coupon clipping day: Don’t clip a bunch you know you are not going to use. It’s a waste of time. Have someone in your family look through each category and take out the expired ones. Send them to military families that can use expired coupons! (if you are a military family that would like your address listed here to send coupons to please let me know.
v In my Food binder the categories are:
1) Baking supplies (yeast, boxed cakes, cooking oil, sugar)
2) Boxed (hamburger helper, pasta mixes)
7) Chips and snack food (not so healthy)
8) Condiments (ketchup, hot sauce, ranch dressing etc)
9) Dairy (sour cream, milk, eggs, cheese )
12) Pillsbury (there are so many of these usually that they have their own slot)
13) School snacks (somewhat healthy granola, juice boxes, crackers)
v In my other binder the categories I have:
1. Air fresheners
2. Batteries misc
3. Body wash, Bar soap, deodorant
4. Cleaners for the house
5. Facial tissue (Kleenex, puffs etc)
6. Feminine products
8. Makeup beauty products
10. Paper towels and napkins
12. Razors, shaving creams
14. Shampoo conditioner hair products
15. Store coupons etc (like the ones that print on a receipt for 5 off a 25 purchase for shopping on a certain day)
17. Toilet tissue
18. Toys, games
19. Trash bags, to go containers, baggies, aluminum foil etc
v Plan to shop at places when you know you will be in the area! Weigh the pros and cons of shopping at multiple stores. Going half way across the country from one store to the next takes a lot of gas money and is in most cases not worth it. Most times I shop at stores in our town and get it in one trip. (Dollar General, Family Dollar, Plumbs, and mostly Save A Lot,) Pamida gives us a military discount of 5%. Birds are a once a month or even two month’s trip. Maybe once every 2 -3 months I will go to Wal-Mart and stock up on all my non food items! They price match so I can get all the local sales prices at one place. It took me an hour to check out last time I did this but saved 75 % off my shopping trip. This allowed me to buy name brand items and get a lot of them free with B1G1 free coupons. I send a list with Jim for Sams Club when he goes to his VA appointments in Grand Rapids in order to save money on Staples like Coffee, creamer, Sugar and pasta.
v Watch for 10 for 10 deals and match them with a store that has double coupon day! 10 chef Boyardee pasta at 1.00 each plus 50 cents off coupons at a double coupon day = free! In our Area housemen’s still has double coupon day on Wednesdays! A few weeks ago there was an ad with triple coupons up to 60 cents. You have to watch for them. That was an off week for me and I missed it.
v It never hurts to get store incentive cards: Even if you don’t normally shop at a particular store that is offering a free incentive card sign up for the card while you are there. Kmart, Sears, Rite Aid and Walgreens offer cards. Each store has different deals that go with the card. Some have sales that are only for cardholders. Others put cash back on your card as a rebate that you can use off your next purchase.
v Don’t forget about school incentives while out shopping: Our school has a rewards card that you scan at the register every time you purchase items from plumbs. The school earns money when you shop there. All you have to do is swipe the card for your school to earn.If I think of anything else I will add it to this list: