Now one thing that is very important in being a successful couponer is having family support. The most important one being your spouse. And then your kids. I’ve got the spouse down but I can’t quite get the kids to help out. My husband helps me shop while I try to get my kids to sort and file the coupons. Once you get organized (which I have yet to get to) it’s not that hard. I’ve seen others who are better then me be able to do it. But if I could just get the kids to help sort and separate the weekly inserts that would help. I like to get around 20 papers a week. While this may seem like a lot I didn’t start out this way.
When I first began I only picked up 2 or 3 then after a few weeks I ventured to 5 to 10 and so on up to 20 within a 5 month period. When there was a great sale on something and I only had a few coupons I was so bummed that I started getting more papers. Since then I really don’t think I will have to buy any more soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant or shampoo for years. Well that is if I don’t give it away (family, friends, and the food banks) or sell it at my garage sale. Last year I was able to make $500 at one well publicized city garage sale event. $100 was probably regular garage sale items the rest was from my stockpile!
I file the coupons by weeks instead of cutting out the coupons I use. I do this so when I see a sale I can go to a coupon data base to see what week that coupon was in the paper. Then I cut it out put it in an envelope and off to the store I go to buy what I need. Now if it’s something I don’t need to much of or don’t use often I will only take as many coupons as I think I might need. If it happens to be for a free item I will use all the coupons I can get my hands on. If I know in advance of a sale that will be happening I will even buy coupons off of eBay so that I can get the most out of it. By surfing the coupon blogs and forums you can find all the combinations for great sales in your area. I hope to add this to my blog soon. I just have to become a little better organized.
I'll end this with a funny spouse shopping story. One day in the summer our Giant Eagle had a great sale on Mustard; it was 10 for $10. I had at least 40 coupons for it, we were running low on it and I was having a large party that I would need it for. Now while I was doing the majority of the shopping I sent my husband with his own cart to get 20 mustards and go through the line by himself. He did do this willingly, but as he was standing in line another male customer kept looking into his cart. Feeling very self-conscious he looked at the guy and said "I could tell you all the health benefits of using mustard, but I'd be lying" The guy laughed and my husband said "It's a great sale and my wife is making me do this." The guy chuckled and my husband went through the line. He took those out to the car and came into make another run, but at a different register. In front of him were a mom and her little boy. When my husband parked the cart behind them the little boy kept looking at the cart and then my husband. Finally he said "Boy mister you must really like mustard!" Since this was a little boy my husband just laughed and said "yes", but to the mother he said "My wife made me buy them." Now if that isn't love, what is? LOL!