I drank the Kool Aid

So I’m a couponer now.  I haven’t gone whole hog yet with a big system, but I’m doing better each week.  I’m getting better deals all the time and it’s pretty exciting to start with a GIANT subtotal then walk out paying less than $20.

Things I’m NOT doing:

  • Going to more than one drug store.  I’m a CVS girl and I just don’t have the time or desire to bounce around from drugstore to drugstore.
  • Same with grocery stores.  We use the one CSP works for and the one down the street from us, plus Aldi because you just can’t beat their prices even though the don’t take coupons.
  • Turning my house into a mini grocery store.  We do not have a pantry.  We have precious little storage space.  So while this week’s deals at CVS means we’re set for body wash and lotion for like 6 months, that’s about it.  I can’t be buying 47 bottles of mustard just because they are only 12 cents.  We just don’t have the room.  We currently have 3 bottles of mustard but they all fit in the kitchen cabinets.  I refuse to turn our guest room into a bomb shelter or store steak sauce under our future kidlet’s bed.
  • Paying for coupons.  It just seems counterintuitive to me.
  • Buying 19 papers every Sunday.  I buy one.  There are just 2 of us for now.  Maybe when the kidlet comes home and the demand for granola bars skyrockets then I’ll shell out for more than one paper.
  • Dumpster diving.  I am not judging.  But I am a huge priss.  I can not stand dirt.  I understand that people throw out their coupons and it’s just money sitting in a bin somewhere but it’s just not worth it to me.  Knowing my luck I’d get stuck and have to call CSP and NOBODY wants that drama again.
  • Being as efficient as I know I could be.

Right now my system is very beginner coupon girl I know.  I am currently using a little accordion file coupon organizer like this one from Carolina Pad (holla! Gotta represent my favorite local office supply company) for all my loose coupons.  Then I make my lists and put all the coupons I plan on using at CVS or the grocery into zip loc bags labeled with the store name.  Those are all held in a little notebook in my purse with a binder clip.  Binder clips are my all time favorite office supply, by the way.   I’ve seen/heard of a couple methods and I’m wondering which you all prefer.  I’ve seen people use the big binder.   I can totally see the pros and cons of using this system.  But I’ve also heard of people just filing the entire coupon insert into an accordion or hanging file  and going back to clip each coupon as they need it instead of clipping all at once.  I also see pros and cons with this system.  What do you use and why?  Thank you for your help!

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15 thoughts on “I drank the Kool Aid

  1. You are exactly where I want to be and just can’t seem to get there. Just don’t get it. I know I need to make the time and figure it out but just don’t know where to start. I’m with you. Have no desire to have a flippin’ warehouse in my house. I’d just be happy to stockpile some toilet paper and cut my bill down to 20 bucks like you.

    • Jacquie- Start small like I did. Sign up for a couple of email subscriptions from coupon sites for inspiration (like Couponing to Disney or Coupon Katarina). Go buy a Sunday paper. Pull out the coupons and any ads from stores where you normally shop. Clip the coupons you think you’ll use. Then flip through the ads and see if any of the sales match up with any of the coupons you clipped. Make sure you are signed up for store cards (like CVS’s ExtraCare Card). Now go shopping!

  2. I’m a binder girl. My mom just became one, too. I tried the other method and it just didn’t work for me. I have mine tabbed and divided and it makes it super simple. Welcome to the world of saving $$. BTW, Super Doubles this week 🙂

    • I think I’ll end up in a binder sooner than later. I’m tired of doing the coupon shuffle when I see something at the store that wasn’t on my list. Southern Savers has the super doubles all broken down and matched up! I’m making my list!

  3. I use the file system. I only clip the coupons I need, when I need them.
    I do stockpile, but we have 7 adults (well, Nick’s 16, but same difference). I don’t have 47 bottles of mustard, but we do have enough laundry detergent for a year. I got them for a buck a piece, and felt it was worth it to stockpile those now.

    Really, that’s the main concept of couponing- get what you will use when it’s dirt cheap so you don’t have to pay full price later.

    I would SO dumpster dive if I could find one around here. It’s not mixed in with regular trash (ew) and would be worth it to me.

    I have been known to buy coupons, but not often. For example, the nivea body wash $3 coupon that came out last week are selling for about 50c each- people are going nuts getting these coupons, so that they can get their body wash “free”. I’d rather just wait- there will be other washes for that price or less later.

    Lastly, we buy 3-4 papers per week, but at one time we did 10. that was too much for us.

    • I would totally have a small stockpile of non-perishables if we had the room. I get the whole “buy when on sale & you have a coupon and not when you need it” thing. I tried to talk CSP into letting me stroll through the neighborhood and recycle bin dive for coupons but he was NOT on board. Next time he works late on trash night I’m doing it though!

  4. Hey Girl-

    I’ve been at it for going on 4 years now. I used to use a binder and cut the coupons every Sunday and stuff ’em in their categories when I didn’t work. When I started back working my time became more valuable and now all my inserts just get filed in a filing cabinet.

    When gals first start out they are super excited and aggressive but soon find that it is SO MUCH more work than they anticipate and throw in the towel. I would suggest doing as little work as possible and put the effort of cutting coupons 1 by 1 into researching your deals. Then write each deal down on a piece of paper then cut your coupons, paperclip them to your shopping list. Off you go. This helps you to stay focused in the store too. Also, remember whatever deal you see you’ll see it again in about 6 weeks or so, so there’s no need to buy 5,000 packs of gum like a lot of new couponers like to do (out of excitement:)). But you’re not interested in an End of the World stockpile anyway. Have fun!

  5. I luv luv your organizer..much cuter than my striped pseudo fabric one. I only clip what I use and try to find the deals, but usually end up at Walmart saving just the face value. That might change now that I have some time on my hands with not working. I don’t have the room to stockpile and it’s only me..The main things is to have fun and saving something is better than nothing at the end of the day 🙂

    • Start small! With one Sunday paper. Then go from there! You can do it and once you get that first really low total at the register for a bag full of stuff you need- you’re hooked! And who doesn’t need to save $$??

  6. I have a small accoridan file right now but I want to get a binder and organize it better. I pull out what I’m going to use in each store along with my lost and use a binder clip to secure them. I try to put them in order and then watch the screen as they scan to make sure it’s right.
    love coupons!

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