Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Couponizing

I have a confession to make.

I hate clipping coupons.

I hate the mess it makes and the time it takes. And then, when it's time to look for my coupons, I hate searching through them all to find the one that I need.

So I use the simplest method possible to store and keep track of my coupons. I thought I would share it with you in case you are a closet coupon-clipping hater like myself. It doesn't get much easier than this.

First, a quick tutorial in case you are new at this coupon thing. I just started less than a year ago, and I promise it was all greek to me.

1) Sunday papers contain three basic sets of coupons: Red Plum, Smart Source, and Procter & Gamble. (Some regions also carry Valassis coupons, but mine does not.) Some weeks they carry all, and some just one or two.

2) There are tons of web-sites dedicated to matching up sales to coupons in stores nationwide. Rather than spending hours trying to do so on your own, why not let someone else do the work? Check out some of my favorite sites: Walmart, Price Chopper, Drug Stores, Other Grocery Stores...just to name a few.

And now for my system. I bought an accordion type file folder like this:


Then I labeled it like this:

PG=Procter & Gamble
RP=Red Plum
SS=Smart Source
MIR=Mail-in Rebates
All You=All You magazine (it's full of coupons)
CVS, Rite Aid, and Walgreens=my coupons for those stores
(These are the stores I frequent. Your list may be different.)

Each week, I take the coupon inserts out of my paper and I use a sharpie to label them with the date. Then I file them away, without clipping them.

As you look for the deals online, you will note that the sites use the name of the insert and the date the coupon was in it to indicate what coupons you should use. For example, if a coupon was in Procter & Gamble the week of March 1, the coupon will be labeled: PG, 3/1/09. So you can just open your handy dandy file folder, grab the 3/1 insert from the PG section, and clip the coupon that you need.

Isn't that easy?

But wait, it gets better! I know that some of you may actually want to know what coupons that you have, in case you need to use one that isn't listed on a site. Have I got a deal for you! I am going to post a weekly database that lists all of the coupons from the Sunday paper in alphabetical order. I will update it each week so that it is current and all expired coupons have been removed. So, if you need to know if you have a coupon for Lysol toilet bowl cleaner, you can just open the database, scroll down to the L's and BAM! your question is answered. Look for a link to the database on the right hand side of my blog for easy access.

HOLD THE PHONE!!! I just found out that there is an online database for coupons ALREADY. Just go here to register and then you can search for coupons to your heart's content. Their database will also list printable coupons that are available...SCORE! This is why I love the world of money saving bloggers...there is never a need to re-invent the wheel. THANKS, SHARON!

I would love to know if you have any questions. I really want to be a resource, particularly for those who are new to this whole coupon thing. It's easier than it seems!

Happy non-clipping!

4 comments:

Sharon said...

You might already know this, and if you do, just ignore me. But if you don't know it and I didn't say it, I would feel bad....

HotCouponWorld has a coupon database that I L-O-V-E. I do the same hanging file thing with my inserts, and then I just go to HCW to see if a coupon exists. That way I don't have to clip.

Check it out here:

http://www.hotcouponworld.com/forums/coupon.php


Sharon

PS -- Vasili and RedPlum are the same thing. They just changed the name, so newbies like me could be confused.

tonya said...

hey i saw a coupon thing on dr phil (i think it was that show) recently and since you'd love to answer my question :) - is there a place where i can find organic coupons? thanks :)

Sharon said...

Tonya - in case you're still looking, here is a lead on the organic coupons. http://goodtrueandbeautiful.blogspot.com/search/label/Organic

Kaley - how do you do the cross out thing? Too cool!

Anonymous said...

I just might need a tutorial on this - I thought clipping coupons was fun! Kidding but I'm not sure if I have the brain cells to organize it this well.
Natalie