In response to the comments on my last post, I thought I'd just make a second and answer a few inquiries. I stumbled upon couponing by accident and until I found the blogs I follow, I really didn't believe in it. How could name brand items be cheaper than the store brand? So I had resisted until I found the coupon blogging community.
I have been learning how to do it through the blogs and a lot of trial and error. Here are a few subjects you might have questions about.
It is very time consuming at first and overwhelming, but I think it totally pays off. I can't imagine not doing it now.
(Example: Last weekend we had a movie night at church. We were late, but I wanted some snacks so we stopped at the grocery store. I left my coupons in the car and went to an unfamiliar store. Big mistake. I stood stumped in the candy aisle for 5 minutes aghast at the prices. I just couldn't pay full price or even sale price for any of it. I just left and we had no treats. It was sad, but showed me how dependent on it I am now.)
As I get better and have picked the few stores I will focus on, my time spent has gone down by a lot. My new coupon binder has also helped immensely. I can now find my coupons and easily organize them.
I don't think our grocery bill has gone down yet, but we have so much more food in our cupboards now- and thats one of the reasons to do it. For the same ammount of money I used to spend, I get twice as much and am building our food storage. As I get better at it I hope to slash our food bills by 50-90%, which is supposedly possible.
Yes, a lot of the coupons out there are for severely processed foods. Luckily there are also other ones out there. At first I was just getting anything free I could find, but have since become more selective in which foods I get, whether they are basically free or not. Produce rarely has coupons so I supplement a lot of the couponing foods I get with other healthy foods. I do usually get great deals on yogurt, healthy canned soups, canned veggie and fruits, frozed veggies, lunchmeat, healthy crackers, healthy cereals, oatmeal, chicken broth, baby foods, house cleaning products, personal care products and diapers.
I previously was using envelopes with categories written on them, but have since switched to a 2 inch binder with baseball card organizers. I printed a PDF with all the categories and Table of Contents. Those pages are in sleeves. Then each item gets its own slot. Its big, but oh so worth it.
WHERE I GET COUPONS
I buy between 2-4 Sunday papers a week and then get the coupons that come in our mail. I also print them from http://www.coupons.com/ and Target's website. I also send off for free samples in the mail which usually come with a coupon.
HOW TO FIND THE DEALS
I use two websites for all my couponing. They cover everything and basically every store. They are http://www.thekrazycouponlady.com/ and http://www.hip2save.com/. The Krazy Coupon Lady is the best for learning how to coupon. She has awesome tutorials and resources. I'd look over there if you are thinking about starting.
That is all I can think of for now. I totally recommend it if you have the time to commit to learning the ropes and keeping up with it. Let me know if you have any other questions.