Happy National Coupon Month!
Thursday, September 6th, 2012
Labor Day may be one of the most celebrated holidays in September, but there is another event that will inspire you to save money all month long: National Coupon Month!
That’s right, coupons have their own month-long celebration, so it is the perfect time of the year to learn how to coupon if you don’t already know how to do so, or if you feel you aren’t seeing the savings you should.
I began coupon clipping about eight years ago, around the time my first daughter was born. I also began matching sales with coupons at that time. While I never get my groceries for free (I don’t even work toward breaking even anymore, because there is way too much produce in my basket to cut down my costs!), I do save a lot of money each week using coupons.
For instance, I typically get out of the store with at least $15 in savings from coupons. Granted, I’m lucky that I usually have a $5 off $55 or more on groceries coupon, which really helps. But any amount of savings is money in your pocket, and you can devote as much – or as little – time as you want to savings each week; so why not give couponing a try?
Still not sure you want to invest the time and money learning how to coupon? Okay then, how about this: There is a website devoted solely to teaching you how to coupon this month! I Love Coupon Month teaches one tip a day to those interested in learning how to save money through coupons. All you have to do is visit the site once a day to learn a new tip!
For instance, the tip for September 1st, the first day of National Coupon Month, was this: How to Use a Binder System Effectively. Day two, this: Rules for Pairing Coupons with Sales. A handy calendar on the side of the home page lets you click on a date of the week that has already passed, or the current date, and get the tip. You can read the tips all at once or a little at a time.
Here’s my first tip for National Coupon Month: I know binder systems are great for organizing coupons, but if you follow a program like SouthernSavers.com, where you match sales with coupons, and you use that website to find the deals and then match them up with coupons you have been saving, you don’t need to cut every single coupon that comes your way. In fact, you only need to clip the coupon when you are ready to use it.
For me, this saves an enormous amount of time. Do I get every single deal out there? No. But I’m okay with that. I’m a busy mom of two. I don’t need to spend hours finding every single deal available at the store. My goal is to get in and out of the store as quickly as possible.
If you aren’t okay with missing deals, then using a binder system may work well for you. You can organize the binder according to the type of food, placing those with a closer expiration date higher up on the pages. Then, when you get to the store you can match what is on sale with what coupon you have in your binder.
What are your thoughts? Do you use a binder system when you are at the grocery store? If so, how do you handle it when the kids are in tow? If not, how do you keep your coupons organized?