Filling my binder with coupons took some work. The first thing I had to figure out was how I was going to get the coupons. The average person has a newspaper subscription or goes to the store & buys a newspaper, maybe clips 1/4 of the coupons, then recycles it. Me? I’m not very average and if I was going to prove to hubby that I can do this I needed to step it up and get a better plan. You should’ve seen the looks I was getting as I walked to the register with a stack of newspapers up to my chin. It was kind of funny actually.
I walked into my house with all these newspapers and again hubby gave me the eye because I’m spending more money…and I had yet to save a dime! Ya know that saying, you have to spend money to make money…yeah, he didn’t want to hear it. So I shook off all his negative vibes and got started with sorting the stack of papers.
I layed out each paper on my kitchen table and pulled out the entire stack of glossies that are in the center of the paper. I call the bunch of sales fliers that comes in the paper, glossies because they’re made of that nice, slick paper. I pulled all the glossies instead of just the coupons because I wanted to make sure I didn’t miss any of the sales fliers. Plus, it’s easier to sort when they’re separated from the rest of the paper, which I quickly threw in the recycle bin. So, once all the glossies were separated from the newsprint I was able to pull the sales fliers that I wanted to focus on, and the coupon inserts. The fliers that are keepers are:
- Dollar General
Then put the different inserts into piles according to type. You should have any combo of the following three:
- P&G (or other promotional insert)
I only needed one of each of the store sale fliers, so I throw the rest in the recycle bin, and I got to organizing the coupon inserts. What I found out from The Sunday Coupon Preview website is that not every insert is in the paper each week. This site has a schedule for the entire year to let you know what inserts will be in the paper every Sunday. It’s also a good source of what coupons will be in each insert. What I learned pretty quick after taking a look at the coupon matchups online is that the coupons in the inserts can vary by state or region, so sometimes you can’t get a certain coupon by buying the paper, and the prices for products varies by region as well.
The papers that I bought had a Smartsource and Redplum insert. So I made a stack of each, then grabbed the Smartsource inserts and started to break them down into stacks of like coupons. So, for example I stacked all the page 1’s from all 5 Smartsource inserts, then page 2’s, and so on. Stacking them together allowed me to clip a number of coupons at once and this little trick ultimately saved me a bunch of time. I got so frustrated pretty quick because when I started clipping, somehow just the mechanics of the scissors caused the pages on the bottom to shift and I ended up cutting part of the bottom coupons off. Grrrrr! But I learned a little trick from one of my fav blogs (I can’t remember which one it was, but I owe her a HUGE thanks). First, rip (or cut) down the center of the sheets that have a spread layout (two pages together) then, if you staple the like insert pages with a few staples, it keeps them from shifting while you clip. So, by the time I got to the RedPlum inserts, I was clipping like a pro. Ok, so maybe I wasn’t clipping like a pro, but I was faking it pretty good. The kids were all kinds of impressed! lol!
So by the time I had clipped 5 papers and 2 inserts worth of coupons I had a stack of coupons that was about 3 inches high! It was like I had a stack of money sitting in front of me! These little pieces of paper represented money that I didn’t have to spend on groceries. At this point I was already over an hour into the process and I was sick of seeing coupons, so I left the stack and planned to separate and file them all later.