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How to Coupon (the right way) to Get the Most SavingsIf you’re like me then you might want to use coupons but aren’t quite sure how to use them and you sure don’t have time to make couponing a full time job. Come on, admit it. You watch the Extreme Couponing shows and think the same thing! Although, I am sure you look on with envy when the couponers hit the register and spend 3 cents on a $1,897.00 order.

While not saving money at the grocery store is just not an option neither is spending 8 hours a day cutting coupons. So what do you do? Create your own system of course!

Before I dive in, I’ve got to share these best apps for saving money on groceries and shopping, in general:

  • Rakuten: This is for online shopping and in-person shopping. Signup to the site for free (use this link to get a $10 bonus) then use their portal to do your online shopping. For example, if you need to buy a few pairs of jeans from Old Navy, go to Rakuten then find Old Navy and click the link, which takes you to the Old Navy site. Do your shopping as normal and earn cash back! The cash back is applied to your Rakuten account and you can get it via PayPal. Plus, you can refer friends/family and earn $25 for every person you refer. It’s like getting paid to shop. Try this. Click here to head to Rakuten to learn more.
  • Ibotta: This app lets you scan your grocery receipts to get cash back. Its a fun way to make money for grocery shopping, hehe. Check them out here.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Subscribe to a newspaper in multiples

Yes, in order to save money, you will have to spend some. But here’s a trick- local papers typically run a promotion on their subscriptions one or two times a year. (Think Groupon, Living Social, etc.) Get the Sunday paper deal in multiples. I recommend getting 3 or 4 so you can have a LITTLE stockpile when the product goes on sale.  Don’t go crazy sales cycle every 8 weeks and I promise that you won’t use 15 bottles of ketchup in 8 weeks. Just think one sale cycle at a time.

Cut Coupons But Only Of Items Your Actually Use

It’s a novel idea, I know. But seriously, have you ever wondered just what the extreme couponer is going to do with 50 packets of soy powder? Well, so do they.  Don’t waste your time cutting out coupons on items you wouldn’t normally use if it wasn’t on sale. Truth is, money spent on items you don’t use is money wasted, not money saved. Save yourself the hassle and the trouble and just cut coupons on products you already use.

Hint: If you truly want to save money, you can’t have brand loyalty. Mayonnaise is mayonnaise is mayonnaise. So, seriously, skip the mock loyalty and throw whatever is on sale in that cart. You will thank yourself later.

Organize Your Coupons in an Easy File System

Use a dollar store accordion-style folder and sandwich baggies. Label each baggie with a permanent marker by item, i.e. toilet paper, soda, cheese, bread, etc. and then place the baggie in the corresponding file slot for that letter.

Review Your Store’s Weekly Ad Flyer! Match Your Coupons

Stores typically send out their flyers in the Sunday paper. If not, they’re all over the internet. Review the sales ad for anything you might need in the next 8 weeks that is currently on sale (think staple pantry items) or, that is a good deal or that you simply need to feed your family that week. Make a list as you go. Then go through your file folder, pull any matching coupons and … go shopping.

Saving money with coupons doesn’t have to be complicated. You don’t have to spend hours on clipping, matching, numerous stores, and coupon clubs. You CAN save money with a limited time investment.