Getting Started

I got started couponing in 2009 after I had my son. I became a little, well a whole lot, obsessed with it. But it has paid off in a big way with all my savings.

In 2009 (September – December) I saved over $3,000.

I started with AFullCup, a coupon forum where I learned from other people who have been in the coupon game for a while. I still use it to find deals that I miss on my own, to find the best scenarios to spend as little money and get the most items possible.

I started coupon shopping at Walgreen’s, getting body products, diapers, razors, air fresheners and medicines for practically free. I added Publix, a grocery store notoriously thought of as to be expensive, but shopping there has actually changed my life in such a way as I don’t think I could go back to paying full retail cost for anything. I think I saved about as much at Publix as I do at CVS and Walgreen’s combined. I Heart Publix has helped to me greatly to use Publix to stock my pantry, cabinets, fridge and deep freezer, and others’ houses too. I then begin shopping at CVS, which was completely foreign to me, compared to Walgreen’s, but I have come to prefer CVS over Walgreen’s.

One of my former co-workers swore by Hip2Save, which I think is a decent site. I do try to visit once a day or at least a few times a week, because she does post some pretty good freebies and deals. The site I use to help me formulate Walgreen’s deals is Wild for Wags. There are usually some decent scenarios posted on there to spend the least amount of money and get the most stuff.

How do I coupon?
If it is for FREE!!!!, then it is for me. Even if it isn’t something that I need or use, I still buy it, because I never know if it is something that someone I know can use or need. And of course, if no one wants or needs it, the it can always be donated. Shopping at all these different places, we have come to try, experiment and use different products that we never would had had we not gotten them for FREE!!!!! or close to it. It also helped me to provide things for my child without spending a lot of money. We have spend little on diapers, formula, clothes, even toys with the help of coupon/bargain shopping.

Where do I get my coupons from?
The majority of my coupons I get from the Sunday newspaper. Since October I have been ordering my coupons from MadCoupons, where I pay $10 a week to receive 10 copies of each coupon insert from that week. This has been a great service, because it allows me to get 10 newspapers worth of coupons for half of what it would cost to actually buy the newspapers, they are $2 here. So I end up with 10 of each coupon from the week, which lets me buy more of each of the sale product.
I also get coupons off the internet, but most sites only let you print each coupon twice, and I was not too long ago relieved off my second computer (a net-book) that I used to print coupons off of as well (due to a tiny person stepping on it and cracking the screen!!!)
Walking around in the stores and grabbing the blinkies from the coupon machine that spits them out when you walk past is also another great way to get coupons, and any booklets that may contain coupons, store or manufacturer.
Another way is to sign up for freebies and other deals online from the deal websites, and you will often get coupons mailed to you, along with samples.
Many people write to companies asking for coupons, but I haven’t done that, but I have called if something was wrong with a product we bought and gotten a free product coupon to replace the one we were unhappy with, so it is worth a try.

To be continued….

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