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December 30, 2012

Kristin's Coupon Class

A couple of  friends asked me to explain how I coupon, so I thought I would share it with everyone. First, I am not an "EXTREME" couponer, but I do take it seriously. Secondly, I am not an "expert". I just do it to save money. It has sort of become a hobby.

Step #1) I clean out my fridge and pantry. This allows me to get rid of any expired food and take stock of items that are low. (I do it Friday after school. This helps me unwind and prepare for the weekend.)

Step #2) Make a list. My husband makes one, too. (His is due to me by 9:00 p.m. on Friday.)

Step #3) Check the grocery ads for items on your list. You can go through each ad or check one of the websites that has already checked them. I like the following sites:

I <3 the Mart - Paul Ivanovsky publishes this blog.  He shops at the same Wal-Mart that I do. In fact, I've  bumped into him a couple of times while shopping. I recommend signing up for his emails.

Coupon Diva - When I have time or when I didn't receive a certain grocery circular, I check here.

This is the beginning of this week's list.

Step #4) Make a second list of your ad matches.

Step #5) Go through your coupons. Pull ones you plan on using. The last weekend of the month, evaluate any coupons that are about to expire. Do you need that item? Do you have another coupon for the same item with a later expiration date?

Step #6) Code your grocery list. I mark items that I have an ad match with a boxed in  AD and items that I have a coupon for with a circled C.

Step #7) Shop at Wal-Mart. As I shop, I put the ad match items in the upper part of the cart, then when I check out, I put them at the back of the conveyor belt. There are certain checkers that are better at dealing with ad matches. (A special shout out to Liz! She has told me about ad matches on items that I missed.)

Step #8) As I shop, I circle the items on my ad match list that I ad to my cart and write down the Wal-Mart price. When I check out, I have my ad match list ready. I, also, quickly go through my coupons and make sure I bought every item.

Step #9) After I get home and put away my groceries, I use my receipt and ad match list to calculate my savings. I record it in a little notebook. At the end of the month, quarter, and year, I add up my savings. In 2011, I saved $634.22. In 2012, I tracked ad matches vs. coupons. They were fairly equal. Ad match savings $430.88 and coupon savings $455.30 for a grand total of $886. 18. My goal for 2013 is to save $1000.

Step #10) Collect coupons. I buy a Sunday newspaper and print coupons from Coupons.com or from the Wal-Mart site. Click the links below. I keep them in an organizer by category. If I have time, I organize them by date. I keep all of the coupons that I don't cut out in a files. Occasionally, I find one that I need later, but it is rare.


Wal-Mart coupons (run by coupons.com)

This is the way I coupon. I know there are others, who do it better and maybe even more efficiently. However, this is what fits into my schedule. It has become my weekly routine.

Good Luck!


1 comment:

  1. Kristin,
    I coupon a lot during the summer, but during the school year I cannot find the time to organize, match and clip the coupons! In the summer I do some extreme couponing for things I know we'll use throughout the year (ie: body wash, shampoo, toothpaste, etc...).

    Congrats on being able to do it and teach!!