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Coupon Clipping.

Creative Commons Licensephoto credit: paulswansen

I have intentionally avoided speaking on the subject of couponing. Mostly because I wasn’t sure where to start. The information on the subject is endless and everyone approaches the activity differently. I have my own opinions about couponing and a method that is simple, effective, efficient and inexpensive. When couponing, I am not extreme, discourteous, greedy or impatient. Yes, I get excited when I can stock up on items for really good prices or even get them free after coupons; however, I am not addicted to the process so I can make good decisions about how much stocking up I need to do.

Over the next few installments I will show you my simple, time-saving method and share with you links to some of my favorite blogs. While I have your attention, I will tell you why I like those blogs versus some of the others and why it is a good idea to follow a couponer or two. The work that those couponing bloggers put into their sites is massive and I appreciate their dedication in order that I may save big $$$.

Back  to what I was saying earlier, I have a method to my coupon madness and here is a sneak peek of how I crack the code:

Effectiveness
My method is quick and easy and very effective. I buy the things I need, when I need them and when I find a deal with a coupon typically saving 50-101%.  This translates to savings from half off to money makers.

Efficient
I get the Sunday paper but you will not find me clipping coupons and filing them individually by category into a coupon caddy. Instead, what you will find is a file drawer with whole inserts filed by month then by week and each month with it’s own hanging folder. More on that in the next installment.

Inexpensive
I purchase Sunday papers for $1 from AJC street vendors that you often see on Sunday mornings. Although, I just learned this morning that they are increasing the price to $1.50 in the metro Atlanta area. I guess I won’t complain because I save at least $50 to sometimes $100 from that $5 investment so what’s the big deal about an extra $.50?

What I am not:

Extreme
I have been observing on TV and in my local supermarkets this notion to be an extreme couponer. There are two people in my household; therefore, I do not need hundreds of different items clogging up every spot in my house. At any given time, I will only have 5 coupons for any one deal so that eliminates me from wiping out an entire shelf. That is all I am going to say about that.

Discourteous
When I check out, I am NEVER mean to the cashiers. I never argue about a coupon deal. I finish my transaction  then head to the customer service counter to see if  “maybe” I interpreted the deal incorrectly or if we can come to an agreement peacefully. The customers behind you will appreciate you more for this move.

Greedy
If I see that there are 4 of an item left, I will almost never get the last 4; instead, I will take 2 and leave 2 for the next innocent person that may not have a coupon but just want the sale item. If there are loads on the shelf and on the end caps, I will take the 5 I came to get. There are times that I share my coupons. It does my heart good to share that $2 off coupon on Wisk Detergent that is on sale for $3.25. They are amazed that they can actually  walk out paying $1.25 and are inspired to start saving themselves. I love the Karma that it brings.

Impatient
If an item is out-of-stock, I will either get a rain check or stop by one of the other hundred outlets in the metro area another day. It is not always the store’s fault if  the stock is depleted. It just may be the consumer that dropped 20 of the item in their buggy ahead of you.

I am off of the soap box now. I think you get the picture. Couponing is merely a way for me to save a few dollars and hinges on the the border of being a hobby. It is not an addiction but could become one if you are not careful so coupon responsibly.

I hope my couponing series will inspire you to share your techniques because there’s more than one way to shop a good deal.

Stay tuned for “Couponing in the Fast Lane”.