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Now that I’ve got you clipping and saving coupons…what on earth are you going to do with them?
I quickly had to come up with a solution so as not to bury my house in little paper cutouts. I looked around and found some ideas that were helpful…. I ended up with a fantastic coupon binder.
I use a 1 1/2″ binder that I have filled with wallet sized picture holders. These holders can be purchased at hobby shops… I bought mine at Hobby Lobby for $3.50 … with a coupon, of course!
I saw a link to the binder idea HERE at Money Saving Mom … I later discovered that the woman who had the great idea, Rachel, is the wife of one of my husband’s business partners! In fact… it was her husband talking to mine that started this whole adventure for me. What a small world to come full circle!
Here is my binder:
I use these categories to divide up my coupons. When I am shopping… I carry an empty envelope and pull the coupons as I need them. NOTHING will get you booed out of a store faster than intending to use eight billion coupons… and not having them ready to go when you hit the register!!
I also have a section for CVS coupons and one for Target Coupons as these are the two stores I shop at that send out their own coupons as well. I also keep my weekly store circulars in the back of my binder. If you shop at Wal-Mart, they will price match local deals but you have to have the inserts with you.
Getting the Most for your Coupon Buck
You’ve got ‘em…they are organized…. now USE ‘EM!!!
1) Shop the sales!! Remember when we first got started and I told this?? Now is the time! If you use your coupon for an item that is already on sale… you are stretching your coupon dollar even further. Find the items that are on sale, and buy several of them while they are on sale… you won’t have to pay full price for them when you “need” them later. I recently purchased a Glade Scented Oil Candle Warmer at Target for -$0.50!! They were on temporary price reduction from $5.00 to $2.50. I had a $3.00 off manufacturer’s coupon. I got the item for free…and had $0.50 that was “used” towards another item.
2) Stack your coupons. Many stores like Target, Food Lion and CVS print their own coupons for items. You can use one of these PLUS one manufacturer’s coupon per item. Scotch Fur Fighters (which work really well by the way!) are currently $9.99 at my Target. I had a $4 off MF coupon and a $4 Target Coupon. I got this product for $0.99! That is a 90% savings!
3) Buy small. You can save LOADS more money buying several smaller items and using several coupons than if you used one coupon on a “jumbo” or “economy” size. For instance: Trial sizes of Gillette Satin Care shave gel (2.5oz) are $1.00 at Target. Regular sized cans (7oz) are $3 or $4. If you use a $1.00 or $0.55 off coupon on the trial sized…and buy 3 this way… you are either getting it for free or spending $1.35. If you buy one of the regular sized can and use one $1 or $0.55 off coupon…you are still paying between $3-4. See where I am going with this?
If you buy small you also have the opportunity to create overages for yourself…which is like creating another discount. If you have a $5.00 off ANY coupon for Zantac… the 8ct. box at Walmart is $2.89. That gives you an overage of $2.11. You will not get money back from the store…but it will apply towards your total order…so if you have to buy diapers or milk…and don’t have coupons…it helps lessen the burden a little bit.
Read your coupons carefully. Not all coupons may be used on all sizes.
**TIP** Print your store’s coupon policy and carry it with you (in your binder or other method of coupon storage). Sometimes new cashiers aren’t always aware of the policy…sometimes they will tell you they don’t take printables. Sometimes they will tell you you can’t use a coupon for over the amount of the product purchased. Always be courteous to them. Stay calm and explain that the company’s policy IS to take them…or that the store still gets reimbursed the total amount of the coupon and it IS valid (as long as the coupon has no restrictions)… if all else fails put the item back and tell them you will call corporate. Then DO IT. Generally they will be apologetic (you might get a coupon out of the deal)…and they will call the store to make the correction…it should be easier for you to shop the next time.