I do not believe in extreme couponing! But I do like to save money! Here is my simple coupon organization for beginners (and non-beginners!).
In a nutshell, I make a list of the items I buy that are most expensive and then I go looking for coupons for those things. Here is how I organize my coupons, the best places to find coupons for things you already buy, and where I keep them!
MY STRATEGY FOR MEAL PLANNING & SIMPLE COUPON ORGANIZATION (FOR BEGINNERS AND EXPERTS!)
Like I said, I do not believe in extreme couponing! I think it’s a huge waste of time but more importantly, just makes us want to consume more and more. And I’m all about simplifying! If that means I pay 27 cents more for a bottle of shampoo, then whatever.
Here’s my meal planning and simple coupon strategy (in the order of operations, if you will – for all you math geeks) 😉
- meal plan (based on “shopping” my own freezer and pantry first)
- make grocery list
- look for coupons for higher priced items
- look at sale flyers the day before and decide where to shop
- pick up really good stock up prices
1 How I organize my coupons (without using a binder!)
I use Trello to keep track of meal planning, my coupons, and grocery lists.
I call it my “TOP 10” but it’s usually more than ten. I keep it named that because it reminds me to keep it simple and not go overboard and spend hours looking for coupons that save me a quarter. Reminder: my time is worth money and so is yours!
Also, once you have those coupons in your hand, set the due date on the card for the expiration date – then you’ll just grab those coupons and throw them out (but hopefully you used them all!) instead of having to clean out your coupon organizer every month.
This is a sample Coupons & Grocery Shopping Trello board if you’d like to copy it for yourself. Just click here or on the picture, then go to Show menu > More > Copy board.
2 Where I buy coupons
This one is my favorite because the lots are only 5 coupons each (remember, not trying to hoard coupons here!) and the prices are really good!
Lots of 5 – best prices!
Ships within 24 hours from FL
Free shipping on $5 or more (.50 under $5)
Ships from Ohio
Free shipping over $15, other options available under $15
Ships 4 days a week (Mon, Tues, Wed, Fri)
$3 minimum order
No minimums, no fees, same day shipping
Ships from Tennessee
These are in larger lots – of 10 or 20 – so only get coupons you KNOW you’re going to use!
Multiple vendors so ships from various places
Free Standard shipping
Each vendor has it’s own shipping policies – double check!
I’ve found good, unique coupons on eBay like for organic and gluten free items that aren’t on the other sites.
Shipping location and price obviously varies. Don’t forget to double check whether it’s an auction or a buy it now!
TIPS FOR USING COUPON CLIPPER SITES
I searched coffee and found Dunkin Donuts cold brew coupons for $2 off – one site had them for 10 cents, one for 12, one for 15 and one for 20.
Check expiration dates!
Make sure they’ll get to you in time AND you’ll have time to use them before the expiration date.
Verify the minimum order
Some coupons are already in packs of 5 or 10, some are individually ordered. Just double check before you order, and obviously don’t buy coupons you won’t use. Are you really going to eat 10 dozen eggs before next Sunday???
3 Where I keep my coupons
Since I do not accumulate a whole ton of coupons, I don’t need to keep a binder. I keep them in a simple coupon organizer I found on Etsy. I love it because it’s soft, expandable, and clips right to the cart (she also makes larger ones!)
But I don’t rely on the coupon organizer to tell me what I have – I just look at my Trello list to see what’s “in stock”.
When it’s time to hit the store, I look at Trello, see what coupons I’ll be using (because it’s already there in my grocery list), pull them out of my organizer and put them in the front. Easy peasy.
I hope this helps you to NOT extreme coupon but to simplify your couponing 🙂 Cheers to saving money and time on the things you already buy!