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Discussion Starter #1
I am a failure at couponing. :drama: It's true. Last week I went to the store with my sale ad and coupons and I got 1.50 off from coupons. I was happy but then I started realizing my mistakes when I got home.
One mistake was the betty crocker mixes I paid 2.00/3. I only used one coupon for it. I think the coupon was for .30. I had three coupons but I only used one. Duhhhhhhh
I didn't ask for my pawprints receipts and when you get 100.00 worth you get a rebate.
I had bought numerous things and had coupons for them but didn't use them.

Now I know couponing is not hard but for some reason I cannot get it together. But this week I am going to try again. I am getting a bit stubborn about this now. I think if I can run the equipment at work I can coupon.

Any suggestions on how to get more organized?? (I know that this probably seems kinda silly to some of you, but I do need some help here. I am trying so hard.)
 

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Doesn't seem a silly thing to as, I can't seem to get the hang of couponing either. I rarely find any good ones, I never need what they're advertising, I forget them, I buy store brands anyway, I don't stock up when I could get several coupons for an item I buy anyway ...
 

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You'll get the hang of it, you're already learning by what you wished you'd done differently!

My advice is to get a good organizer. Fill it w/coupons you know you'll use only. I like multiples, esp on tp. I collect up high value ones (.75) for the brands I want. I often buy them off from thecouponclippers.com. That way I am only getting what I want.
My organizer is a small spiral bound book with heavy duty pocket pages. It's much easier to turn the pages to look for a coupon. And much easier when it is filled w/only the coupons I know I'll use.

You may think it silly to buy coupons, but I have saved hundreds of dollars in the past few months by investing a minimal anount in the coupons. From that site I got multiples of the FREE pet food coupons that were printed this year & have stocked up on pet food for many months. Not having to search for & cut out coupons frees up time for planning to shop sales w/ coupons.

I usually cut my bill in half w/sales & coupons. I don't buy much junk either.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
(hanging my head in shame......errrrrr I did use coupon mom) My only excuse is they had alot of sales that were not on coupon mom. Maybe I should bring my box of coupons to the store with me. I have been a coupon clipping fool here lately.
 

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I also only clip coupons for things I know we'd use, then try to use them during sales. I bring a small, accordian type organizer to the store. In the first pocket I put the coupons I know I'm going to use that day. In the other pockets I have my coupons arranged by canned goods, condiments, etc. It makes it very easy to find a coupon if I see an unadvertised special.

I wouldn't worry too much about realizing you could have used coupons and didn't. We've probably all been there. As redmaples said, you're already learning since you realize you could have done differently. Next time you will. If you are using other strategies, such as stocking up on sales, cooking from scratch, etc. you probably won't use many coupons anyway, so try not to sweat the small stuff :).
 

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Start small - it does get easier. It's like frugal living in general, eventually it becomes second nature. I went to the store on Sat and spent actually 15.89, but I saved 16.97 in coupons. So I saved over half. This was not in a double coupon store either. So just start small. Check your sales ads and match coupons before you go so you know what you are doing before you go in. And BE ORGANIZED! and HAVE FUN! you will get the hang of it soon!
 

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I try to pay attention to coupons for things I know I will need, like petfood, shampoo, dishsoap etc. But I am not always fond of the food coupons because they are so often for processed and unnecessary things. I may get a great deal with coupons for mac and cheese, but really- how healthy is it and should I buy it in the first place?I try to think about those things when I select my coupons.
 

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You know the coupon companies don't make it easy for you to learn either. They will print out coupons in the circulars with short expiration dates. What happened to the No expiration date coupons? I don't see them anymore.
Another thing is that in my town there is not a grocery store that doubles. The town 30 miles away does but I'm not driving 30 miles to go to the grocery store. Also, many times the coupons are for conveniece foods that I don't use. I find I can make thing cheaper from scratch.

I do envy the people who can go to the grocery store and get $200 worth of grocerys for $20. I don't know how they do it.
 

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You are NOT a failure.

Being a failure indicates that you have given up. We don't give up here at Frugal Village.

What you are is a learner.
 

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I usually average around $10 in savings each week using coupons. It's about $40 in savings a month, which seems like a lot to me. My fiance thought we were only ever saving a few dollars, he was shocked to see the receipts and how those few dollars in coupon savings added up. I only clip coupons for things I know we use them for: mostly toiletries and pet food items. I will use free coupons when I find them though, my grocery store has two free coupons per week that I use to buy whatever is free that week. I also will use coupons for brownie or cookie mixes if I find a really good deal (like a sale combined with coupons.) I use a coupon organizer (accordian style) and I take that with me every time I go to the grocery store. I tend to save more with coupons when I match my grocery shopping list up with coupons I have on hand, before I leave for the grocery store.
 

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Not all coupons are for "junk" foods! I never buy the following without a coupon:

Toothpaste and toothbrushes (usually free because of double coupons)
Toilet paper
Deodorant (usually free)
Razors and shaving cream
Shampoo
Bath soap

As far as food, I got the following items FREE with double coupons in the last two weeks:

(4) 8 oz. packages of Borden Shredded Colby/Jack cheese
(10) bags of Bird-Eye Steamfresh vegetables (no salt, sauce or seasoning added, just pure, unadulterated veggies!)
(2) 18 oz. bottles of KC Masterpiece BBQ sauce

Many more items were purchased for 50¢ or less, after my coupons were doubled. I have a stockpile of FREE Quaker Old-fashioned Oats, FREE Sweet Sue brand canned Chicken Broth, FREE Welch's Grape jam, and American Beauty pasta (all kinds)

I guess if you make your own pasta, jam, and chicken broth and you prefer the homemade over "store bought" versions, that is fine. We are on too tight of a budget to pass up free food, though.
 

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Not all coupons are for "junk" foods! I never buy the following without a coupon:

Toothpaste and toothbrushes (usually free because of double coupons)
Toilet paper
Deodorant (usually free)
Razors and shaving cream
Shampoo
Bath soap

As far as food, I got the following items FREE with double coupons in the last two weeks:

(4) 8 oz. packages of Borden Shredded Colby/Jack cheese
(10) bags of Bird-Eye Steamfresh vegetables (no salt, sauce or seasoning added, just pure, unadulterated veggies!)
(2) 18 oz. bottles of KC Masterpiece BBQ sauce

Many more items were purchased for 50¢ or less, after my coupons were doubled. I have a stockpile of FREE Quaker Old-fashioned Oats, FREE Sweet Sue brand canned Chicken Broth, FREE Welch's Grape jam, and American Beauty pasta (all kinds)

I guess if you make your own pasta, jam, and chicken broth and you prefer the homemade over "store bought" versions, that is fine. We are on too tight of a budget to pass up free food, though.
Ughhhhhh!( Beats head against wall) I would love to find coupons for cheese, veggies and oats! Dang it, where do you find these? Are they in the store somewhere?I look in the paper, they have crap. Or am I missing them?( I don't want to buy them)
 

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I find most coupons are for things we don't use. I clip them all and save them, but 95% of the time after the month is over, they're thrown out. If you were to go through our cupboards, most things are not brand name -- if it's a packaged food, it's usually the cheapest one available, and most of those are generic brands. Either that or the food is fresh. So for the most part, coupons aren't much use to me, nor are rebates. I save more money by doing price book comparisons, bulk purchasing and scratch cooking.
 

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Don't fret, you're not a failure. Like the others said, it takes time and you'll get the hang of it. It does gets easier as you learn the ropes. I'm fortunate to live in a place that's a 5 min drive to most stores and they are all in a strip mall area where you park and can get to several stores in one trip. That really helps a lot these days when gas prices are so high. Just observe the sale prices of most items you buy often so you have an idea of how low they can go when on sale. Then match a coupon for it for more savings. You will realize later, you don't need to buy any HBA items like toothbrush, toothpaste, bar soap, bodywash, body lotion, detergents, bleach, etc since there are coupons out for these items plus a store sale and additional mail in rebate offers for them to get them better than free.

I am not pressured now since I'm just replenishing stocks but I haven't bought the items I've mentioned for 4 yrs now, as for paper products like toilet paper, paper towels, I always watch for a sale, hot deals on them around town since the prices are continuing to rise so I have enough to wait on a good sale and never get pressured to buy them at outrageous regular shelf price. Just be patient, you will realize later on that you have a stockpile and you have some savings.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Wow you guys are wonderful!! It seems I am just not organized enough and I don't think it is easy and it is not meant to be easy. My goal is to be able to stockpile and give some away to my parents and the food pantry.

Ok and the other thing.......My husband doesn't believe this is possible and laughs at me. Now we have a little bet going. He is always looking over my shoulder reading FV and says it is not possible. He doesn't believe people can save that much on groceries.......lol.

If I go two weeks, in a row, with saving 50% on groceries, I win him cooking and cleaning for one week. If I lose I have to clean out the garage. I would rather eat my big toe than clean out that garage.

I have six weeks to do this and the bet started this week. Last week was my practice run. Keep in mind I lost the last bet we had. (I really don't want to say what THAT one was) This is just a fun thing we do to challenge each other.

So keep the suggestions coming! That DH is walking around here with a grin on his face thinking I am gonna lose and clean out that garage. Silly huh....we have decided to make frugal living into a game I guess. But we are watching to debt numbers go down.
 

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julieb...what store do you use?if you have your recept my s&s will take them and give you the money,just make sure they double because they try not to.what i do is make a list of what is in the flier that i have a coupon for and use a paper clip and attach them to my note pad so i dont for get and have to go back and waist gass. today i went to s&s for sale items i neede and none left of kinda like in a panic but i had my list. i set myself up with 80 but very happily only spent 60!!so happy. the 20 goes into the kitty for next sale or what ever.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I go to HyVee grocery store. They do have alot of sales. They only take face value coupons and donot double. I wish they did!!
 

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Wow, Im so amazed at how y'all can do the couponing and save. Here in Canada, its almost frowned upon or you get one good coupon for the year. Not everywhere will accept them and Im pretty sure NO ONE here doubles them :( I dont think theres a market for coupons in Canada. Im envious!

OR as a lot of others have stated - they're for processed convenience items that arent good for you or are for a select target market.

The only TIP I have - clip the ones that you'd actually use and staple them to your grocery list so you have no choice but to constantly see them when you check things off your list.
 
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