Coupons, I have had this love-hate thing with them. I shop the perimeter and often those items do not have coupons. My kitchen is strapped for cabinets, I do not have a pantry or a closet to make into a pantry so stockpiling bargains is a challenge. When I flip through the inserts, see plenty of products I would never buy no matter what the price, because they just are not product I use (i.e. air fresheners, pet & baby products, most cleaners). However, I do use toilet paper and as Andrea of Mommy Snacks pointed out in her guest post, Couponing for Smaller Households, there are often coupons for health and beauty products.
No matter how excited the rest of the coupon blogosphere gets about $2.50 Electrasol* coupons, I only clip and organize the coupons for products I know I can store and use. I pull out others for my mom and sister and the rest are donated to the coupon box at work. Every couponer finds a coupon filing system that works for her, I prefer using an old 8×11.5×1 binder with baseball card protectors (my mom and I split a pack) and sleeve protectors. The front sleeve protector is for housing the coupons I am using on that day’s trip, first of the back two protectors are for to-be filed coupons (ones I get from my mom) and the last for other store coupons (like Michaels, Archivers, clothing stores etc). It is a light-weight system that I can put in my black purse or leave in my car. My coworker uses a small photo album meant for wallet photos, which she can stow in her purse and a black binder clip for holding the trip’s coupons. Like many couponers, both of us have had our binders admired at the store, which makes us smile!
Throughout the week, I keep an eye out for hot coupon Tweets and scan the coupon matching scenarios on local blogs, like Mommy Snacks and Cincinnati Cents in order to make my plan of attack so that I spend the least amount of time in the store. Then, I make my list so I can race through the store like I am on SuperMarket Sweep (okay, not really) and arrive organized at the register ready to watch for price errors.
If you are local and interested in learning more about Stretching Your Shopping Dollar, plan to attend Andrea of Mommy Snacks presentation at the West Chester Public Library on January 8 at 7pm.
*I am the dishwasher