Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Couponing 101

I still can't believe I, Sister C, left her coupon purse in Wisconsin.  So, for those of you that are new to couponing, I'm starting basically from scratch and you can come along! 

My first step in couponing actually has nothing to do with getting or using actual coupons.  It's making a list of what you have in your house as far as supplies and what you will be needing to "stock up on" soon.  For me, it's toilet paper, kids toothpaste, toilet cleaner, bar soap, dish soap and laundry detergent.  These will be the items I will be looking for this week or next week in all the ads from the stores in town. 

My second step is to make a list for lunches/dinners this week.  This can be such a daunting task for us, so I simplified it into "themes" for each lunch and dinner during the week.  For example, every Monday night we have something with Chicken.  Tuesdays is Pizza Night.  Below is a pic of my schedule.  Give it a shot - this has saved me from making so many trips uptown because we have "nothing" to make in the house.  I've also learned to use Super Cook for ideas on what to make.  I love this site.  You type in the ingredients  you do have in your cupboard and it gives you ideas on what to make with it.  So, I challenge you to either give my schedule of lunches/dinners a try, or to come up with your own.  Of course I don't stick to it all the time, but it gives me a starting point when thinking about what to make, otherwise I get overwhelmed with decisions lol  

Once I have this down, I can go through my cupboards and figure out what I need to buy.  I'm out of fruits and baby carrots since we were out of town for a week, plus yogurt, popcorn, mac and cheese, crackers, cheese, fish, sandwich meat...I think I should have just listed what we do have haha  So now that I have my list, I know what to look for in the ads this week. 

To start getting your coupon stash going, I'd sign up for your local grocery stores' newsletter emails.  I'll get a list going for you if you want to wait until tomorrow, I need to get to work :D  I've received some good ones lately, so it's definitely something you want to do.  If you don't like getting emails to your personal email account, I'd recommend setting up a separate one just for your couponing adventures.  I personally just have it all sent to one email. 

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