warning: could cause coupon addiction

Some of you have asked my method of coupon-ing. So, I am writing up this post. Here is what I do. There are many methods so find what works for you!

  1. I make my shopping list for the week on the day after the ad comes out (unless I can get the list the day or two before - for me that's on Wednesday). I have been coupon-ing long enough now that I rarely purchase anything that is not on a super deal and/or I have a coupon for. There are always exceptions - but they make up a small minority of my list. My list is done in MS Word and you can download mine to see what it looks like and adapt it for you. It is definitely not fancy, but it is functional. :)
    • I go to a website that lists deals for my area. There are people who go through the ads statistically and tell you the deals for each week - lising them as 3, 4 or 5 star deals. I prefer Pinching Your Pennies (I use this list) - but there are many other sites that do lists. Pinching Your Pennies does not have extensive info for every state. I am in Utah and there info is amazing for Utah available through PYP. The Coupon Clippers has a nice list of stores by zip code, too.
    • I choose to shop two stores exclusively. This is personal preference due to time limitations. When I began shopping, I did more. I kept lists of ads ending on Tue and ads ending on Sat and checked for sales across the board. Sometimes I still do that - but usually I stick to the two stores closest to my home.
    • I look through the sales lists for the stores I have chosen, copying and pasting the info into my list. My list has four columns. The first column is the product (specific so I know size, etc. I'm looking for). The second column has the price before the coupon. The third column tells me of any deals - printables (printable coupons), Q (coupons), a dollar amount if I must spend a certain amount to get a discount, a # of items if I must buy a certain # of item to get a discount, etc. I have my own little short hand for this column. The fourth column tells me how much I will spend after deals and coupons. This list will keep me on track when I am in the store!
  2. I order any coupons* that are available for my list items. I am careful to only order coupons that haven't expired yet (you'd be amazed) and to order coupons that are the proper size, product, etc. I pay for my coupons - but not much (if any) more money is spent on these coupons than on newspapers if I went that route and I use EVERY (well, almost) coupon that I purchase as opposed to the many that are wasted if I clipped my own.
  3. I print my list immediately and put it in my purse. If for any reason I find myself at the store, I have my list (even if my coupons haven't arrived yet). I make sure these lists have the date the sale ends so that I don't get any more confused than I already am.
Stay tuned for information on catalinas, beer rebates, free Bath & Body Works and more...

*I do not purchase newspapers and clip coupons. I find this inefficient for me. Plus, I HATE dealing with the newspapers, clipping, garbage ad nauseum. Instead I purchase my coupons through either A) eBay or B) The Coupon Clippers. Usually, though, it's eBay. If you want information on how to become a terrific coupon clipper - sorry, that's not this post. If you feel that people shouldn't sell coupons on eBay, that is your opinion but please don't give me grief about buying them. I appreciate those who do it so I don't have to.

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