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Thursday, October 9, 2014

31 Days 7: Coupons

When I first started couponing, I felt a bit silly.  I had watched some of those Extreme Couponing shows, and didn't want Mr. Rogue Mom to think that I was going to come home with 35 bottles of ketchup and a bag of oranges for the week.

But the more I did it, the more I learned.  And now I shop with the sale, and stockpile enough to last until the next one.  It's kind of like having a little store in your pantry.  And of course, you're always prepared for an emergency.

So of course, like all organization, my coupon storage has evolved since that first post.  Most of the other advice still holds true to the busy working mom who does not have time to go all-out to find the best deal.  I need quick, easy, and cost-effective.

First, let me tell you about the blogs I follow on Feedly (my blog reader.)  Because there's no point in wasting a lot of time when there are people out there doing the hard work for you!

I have a couple stores I stick to, I'm familiar with their policies and I don't want to drive all over town.  I do most of my food shopping at Publix, and I follow I Heart Publix.  I use their website to create my list, because I can save it and come back to it, and they sort it by aisle, saving me an astronomical amount of time.  I may do an entire post on that some time soon, once they get the kinks worked out of their new site.

I shop for home and baby items at Target, and I follow All Things Target for that.  I use mobile coupons and Cartwheel paired with manufacturer coupons to get GREAT deals on diapers and other items.  Don't forget The One Spot, where I get bins all the time.

For toiletries, pharmacies always have the best deals.  I usually stick to CVS, but I will go to Walgreens if they have a lot of things I can get in one trip.  I usually go through the Sunday ads for these.

Now on to the organizing.  I have two accordion files.  The little one I still use for loose coupons that I've cut but am waiting for a sale.  I have a big one as well, and I take the coupons out of the newspaper and put them, whole, in here by week.

So how do I know what's in there?  My favorite blog of all, Southern Savers.  They have a coupon database where I can look up coupons by date, booklet, or just search for an item I need to see if there are any coupons out there for it.  There's a website called for this too, but I find that a lot of those are from websites where they want you to sign up for email newsletters, and I get enough of those as it is.  

When I find a coupon I'm going to use, I clip it and stick it in the front pocket of the file, and if there are multiple stores I paper-clip them together by store with color-coordinated paper clips (green for Publix, red for Target, etc.)  I add them to my online Publix list, and voila!  For items not coming from Publix, I use the Out of Milk app.  I can create lists by store and organize them however I want.  I can even share the list with Mr. Rogue Mom so that he can do the shopping.  (Ha!  I couldn't even keep a straight face for that one...Mr. Rogue Mom grocery shopping...)

For items we need/are out of, we have a dry-erase board in the kitchen.  We write the item on the list, and on my shopping day, I take a picture of the list on my phone.  

For other working mom/other people who don't have time to coupon grocery shopping tips, check out my original post here.

How do you organize your coupons and grocery lists?

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