Awhile ago I wrote a post about how I’m saving money after college. One of the ways I use is using coupons. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not a crazy coupon lady. I don’t have a giant binder with thousands of coupons and spending no money at all on anything (there is nothing wrong with these people either!) I just don’t have the time or patience for that, and honestly, it wouldn’t work for me. A lot of coupons that I find are things that I would never buy and I’m not going to clip a coupon for something to save money but I know I won’t use, ever. Or on the flip side I will use it but you need to buy 5 of the items to save a dollar. That’s not worth it to me either.
I’m not a professional at this at all but I have come up with a system that works for me that I thought I would share with you. If you have any suggestions on how I can tweak it let me know in the comments, or tell me what you do and maybe I’ll adapt it in some way!
I bought a coupon holder. I know, I know some of you might be thinking it’s the first step to the coupon binder but no, it’s just so that the coupons aren’t falling all over my bag.
I’ve broken the compartments that work best for me: breakfast, canned, condiments, dairy, drinks, frozen, fruits and veggies, home items, meat, personal items, snacks, and specific stores. The specific stores is for things like bath and body works, bed bath and beyond…stores that constantly send me coupons that I sometimes use and are nice to have. Those are paper clipped together in the order that they expire so that I can stay on top of them.
I typically do most of my shopping at Target. When I’m getting ready to go shopping I sit down with my coupon holder and Cartwheel app. I sit down with a notebook and write down the things I know I need. I then go through my coupons and write out if I have one for that item. Then I go through the Cartwheel app to see if what I need is available for additional discount through there. It works for me. I’m not saving hundreds but where I am right now in my life every little bit counts. I have no problem buying store brand if it’ll save me some money and it is nearly the same product as the name brand. My mom and brother have an issue with that but they’re slowly starting to see my side of it.
Like I said, my process isn’t perfect but it works for me. Will I use this same method the rest of my life? Who knows. I do know that while I’m living at home and paying off my student loans that this is what I will be doing. I might tweak it as I continue to grow up. Let me know if you want to know updates if anything changes.
So tell me what works for you. Are you a couponer? Are you an extreme couponer? I’m starting to really get into this and I want to hear other’s stories and tips.