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For the Beginner

If you are JUST STARTING in the couponing world, then this post is for you. Your first order of business is to start purchasing the Sunday paper. I would recommend buying 2 every week to start with. You have to be consistant!! You can usually buy a double pack(meaning 2 papers wrapped together) for $2 on Saturday at most grocery stores and at Walmart. They will carry them through the rest of the week (Monday through ?) until they run out.

You need to cut all coupons and keep them all. (Except if you don't drink coffee or have a pet) Trust me on this, keep them all. There will be some that you think you will never use, and you might be right. But when you are wrong, you will be so mad at yourself! I kept getting these coupons for B1G1 wholly guacamole. The regular price on these puppies is like 3.99 each. After the third week in a row of getting these coupons and several $1 ones, I started throwing them away thinking I would never pay that much even if they did go on sale. Well, 2 weeks later, I felt like a complete idiot because they went on sale B1G1 and combined with the B1G1 coupon, they were free. Then a couple weeks later the smaller size packages went on sale 10/10, so with the $1 coupon, those were free. I've never thrown a coupon away again!

You will feel like you are drowning in coupons if you don't have an organization system. So let me show you mine. You are welcome to use it or make up your own.

I use a binder filled with baseball card holders. I know Walmart carries packs of 10 for 1.44 or so.

I put labels on all my different categories so I can flip through the binder quickly to find what i'm looking for. I always take my binder with me because you never know what is going to be on a clearance endcap somewhere.

My categories are:
  • cereal/breakfast

  • snacks

  • frozen food

  • Dairy

  • canned food

  • beverages

  • baking

  • condiments

  • meat

  • sides/pasta

  • boxed meals

  • candy

  • baby

  • paper/plastic

  • shaving

  • dental

  • girly (pads, tampons, makeup)

  • soaps (shampoo, deoderant, etc.)

  • smelly stuff (candles, air freshener)

  • misc.
When I have a trip planned when I am buying specific things, like at CVS and Target and Walgreens (shopping there with no list and plan is couponing suicide) I pull all the coupons to use and the list of what I am buying and put the in an accordian file thingy like this:

I also keep all my ECB in there as well so I don't lose them. Hope this helps you get started!


Savannah said…
Chris this is such a wonderful site! This is EXACTLY what I need. If I told you how much I spend on groceries each month for two people, you would gag. But, I do like to eat the good stuff, fresh fruits and veggies, good meat, etc. You have always had a knack for keeping cost low when it comes to food--even in college when you were single. You're amazing! How did you learn all this anyway? :)
Savannah said…
What size binder do you use?
Kelly said…
Do you work (full-time, part-time, at all)?

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