Sunday, March 7, 2010
I have two binders that I use to keep all my coupons I accumulate between inserts, printables, free samples, coupon booklets, etc.
One binder is for food and the other binder is for everything else. I have my coupons in 9x9 baseball card inserts and I separate them by categories. I keep the store coupons in the front of each binder and the misc stuff in the pockets. You can do whatever categories work the best for you. I have mine separated into a lot of different categories, because that is what makes it easier for me.
Some ways to get coupons are to buy the sunday paper, print coupons from various sites online, write to manufactures praising or complaining about their products, free samples, and a lot of manufactures have coupon booklets you can request online that will be mailed to your house. I suggest having a different email address than your regular one to use for couponing as you will get a lot of things emailed to you when you sign up for coupons, free samples etc. Try to get on as many mailing lists as possible because with their newsletters they will often send coupons.
I cut out almost all coupons from the sunday paper unless I know it is something I won't use and it won't be cheap or free. I use to print out every online coupon I saw thinking there MIGHT be a sale, well that isn't very cheap when you think of ink and paper. So now what I do is only print the ones I know I will use for sure. Or the high value coupons that I know I will use. If you see a coupon you are pretty sure you will use be sure to print it right away. Especially high value coupons, because they have print limits that will be reached very fast. Most internet coupons allow you to print two of each. If you have more then one computer you can print 2 for each computer.
It takes a lot of time to do this, but the payout is worth it! I usually go through my binder at the beginning of every month to clear out any expired coupons. I usually do this while I'm watching TV or if it's slow at work.
Another thing to remember with coupons is it is best to purchase the smallest item. Be sure to check the restrictions on the coupon. If it doesn't exclude trial size then hit up the travel section at your store! You will have tons of little shampoos, body washes and deodorants laying around, but it is better to get $1 off a .97 item than $1 off a $2 item for example.
I also use a file box that I keep store ads, rebates, receipts, coupons to be filed, etc in. And the purse is my binder carrier :) Hubby got it for me for Christmas and I LOVE it! It is so nice and the two pockets in the front make it nice you can use one for the coupons you pull out that you are using and the other to stick them in to be refiled later!!
You will figure out your own style in time and what works best for you. Just go with the flow and remember to have fun!!!!