Monday, January 20, 2014

Couponing 101

Couponing 101

Its official! Ben and I have been couponing for two years now! I know lots of you have seen the crazy couponing show, and thought how much work it looks like they put into it.  I am here to tell you it can be done with very little work and lots of rewards.  We also do couponing for two people so we do it on a much smaller and more reasonable level than the families on TV.  To celebrate our couponing anniversary I thought I would do a post on how we do it.  We have found this is the best way for us to do it, but there are tons of ways people do it.

Our coupon supplies:
Three ring binder
Plastic sheet protectors (8.5x11inches)
Letter size envelopes
Paper clips or bobby pins
Two Sunday Papers each week

Every Sunday we buy two Sunday papers, this is always the first step.  We cut the coupons and make piles, we have ours in different categories based on roughly where they are in the store.  You can do this based on the store you shop most, for us we base it on our local Harris Teeter.  When cutting coupons, some people use photo cutters like you can get in a scrapbooking section and some use plain old scissors.  We are only cutting a few inserts so we use scissors.  Ben likes to stack the two sets and cut the two together, I prefer to cut them individually.

Once they are all cut, we sort them into sections.  For example, all shampoo and conditioner goes in a stack, razors in another, deodorant in one, and dental products in another.  We go through the coupons already in our binder and pull out all the expired coupons.  Some places have programs where you can donate coupons to military families overseas.  Military families in other countries can use coupons up to 6 months past the expiration date at base commissaries.  If there's no program like this, we toss them in our paper recycling.

We then paper clip the individual stacks to the existing stacks in our binder.  If you run out of paper clips, we have found bobby pins will do in a bind. 

After everything is paper clipped it goes into the correct envelope, we have envelopes by section of the store, so they are labeled with men's products and women's, cereal/bars, frozen, dairy, baking, etc. The envelopes then go into plastic sheet protectors based on the larger section of the store they are in.  These categories include Snacks, Dry/canned goods, cold, hygiene, cleaning, etc. 

Before I go to the store, I like to print our the Evic coupons, evic specials, and any good printable coupons.  Also, make sure you know your store's coupon policy as this changes in each store.  I have several sites I like to visit before that usually have lists of the best deals at each store each week.  Two of my favorites include http://thekrazycouponlady.com/ and http://www.mycouponteacher.com/.  Both of these websites are great sources, especially if you are just starting out.

When we go into the store, we know during Super Double time at Harris Teeter we can do twenty coupons a day doubled per VIC card so we are constantly counting the coupons we are planning on using.  Once we pull an item off the shelf and decide we are going to use a coupon, we slide the coupons in the back pocket of the binder.  When looking for deals, on a regular day, coupons .99 cents and under will double unless they say do not double.  During Super Double at Harris Teeter, coupons $2.00 and under will double.  Also, if there is a BOGO or Buy One Get One deal, you can use a coupon on each of the items or buy just one and it rings at half price.  During Triple Coupon time, coupons .99 cents and under will triple.  We follow these basic principles and go aisle by aisle looking through all of the coupons for deals.  With our envelope system, I can hand Ben an envelope and he can take it and do another section of the store to get the work done faster.  At checkout, I like to swipe our VIC card after everything has been rung up so I can write the total before everything.  I then swipe the VIC card, write the new total, hand them the coupons, then write down the total at the end.

Some of our best trips, we got our purchases down to where we spent roughly 15 percent of our total.  On average we do anywhere from 15-33 percent of what our total would have been. Thats a ton of savings! You can see some pictures below of what we have gotten with coupons.  Hope this helps, feel free to ask any questions or give any tips, thanks!


  1. I've read this post twice, and I'm still not sure how you manage to keep up with all of this! You are totally a coupon superstar! :)

  2. We will have to plan a couponing lesson!


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