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My Couponing Experience Part 2

Updated on October 23, 2011

Have you gotten your coupons? Awesome. So now what? Now we have to organize.

This is where you get to do whatever works best for you and your family and your schedule. Take your coupons and sort them out. How? However you need to. I do mine by expiration date because I shop on my pay days. This lets me know what's coming up to be expiring. My sister goes by product, meat, dairy, pet, baby. Another friend does it alphabetical by product name Alphabits, Cheerios, doughnuts.

A lot of the couponers are using binders. These binders have baseball card holders inside and have dividers to break everything up into your categories. How you set it up is all up to you. In mine, it's very simple. Monthly dividers with the card pages are organized by expiration date and product category.

Now, once you have everything together, do you just run out and shop because you have coupons?? NO!!! That's madness. You'll never save anything that way. Go through and look at what's on sale at your store and then match up coupons. Go woth me on this journey. Say your store has Cheerios on sale for $2 a box. And you have a coupon for $1 a box. Cheerios are now $1. And if you're store doubles coupons like my Dillon's store does, well then you just scored free Cheerios. I know, right. So how do the chicks on TV do the $1000 worth of groceries for $5? Not everything has a coupon. And not everything goes on sale at the same time. What they do is use overages.

Overages happen when an item like aspirin is on sale for $1. you have a coupon for the same brand of aspirin for $1.50 and you're store doubles that coupon up to a dollar. Making it $2.50. You've just made $1.50 per bottle of aspirin. That $1.50 can now go towards your milk, meat, and other things that hardly ever go on sale.

Biggest things to look out for on your coupons. Check limits. If it says must buy 2, then you have to buy 2. Sometimes, you're store will have a 10/$10 deal. Check to see if you really have to buy all ten to get the special price. Also check to see what the price was before the sale. If you're getting ready to buy something for $1 and it's normally 99 cents, how much of a deal is that, really? Some coupons will say limit one per transaction or purchase. Ask your store what they feel that means. That will keep you from having a panic attack at the register. A lot of times I've noticed, and this is just my experience, that if I have 4 of the same coupon then I can get one item per coupon. And that leads me to my next tip, talk to your store's manager. Find out what the policies for coupons are. They may even take expired coupons. But you have to check in often with them in case anything changes.

Another really neat thing, stacking. If your store has a coupon for an item like laundry soap and you have a manufacturer's coupon for the same thing, you can put the two together and save more money. Just make sure you check to see what you store loyalty card covers, too. In the case of Dillon's any coupon on the card trumps all other coupons and they are not doubled. So beware.

Well, that's it for that. Tonight I get paid and I'm going shopping. I will let you know how it goes.

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