Team Couponing

Eat Better for Less Blog #1:  Team Couponing

Hi there!  I'm Joanne and like most of you, I am a very busy working mother of 7.  Food can be one of the biggest expenses in your home, so I thought I would show you how to save time and money on food.  One of the main tools I use to keep our grocery budget down to $200 per month is COUPONS!

Let me tell you a story:  One day, I announced to my family that I was going to quit couponing.  It just took too much time.  My sweet husband & children all begged me to keep doing it, saying they would help and thus, TEAM COUPONING entered our home!  Hooray!  We came up with a pretty efficient way to coupon as a team, so I thought I'd share the process with you.

The first thing you must do is obtain & process the coupons.
Ready, set, here we go! We get 5 Sunday papers delivered at .52 cents each.  Each comes in a plastic bag.  These are helpful; we use them to separate the papers.  Iíll explain.  First I go through the newspaper & take out all the "inserts."  These include Smart Source, & Red Plum, sometimes Procter & Gamble, General Mills, Albertsonís doublers.  Youíll also want to breeze through the Parade insert because sometimes high value coupons hide in there; however one of your Ďteam membersí could do this.  All inserts are stacked in the middle of the table in their entirety.

Oh, your "couponing teamĒ includes anyone benefiting from the final result, and capable of helping.  In our house itís the 8-9 of us plus a few neighbors.  I take them smoking deals I got (shower gel, toothpaste, etc.) and coffee coupons with directions on how & where to get it frugally and they give us their inserts.  Its a win - win.  I encourage you to make arrangements like this.  Plus, itís a regular excuse to visit neighbors. 

So back to our team.  Each team member takes a newspaper.  Place the plastic sheath down designating your garbage (recycle of course!) newspapers, and as they go through the paper taking out the inserts, the rest of the paper gets added to the pile.  If the insert is missed they know its somewhere between the plastic sheaths.  This way you donít have to search through the entire mountain, just 1 paperís worth. 

Like inserts are stacked together = there should be 5 of everything.

While my team is processing the rest of the papers, Iím going through the inserts I got from my newspaper discerning which coupons I want to keep and laying them side by side around the floor as I sit in the middle, remember our table is occupied by my team.  Once Iíve processed the insert a team member can take my place & simply match the inserts to the coupons Iíve laid out.  Repeat with each insert.
After there are piles of 5 identical coupons another team member writes the date on the top page only.   6-27 for example.  Being careful to not write on the actual coupon at all.  Now the pages are ready for the sheet protectors and the super awesome coupon binder.  Put the sheets you just processed in the back of your binder.  Old ones will naturally get scooted to the front.  

Next go to   to print out my FAV master coupon list.  This list is updated every Monday & contains EVERY non-expired coupon from the newspaper.  The important part is what date it came out.  From the date you wrote on the insert page & list you printed out youíll know where to look in your binder to find if you have the coupon for that cool item on sale!

Tip: when youíre ready to print the master list if you say print 4 per sheet (4 in 1) youíll save paper, ink, & time by not having so many papers to sort through.

I hope that those of you who have been looking for a better way to clip your coupons, have found an idea or two in the process above.  I wish you the best and happy saving until next time!


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Tags: coupons  save money 

Christianne said...
I love the concept of recruiting neighbors to help. I tried doing the couponing thing all by myself and quickly became overwhelmed. I'd love to see a follow up post about how your process works for deciding what a bargain is and what a typical grocery run looks like with you binder. Do you clip before you go to the store? Do you use internet coupons too?

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