• How to Coupon Without Getting Overwhelmed | Coupon Training

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    I had a reader ask me this question this week:  “How do you coupon without getting overwhelmed?”

    Boy have I been there, and honestly there are times when I still am.  Target makes me feel that way a lot!  I go and come back only to find there are more deals or a better one that would’ve saved me more money.  Here are a few of my suggestions.  Feel free to add to this in the comments.  I would love to turn this into a “discussion”  This is just what I personally do and what works best for me.

    #1 Pick the stores that you are going to shop at that week.

      • Fred Meyer, Target & Drug Stores run  from Sunday- Saturday.
      • Most Grocery Stores run from Wednesday-Tuesday.

    #2 Once the new ad comes out I look at blogs (like mine) and copy and paste my favorite deals into  a word doc like this:

    how to coupon with technology
    As more deals appear I add them to the list.  You will notice on the Fred Meyer that the Mighty Dog food doesn’t start until later in the week so I’ll make sure I write that in my notes.  I will also wait a couple days to see if more deals appear, and they always do.
    #3- If it is a clearance item or money maker deal you will most likely need to go quickly. I usually only do these type of deals if I also have other needs at the store.  Or I have time to look for other deals when I am not shopping with my kids.
    #4- If I am feeling really motivated I will get most of it done in one day.  But if I need time then I will break it up.
    #5- Pick your favorite deals for the week. You do not have to run all over the place to get every deal.  Take your time building your stockpile and you will get there.  If you are wondering how to build a stockpile you can read here.
    #6 If you are new to using coupons pick one or two stores to shop at.  When I first started I only shopped at Albertsons.  It took me 6 months to walk into a drug store and I still saw dramatic savings in my grocery bill.   (if you are going to shop at Albertsons I usually wait until Sunday to see if there are doubles)
    #7 Partner up with a friend. Many times I buy things for friends and they do the same.  OR babysit for them while they do the shopping or vice versa.
    I hope this helps with keeping a balance in your life.  Whenever I start to feel this way I just like to take a step back and say to myself…..it’s okay, another deal will come. :) Email more questions or feel free to comment with what you found to be helpful.

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    Author: amber


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    22 Responses to “How to Coupon Without Getting Overwhelmed | Coupon Training”

    1. EdsonBunch says:

      I decided this week to make a notebook with plastic sleeves. One sleeve for Walgreens, one for Rite Aid, Freds etc…Then put my list of bargains with the ad and with all the coupons. I am new to this thing couponing thing and my biggest frustration is I am always miss placing or just forgetting one coupon!!
      This way they are always together, organized and on hand just incase of an unexpected trip out!
      Then if you have your word doc printout you can put that in the very front to have your overview! What a great idea!

    2. Amber Red says:

      Edson! That is a great idea to have the sleeves! I will have to do that as well :)

    3. Debby says:

      I struggled with "collection". I finally got a coupon box. It looks like a tool box and fits in the child seat of most carts. I file by catagory. As well as grocery/HBA items I catigorize restruants by fast food and menu service. Retail: Kids and Adult. Coupons I want/need to use that week, I place in the front. My coupon box is always in the car, except on sundays when I sort and purge. I think that after the first 6 months of hunt and gather for stockpiling. The process of want and need of your familys items will shake out. It takes alot of thought not to rush right out and get that deal. Our families "ah ha" moment was then I broke my ankle which required surgery. We had two toddlers at the time. For the 8 weeks that I was unable to drive. Dad only had to buy food staple items. Diapers/HBA/feminine products/pantry items were all stockpiled. Whew! He has never said one snarky comment about my couponing since. That was 8 years ago. Good luck

    4. Debbs Seattle says:

      As I am week 5, I have a very real understanding of the feeling of being overwhelmed. I started, not by buying the /sunday paper by the boat load, but by reading the blogs, the sites, watching the tutorial videos. I invested a good 16 hours into study, before I bought the paper on Sunday.

      I also started by just getting the easy stock up item week one. Week two, gave me two weeks of Q’s to draw from and I snagged 3. Week three, gave me a larger collection of Q’s, and by George???? I got like 5.

      Now it is getting a lot more difficult to “remember” what Q’s I have, which expired, what stores had what sale going… but I am focusing on one store at a time when creating my strategy list for the week. Then when I have all my regular 4 stores’ list created, I then compare best deal vs. second best deal, and make my judgemet call on which store is over all the best one stop shop. If I have time to drive 13 miles, I get all of my top 5 stores within 5 blocks. That trip last week was 91 minutes round trip. So I know, when I am back at work, I can still accomplish the top ten stockpile items each week. HOWEVER, with that said, I have a goal of only making one item stockpiled each week. I do exceed that goal, but week two I got 6 months of pasta at $0.11 per box. Had I acheived nothing else, my week paid for itself. When you mak a list of your homes staple items, including non=perishable foods and health and beauty, you WILL have 100. I then entered them by cost into a spreadsheet, multiplied out 6 month cost and now started at the top most expensive items first. I have gotten number 87 and 91, but only because they fell in my lap through the blogs and sites.

      The part I did not plan on was finding myself trying new products and falling in love with them. I don’t know that I can not be brand loyal now to Finish Quantum Detergent. Who knew you could ever include a wish for a great coupon in your prayers at night. :-)

    5. Robin says:

      This all so confusing for me! Wow, I read the blogs and such, I kind of get it, but I am overwhelmed before I even flipping start!

      • Louie says:

        I am a beginner too! Retired and on social security with very limited extra income for things like food, gas, etc. A family of two & a small dog. Coupon cutting seemed a waste of time, but since seeing on TV and seeing and believing a lady and our senior complex has been doing this for years and is having classes. She has a stockpile and has opened a small store at our complex. Low prices! Haven’t gotten my feet wet? Does one have to use a printer to print out coupons on the internet or can one just use newspapers. This lady here goes to the recycling center for newspapers.

    6. Donna says:

      What works best for me is to remember there will always be another deal, relax and have fun with it, and don’t beat yourself up if you see a deal next week for the items you stocked up on this week.
      I am fairly new to this, about a month in and am starting to put together a price book to help myself track the prices locally better. Does anyone know if there is a website with that information already?
      I like many stores, Albertsons is my favorite but doesn’t always win out for the weeks shopping trip.
      How I decide what store to go to is I lay out all the flyers and circle things on sale that I know I have coupons for. After all flyers have their circles I count them. The store with the most “deals” is where I go.

    7. linn says:

      Amber, will you be having more classes soon? also is there any exchanges around Everett area that are not during the week and mid day? I work during the week, but would love to go to an exchange. Thanks

    8. Jazemine says:

      Amber, I was wondering if you knew of any coupon classes here in the Tacoma Area? Also I feel over whelmed alot of the time since Im new at couponing. My hubby lost his job about a month ago but our income will stop as of June 1st. I started to coupon because i wanted to make sure we had a good stock pile going. Do you know if there is any couponing groups out this way? I know a few of my friends are interested. I do love your idea of coping and pasting on word and then print it out. Love that idea. I have a binder, carder holders for coupons and sleeve’s. I have the basic’s but need to save more money. We buy only 5 sunday papers and i have had no luck with printables at all. We are a family of 6. We have 18 year old, 16 year old, and 3 year old twins. We go through alot of food for sure….Anyways, I love your website…Keep up the good work..:)

    9. kurstin says:

      I am just starting in this and I am looking for someone in the kent area to help me through this. I am very overwhelmed. haha But I really love it already even though I dont understand completely.

    10. Heather says:

      For those in the Pac NW, Dollar Tree sells the papers for $1 each. Also they are in store on SATURDAY morning, so get there fast. I havent found a good newpaper dumpster to dumpster dive yet, but I will once I do. Ask people to give you the coupons they don’t plan to use. You will be amazed at how many coupons you will have in just a month. @Kurstin I’m new also and near your area. This is the best website I have found so far for our region.

    11. Erin says:

      I’m new to couponing also….however am willing to give it my all. I need some help though. I am in the Salem Oregon area and would like to see if there is anyone with good advice in my area. Thank you….love the website.

    12. Teri says:

      I’ve been couponing for a year now and doing very well with it, but I can’t say that I understand what you mean when you use the word “doubles” the way you use it, as in “…wait until Sunday to see if there are doubles.”

      Where I live I have a store that will double some coupons (for example, a $.35/1 will come out as $.70/1), and another store that has “Double Ad Wednesdays” (when the sales in the previous week’s circular and the sales of present week’s circular are both good for that day), but what do you mean in one of your example when you say something like “use 3 doubles”

      Thanks very much!

      • helen says:

        Teri, If you live in the wet NW albertsons puts doubler coupons in the paper. They are good for doubling a coupon up to 1.00$ so a $1.00 coupon is turned to a $2.00 coupon.

    13. Tawnya says:

      I’m still really new to this. I never really looked for deals before more just went to the store and got what I needed. I spend a lot of my time at Costco because I buy for my in home daycare. I guess there are things that I will need to stock up on from there until I can find the coupons for them. I just am not sure how to get myself organized so I’m not running all over all the time. I have put together my coupon bible and started accumulating and have just made my first free purchases for my stockpile. But I am feeling overwhelmed at how to do my list and get organized to get out the door. Any ideas would be helpful. :)

    14. WhittyCake says:

      How do I get my husband involved, he says good coupon. and seems to like the idea but man he is horrible when it comes to grocery shopping but he likes to go and I like him to go.

    15. Tara says:

      I am just getting started and completely overwhelmed. If there are any groups in the Tacoma are to help you get going I would appreciate it. Any ideas would be great.

    16. Amanda Buckley says:

      Yes I felt it for a while too…the struggle. I have an awesome support base a best friend is a coupon queen and a husband that’s my cheerleader with anything I do. My very first trip to Walgreens for my first “extreme coupon” adventure I stocked up on a boat load I MEAN BOAT LOAD of medicines and personal care items and saved $60 and paid only $80 for the lot. I received a $20 register reward off my next purchase for the following week….excited I told my best friend of my big girl experience and I did it all by myself and she was more excited than I was….bc I had done extremely well she said as opposed to her very first Walgreens trip.

    17. Lisa Douge says:

      Hi Amber,
      When will you be teaching another class in the Lynnwood area?

    18. Amber says:

      I started couponing about a month ago or so when Walgreens had a register reward deal for some fish oil for kids that was $10 and gave me $10 RR. After that I was hooked. I spent the next 3 weeks just focusing on Walgreens and nothing else. After I felt I had a good handle on Walgreens, I moved on to Safeway and then focused on Safeway in addition to Walgreens. I would start by checking a couple blog sights and seeing what deals they suggested then writing them down. After that got comfortable, I began actually checking the ads myself to see if I could match them up with the coupons I knew I had. Then I added in the ecoupons on my club card and before I knew it I was saving like crazy. I have since added in Target, Albertsons, and Rite Aid and now we are saving over $200 a month easily. I am a huge clearance shopper so I had to get myself a coupon binder I could bring with and flip through easily. I use the plastic pages like would be used for trading cards, separate between food and non food and put in alphabetical order. Now anytime I see something on clearance I can easily get to the coupon I need.
      We go shopping twice a week, once on Sunday and then again on Wednesday. Kinda of a pain but we are still building up a good stock pile of stuff.
      My advice for anyone just starting is to pick one store and just keep at it until it seems easy. When you add stores, add them one at a time and be patient with yourself. It will get easier :)

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