Alright I figured one of the ways to post some tips is to list some questions and answers. If you have any other questions be sure to post in the comments. One thing you should do when you are starting out is to make a junk mail email. When you are signing up for freebies, printing coupons etc they will ask for your email. You don't want to overload your regular email with all of the junk! It is a good idea to always sign up for the newsletters etc though, because they will email you printable coupons!! Ok on to the questions.
How do I get coupons?
The first and best way to get coupons is to buy the Sunday paper. It is suggested to buy as many papers as there are people in your household. This is completely up to you though. It all depends on if you want to have a stockpile or just pick up a few deals. The more coupons you have the more things you get. Be sure to find the place with the best deal for the newspaper (here we have The Dollar Tree. The Chicago Tribune is only $1.00 there.) Buy the paper from the biggest city in your area. All sunday coupons are not the same. Different papers get different coupons and the paper from the larger city will have the best coupons. It is so worth it to buy the newspaper!! You will make back the investment over and over.
How do I organize the coupons?
There are so many different ways to organize them. You have to find the method that is best for you. I am sure that you will change your method as you go. Most people start out with an accordion coupon holder. Here are the two most popular methods:
Binder Method~I will try to explain this the best way. With this method you take a three ring binder, baseball card plastic holders, dividers etc. You can customize it to your liking. This is the method I use. You can choose whatever categories work for you. Then you put the plastic baseball holder pages in between the dividers. File each coupon into the pockets. The way this works best is because when you are at the store with your binder and you come across an unpublished deal you will have your coupons with you. They are easy to find this way also. Check out pictures of mine here.
Filing Method~This is a great way to do it if you don't have a lot of time for cutting and organizing. With this method you will definitely need to use online sites and/or a coupon database. The way this works is when you get your Sunday paper you take out your inserts and place them into a file folder. Write the date on the folder. You can separate the inserts or just put them all in the folder together. Then when you are on a site and they are listing the deals almost all of them will post the date and type of insert the coupon came from and you can just go into your file and cut the coupon out.
What kinds of inserts are there?
The Sunday paper will include any or all of the following inserts: Smart Source(SS), Red Plum(RP), General Mills(GM) or P&G. Most Sundays you will have one Smart Source and one Red Plum. Every weekend is different though. You can find a coupon preview for 2010 here. Here is an example of a current deal:
Revlon Nail Clippers $1.42
Use the $1/1 coupon from the 7/18 SS
Final cost only $0.42!
So if you are doing the binder method you would go under whatever category you would place nail clippers and pull out your coupon. If you are using the filing method you would open your July 18th folder and cut the coupon out of the Smart Source.
There are so many other tips, but I don't want to overwhelm in one post. If you have any questions you would like answered..leave a comment!