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Savings Sunday: Guest Blog On Couponing

Happy New Year Everyone!!  We’re kicking off 2012 with a guest blog for Savings Sunday.  My good friend Jacquie (follow her on Twitter – @JonesWorld Order) shares tips for stepping up our couponing game.  Let me know what you think!!

If you are like me, you are starting off this year thinking of all the ways that you can save money.  Some people have decided to cut back, others are choosing cheaper products.  But no matter what you chose, I know that you want to get the most for your money.  If you want to maintain your quality of life without breaking the bank, I suggest you learn how to coupon.

Television has made couponing downright sexy.  TLC’s Extreme Couponing has raised the bar for couponing and its new show Extreme Cheapskate tackles a whole other way of life.  Though I pride myself on being extreme, you don’t have to qualify for the television show to save big money.  There are 3  things that you can do to get started.

First, buy the paper.  This sounds so basic, but the newspaper is still the gold standard for coupons.  You can certainly print coupons from the internet, but the bulk of coupons still come from the paper.  Of course, you can’t get the best deal with just one set of coupons.  So, consider buying multiples papers, or asking your friends to share with you.  It’s surprising how many people use only a few coupons or none at all.  Your friends and family are a great source for your couponing.  Make sure you let everyone know that you are collecting coupons and you would like to have theirs.

Next, stay organized.  If you have tried to use coupons in the past and stopped, it is probably because you just couldn’t keep up with it.  Did couponing take you too long?  Did you clip coupons and then forget you had them, or where you had them?  My first tip is to just stop clipping.  I don’t clip coupons unless it is something I know that I pick up frequently and randomly.  I have an old fashioned milk crate that I have filled with manila folders inside of hanging file folders.  Each hanging folder represents a month and each manila folder holds one week’s Smart Source or Red Plum.  When I do my weekly coupon matchups, I clip the coupons that I need for that week.  Now that I have adopted this system, I am less likely to miss a good coupon deal.

I have often said that the indispensible first step to couponing is buying on sale using a coupon, but most people don’t have time to figure out both the sales and the coupons.  For those things, I use websites like CouponDivas  or Living Rich With Coupons.  These sites are great because not only can you create a customized shopping list, but they tell you exactly what circular houses the coupon you need.  Couponing with the internet can be fun and easy.

So, I urge you to get started.  You don’t have to do it perfectly, but make a commitment to yourself and learn to coupon.  It is so worth it.  For more information, follow me on Twitter @JonesWorldOrder or subscribe to my Facebook page (www.facebook.com/JonesWorldOrder).

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