The easiest way to get started with coupons is to get the Sunday paper. I will buy 2+ copies depending on what is included that week. I watch for the "blinkie" machines in the store and collect those too. Keep those coupons that you get at the check-out, these are great coupons to have. Other types of coupons are tear-pads. These coupons will be near the product, take some, but be considerate of others. Peelies are coupons that will be stuck to the product. These are meant to be used on that product when you purchase it.
The next step is to get organized. Decide how you want to organize them. For some people a small accordian file, or a recipe box with indexed cards works well. I prefer to use my zippered binder with baseball card holders to hold the coupons.
Now you need to clip and file your coupons. I clip everything that I know I will use, everything that I can trade, and also the coupons for new products that are coming out. I try to clip and file every weekend. As I am filing I will pull out the coupons that have expired also.
I divide mine into categories. Some prefer to organize by aisle or by product alphabetically.
Here are my categories:
Baby and kids
Candy and gum
Cereal and Bread-I divide it between manufacturers
Cleaning products-I include laundry soap here
Cosmetics and body care-make-up, deodorants, body soap and lotions,
Dairy-milk, yogurt, cheese, butter
Hair care-shampoo and conditioner,
Juice and soda
Medicine- also put first aid items here
Mexican and Ethnic
Pasta-rice, packaged meals,
Plastic and paper goods- bags, paper towels, toilet paper,
Refridgerated Non dairy- cookie dough, biscuits, pudding,
Sauces and dressings-pasta sauce, salad dressing, bbq sauce
Snacks and chips
Razors and shaving
Store coupons-Each store has a page Target, Safeway, Albertsons,
The easiest way to start your shopping is to take a look at the store circulars for the week. They will most likely come in the mail in Tuesdays, or on wednesdays if Monday was a holiday. Take a look at the ad and make a note of the things that interest you.
Next go to pinchingyourpennies.com
Go to Forums
Then to your state forum.
The shopping lists should be posted there for you to print out. The shopping list will show you what is on sale and the coupons that match up to it. The sale items are rated on a 5 star system with 5 being the best. Be selective about what you choose to buy. The biggest mistake that new couponers make is buying things that they won't use, or buying too many! I was also guilty of this!
I like to pull all the coupons that I plan to use for my shopping trip before I go to the store. I put them in a small pocket. I still take my binder in the store with me, you never know what deals may suprise you.
Top ways to save money at the grocery store
1. Look at the grocery ads! I plan my meals for the week based on what is on sale that week. Also plan to stock up on items that are on sale.
2. Clip coupons for the items that you know you will use and for items that are new in the stores. An item will most likely be introduced at a great discount.
3. Don’t be brand loyal. Generic or non-name brand items are usually the same quality.
4. Look at shelf tags and compare prices carefully. Sometimes you have to buy multiple items to get the sale price.
5. Ask for a rain check if an item is out of stock.
6. Sign up for savings cards at your local stores
7. Keep an eye out for stores that you may not usually shop at