“Not Extreme, Just Smart Couponing Contest” - Week 1

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  #51  
Old 10-05-2011, 08:19 AM

RE: “Not Extreme, Just Smart Couponing Contest” - Week 1

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I keep my half my inserts filed and labeled with the dates tagged on them. This way went I use AFC for my local stores I just pull the q's I need and make up envelope with list of q's and total listed.

The other half of inserts get put in my binder which is put in my binder which is devised by HB/Drinks ect. That way if I spot a sale I have q's and then I use my phone to take photo of sign to make sure I share info when I get home. I try to pay it forward because with out my AFC family I would not be able save like I don. Thanks to all on AFC
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  #52  
Old 10-05-2011, 08:48 AM

RE: “Not Extreme, Just Smart Couponing Contest” - Week 1

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One thing that I have learned is take your binder to the store with you. Sometimes there are items on sale that aren't advertised in the store circulars. I was able to stock up on feminine products my last trip b/c they were .50/each. If I didn't have my binder I would have missed out.
  #53  
Old 10-05-2011, 11:52 AM

RE: “Not Extreme, Just Smart Couponing Contest” - Week 1

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i dont have alot of time weekly, but i always checkAFC for hot deals!! and on mondays or tuesdays i make my list for the week and clip coupons as needed! i have a book shelf in my computer room that I call "organized chaos" because all the inserts are on there seperated by redplum etc and dated with a sharpie marker!
  #54  
Old 10-05-2011, 12:50 PM

RE: “Not Extreme, Just Smart Couponing Contest” - Week 1

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A big part of couponing is using the internet for all kinds of things from signing up on company sites for promotions to "Likeing" companies on Facebook. In order to keep my personal e-mail and facebook accounts private, I set up a secondary e-mail & facebook account (linked to the second e-mail account) for couponing business. These accounts have no private information in the profiles so the companies can't get any information I don't want them to have and keeps my personal accounts clean from all the advertisements.
I also keep a spreadsheet log on all the websites I have signed up to with the signon and password. I try to use the same password for all of them but sometimes a few come along with different criteria and the password has to be different so this keeps me straight. I keep all my spreadsheets on a memory stick so if my computer crashes I still have them.

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  #55  
Old 10-05-2011, 01:21 PM

RE: “Not Extreme, Just Smart Couponing Contest” - Week 1

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I started off using a binder. And, although I liked many aspects of it, I found that an index card holder works better for me. I have them broke up into categories with sub-catagories within (Ex: Household-candles, cleaning supplies, etc.). It helps me find what I need while I'm in the store.
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  #56  
Old 10-05-2011, 01:50 PM

RE: “Not Extreme, Just Smart Couponing Contest” - Week 1

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My best tip would be to save the weekly insert and not cut every coupon out. I keep my inserts In an accordion file folder, each folder is separated by date and I only keep twelve weeks of inserts. Then when it's time for my shopping trip I just go to my favorite web sites and match up my coupons with that weeks ad. That's when I only cut and print the coupons I need. It saves me a lot of time. I only spend about an hour getting ready for my shopping trip and usually save 50% or more on every trip.
  #57  
Old 10-05-2011, 01:52 PM

RE: “Not Extreme, Just Smart Couponing Contest” - Week 1

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For me organization is key. Years ago I tried to coupon, but it never really made sense saving just a few dollars. Finding AFC has been a godsend, the tips, tricks and support have been so helpful.

My coupon organizing-
When first starting out I tried the binder method, but I tend to want to coupon on the fly and found the binder too cumbersome to carry with me while shopping. If I find a great deal I don't want to worry that I had a great coupon at home. I don't have time for multiple trips. In addition it took me a lot longer to sort and put away the coupons that way. Instead I carry a divided coupon wallet in my purse at all times. The wallet is divided out by custom categories that I have created to make shopping easier. Each Sunday I clip all coupons and put the ones I will use into the wallet in my purse. I also search AFC for the best IP Q's and print them out. I also have a divided folder I keep at home with the same categories for coupons that I'm going to trade either here on AFC or with local friends who coupon.


Help from AFC-
I read AFC daily to see the best free and cheap deals at drugstore and grocery stores. I also joined in on several PIF threads, which I find easy since I can come and go as my time allows to trade for coupons that I can use. Often I find that my trash is someone else's treasure and I love the idea of helping out other coupon shoppers. When the month ends I pull out all of my expired coupons and ship them off to the troops overseas.

Organizing my time-
Since I'm a busy working mom of two kids I don't have 30+ hours to devote on coupons and shopping like EXTREME coupon shoppers. I spend about 4 hours a week at most, clipping, trading and sorting my coupons. But the organization has made it so my shopping trips are actually quicker. Since I'm gaining a larger stockpile there are never any last minute trips to the store for something we've run out of or forgot on the last trip or a trip for take out food. So all in all I think I'm averaging an extra 2 hours a week on the coupons.

Organizing my trips-
I read the sales circulars each week and decide which store (Or two if there are great deals two places) I will shop at that week. I create a detailed shopping list and pull the matching coupons for the trip and put the coupons into a zippered pouch I keep in my purse along with my list. As I shop if there are unadvertised specials or closeouts I am able to pull my coupons out of my coupon wallet by category and flip through them to find the best coupons. My children do after school classes and I plan my trips around their schedules and the stores close by to save on gas. That way I can shop while they are in dance or music class. Since I have a detailed list, my shopping trip is quick and efficient and I usually make it back in time to watch a little of their routine or listen to a bit of their music.

Saving money and sanity-
Before I began couponing, eating out or brining in dinner was too frequent in our lives. With both parents working it was always a stressful time when we got home, everyone was hungry and we would usually just call in a pizza or stop by somewhere on the way home for take out. Since I began to coupon I plan out our weekly meals by what is in our pantry and what is on sale that week. The meals become less of a chore and more fun for me, there is never any last minute decisions being made when I'm tired from work. The routine of the evenings has become a calm family time instead. Since we have almost completely eliminated eating out our food budget is down 75% since I began couponing. That is an amazing savings and has really helped us pay down some debt.

Giving Back-
I've taken a challenge I made to myself to hand off a coupon at every trip I make to another shopper. I usually try to give them to young couples or college aged kids. It's been so great to see the appreciation and hear the thanks when I've given them a coupon that will buy them free razors or get them really cheap cereal.
Our local food bank at my church is also benefitting from my great deals. While I used to give to the food bank regularly we are now able to give more with the same amount of our money being spent. It truly is a blessing that I was able to find coupons and AFC.
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  #58  
Old 10-05-2011, 03:53 PM

RE: “Not Extreme, Just Smart Couponing Contest” - Week 1

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I have several couponing sites on my FB wall so I can scroll through a couple times a day and catch the newest deals.
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I think I have a coupon for that.
  #59  
Old 10-05-2011, 04:43 PM

RE: “Not Extreme, Just Smart Couponing Contest” - Week 1

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I usually type up my shopping list and what coupons go with it in Word, and then I clip the coupons and put them in those return envelopes you get with offers and stuff in you mailbox.

I usually clip more than I need, and I leave some behind near the product so others can save cash too.
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[u]I AM TRADING BOX TOPS FOR COUPONS! PM me for details! See my blog (on AFC) for more details!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!![u]
  #60  
Old 10-05-2011, 04:52 PM

RE: “Not Extreme, Just Smart Couponing Contest” - Week 1

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Rather than paying $1+ for a newspaper, I prefer to order from other members here on AFC. If you have some friends that also coupon, you can put your orders together and save even more on shipping.
Also, join a train! It's a great way to get extra coupons that you will use and get rid of some of them that you won't use!
  #61  
Old 10-05-2011, 04:55 PM

RE: “Not Extreme, Just Smart Couponing Contest” - Week 1

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I try to get as many free coupons that I can. i ask my parents, sisters, anyone. So far, I haven't had to purchase any coupons...but I'm not an "extreme couponer" just a "smart one"...I like to get great deals!! Right now i got through the best deals at AFC and write down what I want and search for coupons!
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  #62  
Old 10-05-2011, 04:56 PM

RE: “Not Extreme, Just Smart Couponing Contest” - Week 1

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what's a train?
  #63  
Old 10-05-2011, 05:32 PM

RE: “Not Extreme, Just Smart Couponing Contest” - Week 1

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The Best way to smart coupon and avoid extreme couponing... Is to only get the deals you know ur gonna use... And in the quantities that you will use... Like for instance just because there is an amazing deal... It makes no sense (unless you donate) to buy 200 toothbruses or toothpaste... Just coupon in moderation...
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  #64  
Old 10-05-2011, 05:42 PM

RE: “Not Extreme, Just Smart Couponing Contest” - Week 1

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I cheat. I read the sunday coupon preview threads so I can decide if I'm going to buy the paper that week or not depending on what I need to stock up on and what is a good deal. I read the entire thread because people often post deals I would have never known about at other stores. I follow the cookie trail to that stores forum and find the deal and I'm ready to go get savings I would have otherwise missed out on.
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  #65  
Old 10-05-2011, 06:12 PM

RE: “Not Extreme, Just Smart Couponing Contest” - Week 1

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I purchase several sunday papers and organize my coupons. I also look through sales ads. I price match at walmart on a regular basis and have been doing very well with cvs's extra bucks purchases. I also have some very close friends who live in different places. We talk about the deals that we have found and share coupons. I find that sharing my great savings trips is an added motivation.
  #66  
Old 10-05-2011, 06:21 PM

RE: “Not Extreme, Just Smart Couponing Contest” - Week 1

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I also use the binder method. I find it very helpful when I am going through the store--it is easy to flip through.

I also look at the forums that pretain to the stores I shop several times a day and it helps me make my list of what to get at each store.
  #67  
Old 10-05-2011, 07:48 PM

RE: “Not Extreme, Just Smart Couponing Contest” - Week 1

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I actually keep my inserts in tact. I have them in folders by date and in a tote bag type thing that I will bring to the store with me. I clip what I know I will need and if I come across a sale or item I think I have a Q for I look it up quick on the internet with my phone. I did use a binder, but once I returned to work it just got to be too time consuming for me - this works better in my particular case.

I also recommend checking out sites like this and also if there are any sites that focus on your local stores - they are a great help that can cut out a lot of time and headache.

Last of all - I don't stress on getting every single deal out there. While it would be nice to do so, it's ok...the deal will be back around and next time you'll definitely notice it and pounce!
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  #68  
Old 10-05-2011, 08:21 PM

RE: “Not Extreme, Just Smart Couponing Contest” - Week 1

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I live off of the a full cup mobile app and love it. I can have it with me in the store to look up the info while looking for the item if needed.
  #69  
Old 10-05-2011, 08:30 PM

RE: “Not Extreme, Just Smart Couponing Contest” - Week 1

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My best smart couponing tip is get a buddy. Having a buddy helps you keep organized, alerts you on deals and coupon sources, and advises on strategies. Sharing thoughts and bouncing ideas with a buddy is the best and smartest form of couponing. I may not know about a deal or I may not know where to get a coupon if it wasnt for my buddy. In fact my buddy was the one who told me about afullcup.com. Because of that one simple advice from a coupon buddy I learn about a lot of deals. The best buddy you can find is someone locally like a friend. But another buddy can be a blog buddy. I find it helpful when someone from another area, such as all these bloggers on afullcup.com clarifies deals, alerts of deals, and strategizes. So my best couponing tip is get a buddy, whether locally or on afullcup.com.
  #70  
Old 10-06-2011, 03:27 AM

RE: “Not Extreme, Just Smart Couponing Contest” - Week 1

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I email companies directly and ask for coupons.
  #71  
Old 10-06-2011, 06:43 AM

RE: “Not Extreme, Just Smart Couponing Contest” - Week 1

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My advice is NOT to buy too many papers or inserts, but to buy a couple depending on how many people you have in your family. Then trade, train, or use clipping services when you know there's a deal coming. You can get advance notice of the drugstores and many grocery stores - if you stay organized and look for the deals as soon as they come out, you can save a lot of money buying newspapers. Also, if you know you use a product a LOT, trade or use a service for them right away - before the sale hits!
(Also get inserts from friends & family if you can )

Second - I agree with some that have said to start slowly. Think about what you're paying in tax in many states that tax before the coupons. A ton of free razors aren't free if you get more than you need and pay 0.75 in tax per razor like I do! Once you've got what you need, just buy the moneymakers on toothpaste, razors, and other items that are ALWAYS free with coupons!
  #72  
Old 10-06-2011, 07:36 AM

RE: “Not Extreme, Just Smart Couponing Contest” - Week 1

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You have to plan! Combining sales with coupons will make you sucessful. I used to think that couponing wasn't worth it becuase it would only save me a few dollars here and there. I wasn't planning trips around sales in addition to the clipping. Combing the two is what makes it work. As long as you are reasonable in your expectations (saving "only" 50% actually isn't a bad thing, at least you are saving) and plan you will see a difference.
  #73  
Old 10-06-2011, 07:53 AM

RE: “Not Extreme, Just Smart Couponing Contest” - Week 1

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When I go through my inserts I clip only the Qs I know I will use. Then I label that insert with the Month/Day and put them away so if I need a Q from it they are easy to find.

Once I have my shopping list done I gather all my Qs andf put the list and matching Qs in an envelope marked with the store name so I have everything in one place.
  #74  
Old 10-06-2011, 09:46 AM

RE: “Not Extreme, Just Smart Couponing Contest” - Week 1

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Smart Couponing Tip Entry - A Newbie's Perspective

I am very new to couponing. I am a well educated, computer savy, and former military female who is now a stay at home military spouse with two home schooled young children. I love saving money, but hate shopping. I have zero time in my schedule, not to mention no space in military housing to stockpile. Therefore, I needed to learn how to start couponing under real world conditions - not try to "extreme coupon". I tried to learn on my own, but the sheer amount of information on the internet rendered it useless. Plus, most of the information is either not applicable in the average person's life, or leads to dead end web sites. So I attended a local "workshop" where I learned two pieces of advice that became invaluable. First, don't let the process overwhelm you. You need to learn what are considered to be realistic results, what you can really expect to save and how much time you can really expect to spend each week couponing - not what TV portrays. Pick no more than three stores at which to coupon until you master the basics and feel comfortable. Doing this one step simplified the process so that I was no longer overwhelmed and discouraged. Secondly, most of us do not have the space or desire to stockpile huge quantities. So I was told that when stockpiling an item, buy no more than what our family would use in a 6 month period. The reason for this is that most things go on sale in 3 to 6 month cycles. I had been getting so much information from so many sources. However, these two pieces of advice finally gave me that all important starting point.
Respectfully,
Aundrea Richardson
  #75  
Old 10-06-2011, 10:03 AM

RE: “Not Extreme, Just Smart Couponing Contest” - Week 1

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I always make sure my Qs are clipped and filed neatly. I always try to keep store Qs next to the manufacturer Qs so I can stack at places like Rite Aid and Target. Then I review the ads and try to make a list of what I'm going to buy and how much my totals should be coming to. Then I check AFC to see if there was anything I missed (and there usually is!) I think the most important thing whether you're using a binder or files is to keep them well organized; there is nothing more frustrating that knowing you have a particular coupon and not being able to locate it!
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Winners Posted! “Not Extreme, Just Smart Couponing Contest” $400+ in Prizes! Rasha Expired AFC Contests 31 11-07-2011 01:53 PM
Extreme Couponing Hkingskids Deal Graveyard 3 06-23-2011 08:47 AM
New to couponing. Extreme couponing show is awesome! mikes02ls1 Welcome Mat 5 05-29-2011 01:48 PM