Monday, February 8, 2010

How to Save with Coupons

Wow! As I sit here this morning, I am wondering... What do I have to offer that might actually help someone else?" Let me start by saying... "I started couponing around 9 years ago and it has truly been an "on & off experience." The first thing I always tell someone who is wanting to start couponing, is... "Do what works best for you!" God doesn't want us to stress ourselves out, but does want us to be wise with the finances that he has blessed us with.

You may be the person that jumps right in and instantly saves 50%-90% off of your groceries, or you may just be doing good to "get to the store." (That is usually those with new babies.)

We all have our "seasons of life."

Today, I thought I would tell you how to get started with setting up a coupon folder, and how to use the coupons once you get it set up.

Step 1: I bought a 3 ring zipper binder, 5sheet protectors, 30 sheet dividers, and around 90 baseball card sheet holders. (these are probably cheapest at Wal-Mart in the baseball card section.)

Step 2: I chose the 30 categories that I use often to file my coupons behind.
They are : baby, baking mixes, baking supplies, beverages, bread, candy, canned goods, cereal, cleaning, coffee/tea, condiments, cookies/crackers, cosmetics/skincare, dairy, dental, diet/nutrition, entree mixes, ethnic, frozen, hair, jelly/syrup/peanut butter, meat, medicine/ miscellaneous (batteries, toys, etc.), paper, personal care, pets, produce, restaurants, snacks, & spices. You may want to change these up to fit your own needs, or break down some, like the personal care and frozen into more specific categories.

Step 3: I buy a 2 pack of coupons on Saturday, collate, cut and file. (Lately, I have been getting the coupons for free though. The newspaper that comes for free in my driveway on Saturday, has a set of coupons inside. I use those and a neighbor gives me her set, that she doesn't use. :-) FREE! Some people that teach couponing will have you get one set for every person in your family. (If there are 5 of you, get 5 sets.... their thinking is a family of 5 will go through that free toothpaste faster so you should get 5 tubes free! I usually stick to 3 sets, because, as you will see later, that is the most that the stores will double a one time.)

Step 4:
If you noticed, I even keep those restaurant coupons in my binder. When I get the "Clipper", or any other mailer with a coupon, I can prevent the paper pile, by filing them in my folder. I then keep my folder in my car, and when we eat out.... I usually choose based on my coupons!

Step 5: I use the 5 sheet protectors in the back of my book and write on them with a sharpie. These are for those odd coupons that I never knew what to do with.. Examples of my categories: RX (several stores will offer gift cards with a new or transferred RX,) Hair & Nail coupon, Car Repairs, Bed Bath & Beyond (they take expired, competitors, and multiple coupons on the same order, and then I have a Misc. Dept. store (Justice, Old Navy, Belk, Kohl's, etc. )

Now we are ready to SHOP!
I know that the above information is a lot , but putting your folder together is the hardest part.


Double Coupons - means that a store will take a coupon up to .50 and double it on the item you are purchasing. This means a coupon for .40 = .80 off!

Triple Coupons - means that a coupon up to .39 can be tripled at the register, so a coupon worth .35 will be $1.05 off at the register.

Price Match - this means that you can take competitor ads to this store, and they will match their price.

Face Value - this means the coupon will only be worth the value on the front of the coupon.

Extra Care Bucks - Register Rewards - This is something that the drugstores have come up with the get you to shop at their store. (example of this: Walgreens this week has men's Dove body wash for $5.99 a bottle.... when you check out, you will get a register coupon/receipt, that says... "Save $5.99 off of your next purchase... compliments of Dove.") The next time you go back to the store, you get to use it like CASH! (just don't use it on your next bottle of Dove, or you won't get a new receipt for $5.99... use it on anything else.)

Stores and Their Policies

Kroger - They will double and triple coupons at all times. They will do this for up to 3 like items. Example: If I am buying 3 bottles of Hunts ketchup, and I have 3 coupons for Hunts, they will double or triple all 3 coupons. The 4th coupon would be face value only.

Tom Thumb - They double and triple coupons at all times, however, they will only do the 1st coupon for "like" products. Example" If you bought 3 Hunt's ketchup's here, and had 3 coupons, they would double the first, and only give you face value off the 2nd and third. (so you would have to do multiple trips or transactions.)

Albertson's - They are exactly like Kroger.

Market Street - They will take coupons, but only at "Face Value."

Wal-Mart - They take coupons at face value, and they price match.

CVS - They take coupons at face value, they offer Extra Care Bucks, and they let you stack coupons. (That means... if you have a CVS coupon and a manufacturer coupon for the same item, they will take both.) Sometimes, when they have a sale, this will mean FREE or really inexpensive!

Walgreens - They take coupons at face value, they offer Register Rewards, and they also stack coupons, like CVS.

Bed, Bath & Beyond - Will take expired, competitors, and multiple coupons on the same order.

*** Hopefully some of this information is helpful to you. I am excited to start blogging and sharing some of my money saving secrets. Hopefully, they will help someone. I have several other money saving ideas, websites, and fun tips to share in the next blog, but hopefully this will help get you started.

Don't think you have to get to ever store and get every deal every week. Do what is best for you and your family. That might mean just getting to your favorite store, and using coupons on the items that you are purchasing. Any savings is being a better steward for Christ!
God bless, and have a great week!


  1. Angie, I love couponing! It is almost like a game...seeing how much you can save but I agree with you about the Seasons of Life. Since I have had a baby (7 months ago) I am lucky just to get to the store sometimes. I do try to get my coupons even though they may be a little behind as far as getting them into my notebook but I know that one day I am going to wake up and be able to coupon that week! Thanks for this great post today. I am going to share it with a friend of mine that is wanting to learn to coupon.

  2. Thanks Amanda. You are doing such a great job as a new mom and keeping up with all of the blogging for the church. You are way ahead of the game!

  3. Angie this is great! (even though I am not good at it at the moment -- I am blaming it on my stage of life :-)

  4. :-) That is great Stephanie. I even have been blaming it on that lately too. Just because I have been working part-time. I did make it out today though... Saved a lot! It is so worth it when I get there.