The Power of the Coupon

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Psst!  Wanna get high?

Did you know that you can get “high” with coupons?  It’s known in the Money-Saving-Mommy-Blogging community as a “coupon high”.  Apparently, however, coupons have acquired a bad rap, mainly as a device for old ladies, or willy-nilly SAHMs to use.  Do you think THEY get high?  You bet!

The purpose of this post is not to discuss my perplexity for those not accustomed to using these wonderful li’l gems.  My purpose is to share some of my strategies on how to BEST use coupons, in an effort to let others experience that wonderful coupon high.  Here are my rules, in all their rambling glory:

AFM’s Coupon Rules/Guidelines
  1. A coupon, or any sale, is only worthwhile if it is something you would have purchased otherwise.  For example, the coupon for $2 off a ham sandwich isn’t really a good deal if you’re a vegetarian, right?  However, if you’re almost out of toothpaste, or simply wish to stock up on it, then using a coupon for a good deal on toothpaste would make sense. Thus, my next pointer:
  2. Collect, collect, and collect!  With the power of BOGO, clearance prices, and sales, coupled with my coveted coupons, sometimes the store brand  is NOT the better deal.  It’s all about timing.  Therefore, I collect coupons for items that I may purchase (i.e. food, household cleaning items, health and beauty products, etc.) if the price is right.  (The key is flexibility in what brand you purchase.) 
  3. Coupon Stacking!  Some stores will let you stack their store coupon with a manufacture coupon.  HUH?!?  “Stacking” means that a store will allow you to use both coupons at once, on the same item.  For example, Target allows you to stack their online store coupons, with any manufacture coupons.  So, if you have a Target store coupon for a Brita water pitcher, for instance, as well as a manufacture coupon for said pitcher, you can save even more!  (If you’re not sure about a store, consult their website, but be prepared to dig, dig, dig!)
  4. Organized coupons make for USED coupons!  Contrariwise, disorganized coupons tend to be forgotten, and then become sad, expired coupons.  There are many ways to organize your coupons, and you’ll need to play around with a system that works best for you.  One method to keep coupon collections organized is to take a clear, plastic shoe box, and place categorized envelopes in the box.  Another strategy is to use one of those handy-dandy index card boxes, along with index card dividers with tabs, and organize that way.  And, of course, there’s also the plastic envelopes with dividers inside.  I, in all of my OCD glory, created my own “notebook”, using numerous plastic pouches.  (That’s a post for another day…)
  5. Further, it’s not enough to just organize your coupons, you must keep them in mind when shopping, or preparing a shopping venture!  For me, I have my coupons out as I create my grocery list.  Any time I have an item with a coupon, I star the item, and paperclip the coupon to the bottom of the list.  Thus, I’m not scrounging around for said treasures when it’s check out time.
  6. I also keep my coupons and grocery list handy when scouring over the Sunday paper sales circulars.  That way, I can keep in mind what items are needed (already on said list), as well as what items may be on sale (perhaps to stock up on?) to add to the list.
  7. Which leads nicely to why you need to plan your shopping trip ahead of time.  Did you know that grocery stores anticipate most of their shoppers making impulse buys?  Guess what?  That’s where they make a killing!  If you plan ahead, and have the discipline to STICK with your list, you’d be surprised how quickly your savings add up.  On a sidenote, there’s always the high incidences of MomBrain, which prevent you from remembering regular items, like milk…  Anyone suffering from MomBrain is automatically allowed a little wiggle room from their carefully planned lists.  ;o) 
  8. When checking out at the register, I highly recommend handing the coupons over, one by one.  This way, you can watch the register, and make sure that each one rings up.  There’s nothing worse than returning from a carefully planned shopping trip, only to discover that -for one reason or another- a coupon did not go through!  (Small pieces of paper have been note to float to the floor undetected, never getting scanned…)  Plus, if you hand them over one-by-one, you can salivate, watching the total SHRINK with each coupon scanned!  :o)
This is, more or less, how I “coupon”.  Am I perfect every time?  Nope!  But, as I’ve evolved in this ever-expensive world, I’ve picked up a few tricks along the way.  If even one of these tips helps you save a little money here or there, and you, too, experience that wonderful coupon high, well, perhaps I’ve done my job.  

You will read this multiple times on AFM,, but it’s bears repeating: Find a system/method that best works for YOU.

Now, go!  Coupon!  SAVE!  And get high!  ;o)

P.S.  Additional suggestions are always welcome.  

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Keep on saving!  :o)

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

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