Couponing 101

New to couponing? Don't know where to start? Well you've come to the right place! It's up to you how much you want to save.

Why use coupons? How can a 25 cent coupon really make an impact on my budget?

I used to think the same thing. Saving a quarter here and 50 cents there is not really worth my time. However, I learned that if I combine those coupons with a great sale or promotion I can maximize my savings. Great example: Dominicks had a deal this week buy 5 Kraft Cheese products save $5 instantly. The Cream Cheese Minis were part of the deal and were $1.49 (high priced if you ask me)....however when you buy 5 they come down to .49 cents each....add in a .55 cent coupon and they were free!

Coupons - Obviously you'll need coupons!

You'll want to start picking up the Sunday paper, this is the best place to find coupons. If you live in the Chicago area the Chicago Tribune is the best place to find the most coupons. If you are just starting out I would suggest buying between 2-4 papers a week.

In each paper there is usually a Smart Source Insert and a Red Plum Insert, although some weeks there are more then one of those and others just one or the other. Once a month there is also a Proctor & Gamble Insert.

Best place to buy papers? 

In the Chicago area you can get the Chicago Tribune for $1 at Menards and the Dollar Tree. They usually have an early edition on Saturdays by late morning if you want to buy early.

HINT: Buy in even numbers so that you are able to have the right amount for BOGO deals!

Don't cut out the coupons!

To each his own....but I prefer to write the date on the outside of the insert and file by month in my filing cabinet. I do not have time to cut out and categorize coupons each week and I really don't feel like lugging a huge coupon binder wherever I go!

Yes, I do end up missing some deals when I see something marked down at the store and don't have that particular coupon with me....but I'll live!

If cutting and sorting and lugging work for you that's fine....I know lot's of people that do this with's just not for me!