Anyone who has talked to me recently at any length has heard me talk about my new hobby...coupons!! I've read on several blogs and forums how shoppers are able to get things at a significant discount (sometimes free or for a profit!) by watching sales, ads, and using coupons. I admit, it is quite overwhelming and complex, but I am learning a lot.
First, I assembled my coupon binder. It is made from a zip up binder, subject dividers, and baseball card collector sheets. Each sheet has nine pockets to place coupons into. My binder is organized into sections including, freezer, refrigerator, baking items, cleaners, make-up, teeth/mouth care, medicine, etc. (note: I tried to link the site that gave instructions on this method, but it appears it is no longer and active site)
Part of the trick is learning where to get coupons and how to use them effectively. Crystal, at Biblical Womanhood, has been a great help in getting started. The best place is to subscribe to the local newspaper, especially Sunday's paper--it is loaded with coupons. If there seem to be a lot of great coupons in a particular week I will purchase an extra paper for additional coupons. My sweet mother-in-law often sends her coupons my way as well. Many coupons are available online and by contacting companies and requesting coupons. At first I thought it was crazy to contact companies, but I thought I would give it a try to see what happened. Thus far I have written two companies and received coupons...one of which was from Ciba Vision for a free bottle of AOSept Contact Solution, a $9.00 value! It took no longer than three minutes to e-mail them. Just think, essentially I spent three minutes to "make" $9.00. At that rate I could make $180 per hour! Okay, maybe not all the coupons are that good, but I was pleased and will never hesitate to contact a company again. After all, the worst thing that could happen is they could say no.
In future posts I hope to share some deals I've found. Thus far we have been astonished how much we have saved just by taking a little time, putting forth a little more effort, and planning into our shopping trips.