Christin here! I know all of you are wondering where in the world do I start this whole couponing thing?!
This is how I started. A little rough and primitive, but it worked until I felt that it was something I wanted to continue doing and it was actually saving my family money. Then I jumped up to the big leagues and bought a binder and put the whole system together.
If you are interested in a binder system, Jen and I sell them at a great price! *wink* --------->
*Most importantly you need to start buying at least 2 Sunday papers. This will give you a decent stack of coupons to begin with. As I'm sure you've noticed all the great deals that are going on this week require coupons from last Sunday or the Sunday's before paper. It took me a while to come to the realization that if I was going to be getting all these good deals I was going to have to 'bite the bullet' and buy the Sunday paper. I buy 4 papers, as a general rule its 1 paper/family member. But if you are just getting started and don't know if its something you are going to stick with long term, start with 2.
*Now that you have your coupons, what to do with them?!
Basically you need some sort of filing system...I started with long envelopes stapled together at one end and stuck coupons in different ones for different categories. Cereals together, drinks together, refrigerated food together.
*Then you need to do your "match ups" I never used to look at the weekly grocery fliers until I started couponing. So when you are digging out your inserts from the Sunday paper, keep those grocery ads!
Also, there is a Wednesday midweek free press paper that comes in my area that has the midweek deals that usually run from Wed-Tuesday of the following week. Safeway ALWAYS has store coupons that you can use for extra savings.
For example: Skippy peanut butter this week is $1.69 with the Safeway coupon until next Tuesday. I can stack that coupon with a Skippy coupon that came 2 Sundays ago (?) for $1 off 2 ($1/2) Skippy peanut butter. So my total cost for 2 Skippy p.b would be $2.38 or $1.19 each! See how that works? :)
*When I do my match ups I keep a notebook by my side and write things down like this:
The break down is this
Snackwells are on sale until next Tuesday for $1.75 with the in store coupon. I have a coupon for .75 off 1 (.75/1) So that makes it only $1 per package!
I keep a small envelope in my binder for match up coupons. Staple them together so they don't get separated. Before I get in line, I unhook the staples. :) No one wants to wait for the coupon addict to unhook her coupons. :P
*You are ready to hit the store! Take your time and make sure you are reading your coupons and matching it with the right size etc. Some specify size, flavor and have limitations to how many you can use in 1 transaction.
*When you get to the register be sure to greet your cashier with a smile and let him/her know right away that you have coupons. This gives them an opportunity to scan over your coupons so they can mentally be checking your items knowing what you purchased and what coupon goes with it. Keep your cart organized, all like products together and put them on the belt in the same fashion. This helps everyone in the long run. :)
I hope that clears up some of your questions and if you are still wondering ask away! Jen and I created this site to help teach people how to use coupons to save your family money. Facebook is a great resource for information. :)