Sunday, January 23, 2011

Crazy Couponing Part 3: Learn What to Do With Your Coupon Inserts

On Crazy Couponing Part 2 we learned where to get our coupons from and how to order the local newspaper. Now that you have the newspaper coming, it's time to learn what to do with all of those coupon inserts!

There are a few different coupon organization methods that are widely used by individuals who coupon. I'll mention a few but go into detail on the method I use.
* File the coupon inserts and only clip coupons at a later date when you find ones you want to use on a website like
* Clip coupons you think you'll use and file them right away.
* Clip ALL of the coupons and file all of them in case you're able to get an item for free that you wouldn't normally buy.

All of these methods can work. Personally, I usually use a combination of the first two but usually only have time to file the coupon inserts when I get them and then clip coupons I'll use at a later time.

Filing Coupon Inserts
Arrow is pointing to the date printed on the spine in fine print.
When the newspaper arrives and I pull out the coupon booklets inside, there are usually at least two booklets; sometimes more, sometimes less. Let's think ahead to tomorrow's newspaper that will be issued on 1/23/11. Pull out the Smart Source coupon booklet. On the spine in very tiny print, you will see the date. On the front of your coupon booklet, you want to write 1-23 SS. This code means that it's the Smart Source from January 23rd. This code will later be used to help you easily find the coupons you want to clip. On the Red Plum write 1-23 RP.

My PG coupons from 1/16 are on top.
I have a box to file my coupon inserts. In the box, I keep manila file folders which I write the date on with pencil. I then file all of the coupon inserts for that week in that file. If I need coupon 1-9 RP, I just go to the file with that date and pull out the Red Plum issue and flip through it until I find the coupon I'm looking for. I do the same with all of the coupons I need each time I go shopping. Once you figure out your method, it usually only takes a few minutes to select and clip coupons you will use.

Selecting & Clipping Coupons
Coupon Mom has made couponing worth my time. This website helps me find all the sale prices for the week and what coupons match up with many of the sales. Matching sales with coupons is how I am able to save 50-70% on a regular basis. It's all about getting an item on sale WITH a coupon. Let's check out the website and how I use it.

          You will need to register with an email address. It is completely free to use this site.
          Read their online free booklet or watch their free video to better understand how the system works. I know they can explain it much better than I can.
        Website is designed to match up sales in the stores with coupons you have from the newspaper
        The three links I use most often on couponmom website.
          Grocery Deals by State (For where I am in Colorado I use--CO-Kroger/City Market, CO-Safeway, Rite-Aid, Target & Walmart)
          Grocery Coupon Database: helps you look-up coupons for items you need to buy that may not be on sale.
          Printable Grocery Coupons  Allows you to print coupons you need for certain items. *Be sure to check out too as you're able to earn points using their printable coupons.

Each week, before I go grocery shopping or to Rite-Aid, here's what I start off with:
1. Click on Grocery Deals by State
2. Select CO-King Soopers (or whatever store I'm going to)
3. Click on the Down Arrow in "% Saved" category to organize deals by the best down to the lowest
4. Select the deals that you might want to purchase that week
5. Click on “Display Selected Deals” at the bottom of the page. Print. 

I then look at the list I printed and go clip the coupons I plan on using.


  1. A note for all you swagbucks users: use the coupons on the swagbucks website for bonus points. I think they are the same coupons you get from which is also a place you get them from couponmom.
    Also don't forget to coupon swap if you can.

  2. When do you toss the coupon books?


  3. Michaela, I tend to keep my inserts until I run out of room in my 2 small filing boxes; generally about 8-10 months worth. I then will go through and toss 4-5 months of coupons at once.

    You can actually mail expired coupons to military bases. They send them overseas to help military families shop at the commissaries with coupons. They're allowed to use coupons that have been expired for up to 6 months.

  4. ok, so i signed up for and i checked out the coupon thing by state. Do you know what AY stands for? or S1, S2?

  5. AY? No, I haven't seen that acronym before. Tell me where you saw it and I'll check it out.

    The S1 & S2 are Smart Sources from a week where they published 2 different Smart Sources in the same Sunday paper. They often do this the week AFTER a holiday because on holiday weeks, there are NO coupon inserts so the next week they'll often double up.

  6. it was on when i looked up the so cal ralphs. same column as S1, S2.

  7. The AY stands for "All You" magazine. I haven't used that magazine but it has lots of coupons in it so many couponers subscribe to it to get the coupon deals.