What advice would you give to a mom who wants to start couponing?
Couponing is about process and organization. Not all couponing methods are alike. You will know if your system or method is effective when you are able to quickly access your coupons in a short amount of time AND you are able to save at least 60% or more when you first start. Couponing takes a little bit of time, but the results and savings can be life-changing for you and your family so be patient! Here are a few step-by-step tips to get you started, but be sure to check out my complete step-by-step guide for couponing newbies: http://www.theitmom.com/couponing-newbies/
Step 1: Create a Coupon Binder (a zippered cloth binder with handles work best), add clear sports card pocket holders, along with binder tabs you can customize and label. There are several Coupon Binder Kits available that are ready to go if you would rather purchase them.
Step 2: Label each section of your binder tabs based on the grocery section aisles of the most common grocery store you purchase your groceries.
Step 3: Purchase 2-3 copies of the Sunday newspaper to begin collecting coupons. I suggest purchasing a newspaper subscription to receive better cost savings. Be patient and expect to collect about 4-5 weeks worth of coupons and keeping them organized before you’ll start seeing true results. It may seem expensive at first, but trust me, over a short period of time you’ll see dramatic savings.
Step 4: If you are new to couponing, I recommend that you DO NOT cut out every coupon from the Sunday newspaper – instead, save each coupon booklet and file them by coupon insert type (SmartSource or RedPlum) and date in file folders in an organized filing system with labels for easy access. You’ll find the dates on the binding corners of each coupon book. Staying organized is critical in Couponing success when you first start.
Step 5: Print out high-value coupons from my coupons sites each week (don’t forget that you can print twice). These coupons can be cut and folded into the clear business card or sports card pocket holders and appropriately filed within the tabs you labeled with your grocery aisles. *Note: Printing takes up a lot of ink and paper, so only print the high-value and/or coupon matchups you’ll be using for the current sales.
Step 6: Instead of going through every store’s weekly advertisement and matching coupons to sales yourself – use Coupon Matchup Sites or go to TheItMom.com every Sunday morning to get the list of best weekly deals (which is a completely free and we made super easy for couponing newbies). You can even sign up for our daily newsletter so you can be notified of new deals, sales and coupon match-ups here: http://bit.ly/eSubscribeTheItMom
Step 7: Locate the deals you’d like to buy from the Coupon Matchup Sites with your available coupons.