Hello everyone! Welcome to my third blog, Paths From a Thrifty Soul. With the help of FlyLady and Southern Savers, I'm on my way to couponing again. I don't have time but FlyLady has helped me get much more organized and I'm scheduling and planning this into my life. I plan to share the steps I take with you, so that you can start on your path to saving money as well.
The first thing I had to do (Baby Step 1) was to remember to buy the newspaper on Sunday. In this area, I've found that the Charlotte Observer has the most coupons carrying both RedPlum and SmartSource. In two months, I've only managed to remember to buy the paper about 3 times, but I'm getting better. I plan to put a sticky note in my Bible so that I am reminded at church to pick up a paper after! When I take the inserts out of the paper, I put the date on the front of them and file them all together. Most coupon websites use this method for items. Although I plan to cut them all out and put them in a notebook later, for now this works for me.
Next, I set up an email to receive my coupons and special offers at. I then set it up with my Thunderbird (which is like Microsoft Office) so that I remember to check them daily. Coupon and special offer emails can add up FAST if you don't check them regularly. I plan to check emails daily (except weekends which are my computer work free days) and print the coupons as soon as I get the emails.
The next thing I did, was to set up a Facebook profile dedicated to my coupons (and some games I play from time to time). This profile is devoid of any identifying information, since you can never really be sure who you are granting access of your profile to. Many companies have legitimate FB pages that require you to allow access to your profile, "Like" them, or post to gain access to coupons. There usually pretty good coupons to!
Next, I started looking at Southern Savers for the printable coupon links. Many require you sign up with such companies like Kraft, Procter and Gamble, etc. When you sign up, your granted access to printable coupons. Grocery Stores also have coupons that can be used only at their stores. However, I did learn that often the grocery stores have coupons that can be used anywhere. Target, for example, has coupons that are for Target only AND coupons that can be used anywhere! So, I signed up for a ton of websites and emails. I also "Liked" alot of FB pages to get coupons. (Wendy's free for all gives you free fries at the moment). I printed all the coupons I saw that I thought I might use. (I have a Brother laser printer that prints at less then half a cent a page, however I have gone through a lot of paper)
I then assigned the family the chore of cutting out coupons. I designated a file box for them. Although I haven't gotten the stuff I need yet, I plan to use a large 3 ring binder with baseball card protector pages in it. I also plan to have sections divided by stores (for store specific coupons) and by product types (cleaning, meat, frozen, etc). I want it where I can easily flip through it while in the store in case I run across clearance items or unadvertised deals.
Next, I collected sale papers from stores (Ingles, Food Lion, Dollar General, SavALot, etc). I could view all of them online but for me personally, it's easier to have the sale paper in front of me. I went through Southern Savers (which allows you to search by store and matches coupons for you) and matched up coupons I had and printed ones I needed. I started with just two grocery stores today and plan to finish the other ones up before the sales expire.
I made sure to print out the grocery lists with coupons listed on Southern Savers so that I could take the printout to the store with me.
Stay tuned for how the first shopping trip turns out.