Friday, February 18, 2011

Shazam! Doing the Coupon Shuffle

Shazam!
I feel like being silly! I'm so giddy over my Publix purchase today.

Is it cool to do the coupon shuffle right in the store? Or should I at least wait until I'm in the parking lot?

My kids were so cute in the store today. They were watching the screen and as she was taking off each coupon they were cheering, "Keep going! Keep going!" Mason got a little disappointed that it didn't get down to zero. I just told them my goal was to spend less than $20.

And I succeeded!

I paid $13.46 for $130 worth of groceries.

Here's the low down:

8 Progresso Soups $.39 each

8 Green Giant Vegetables (a variety) $.39 each

6 Wishbone Salad Dressings (a variety)- They paid me! $.31 each profit.

2 Sargento 8 oz. Shredded Cheese $.10 each

2 Stouffer's Soup and Sandwich $1.50 each

2 Muir Glen tomatoes/sauce- They paid me! $.15 profit

2 Green Giant frozen green beans- They paid me! $.25 profit

2 Breyers ice cream (We are an ice cream family!) $2.25 each

4 Aunt Jemima Pancake pkgs $.85 each

3 Finish Dishwasher Detergent- They paid me! $.25 each

2 Simply Orange orange juice $2.00 each

and I wouldn't normally buy these but to get an extra $6 off my order I sure did!

12 Mentos -They paid me! $.50 each

I find almost all of my deals on www.southernsavers.com

But a friend cued me into the Mentos deal this morning.

Have you gotten into the coupon groove?

How did you do this week?

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Coupon Database- New Business

I'm starting a business. Maybe you're interested?
The way I do my coupons is not a new way of doing it, but the way I find my coupons might be.
Let me explain about my coupon system.
First, I used to praise up and down the zippered binders. However, I have not found one that is big enough to meet my needs. (I still use mine, I just can't zip it.) I love that it has pockets on the front. I keep small scissors, a pen, and a calculator in there. The kind of binder I recommend is the 3" D ring binder. I was wondering if they make them bigger than 3", so I did a Swagbucks Search and found some up to 5". I may have to get one of these, but they are expensive. I'll have to find them on sale somewhere. This is what a D-Ring looks like. One side is straight and the other side curves. This allows the book to lay flat. I love this Avery binder. It is really easy to open and shut with the black switch at the bottom. I got mine at Staples. I also found these WONDERFUL things a couple of weeks ago. They take up less room than a tab page divider and they can be positioned anywhere on the page. I LOVE them!There are several ways to organize your coupons. Formerly, I clipped the ones I might need and put them in a small expandable envelope divided by category. Then I stepped it up and cut out all of my coupons putting them in 9-pocket pages designed to hold baseball cards. And I divided them up into categories. I had 5 main sections - Frozen, Refrigerated, Other Foods, Household and Medicines - which I further divided into subcategories. It was good, but terribly time-consuming. And I got behind - very behind. Not only was it difficult to categorize each coupon, I had to carefully and creatively fold the coupon so I could see its product, its cash value, AND expiration date. So when a coupon is for 2 or more products - such as "buy body wash and get a razor free" - how do you categorize that? Under soap? Under razors? I just had to find another way.
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So then I decided to get a big, expandable folder and organize the coupons by date in uncut sheets, and follow couponmom's guidance on using them. She puts all the deals on her website, notes which paper has which coupon, and then you can just pull that paper out and cut out the coupon.
Great idea - however I didn't have much visibility into my entire coupon inventory, so many coupons went unused.
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Then my friend told me about her system. She cuts every coupon, organizes them by date, then prints off a coupon list and puts it in front of each date. She gets her list from SouthernSavers. This is a great system except she had to look at each page to see if she had a specific coupon.
So I improved it and created an Excel spreadsheet that tells where to find each coupon. This is what I am selling. On a weekly basis, I will send out an update to add to your spreadsheet.
Different regions, different papers have slightly different coupons. As of now, I am only using the Tennessean coupons as my guide. I may expand in the future.
Could you do this yourself? Yes, but it's a time-consuming process. So for only $2/month I can send you an update via email. (Basically $.50 a week, however some months have 5 weeks and some weeks we may not get any coupons. It's a flat fee of $2/ month.)
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Here is how it works:
When I get Sunday's paper, I cut out ALL of my coupons and organize them alphabetically behind the Publication Date of that Sunday paper. (My spreadsheet will tell you where to put each coupon.) Each page is labeled with a number and a letter A through I. The first page would be 1A, 1B...etc. In the example below you will see 8A, 8B...etc. That means we are on the 8th page behind a specific Publication Date. For every coupon, my spreadsheet lists its Publication Date, the Source (such as PG for Proctor and Gamble, SS for Smart Source), the Expiration Date, the Description, its Cash Value, and Required Quantity. And it has a column with my unique labeling location.
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This database can be sorted. First, it shows you where to put each coupon. You don't have to worry about creatively folding each coupon.
It can also be sorted by Expiration Date. Do you know how easy it is to keep my binder current? It is so easy! I sort by Expiration Date and it will tell me exactly where to find the coupon and I can just pull it out and throw it away.
Then it can sorted alphabetically.
This is what I print off and put at the beginning of my binder in page protectors.

I don't always take my binder to the store with me, but I usually kick myself if I don't. I like to follow Southern Savers and Faithful Provisions. I usually get my coupons ready before I go out the door. But when I have my book with me and I come across an unadvertised deal or close-outs then I can find my coupon very easily with my system.
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For example, the other day Seventh Generation paper towels were marked down to $1.19. I looked in my Spreadsheet under "S"eventh Generation, found a $1.00 coupon in the January 23 paper, and it was on the 11th page in slot D. The coupon was easily found and I got the paper towels for $.19.

If you would like to subscribe or have questions email me at:
HisGraceReachesMe (at) gmail.com
(just take out the spaces and change at to @.)

Thank you! Chelle