Thursday, September 26, 2013

Couponing Strategies + Ibotta

Thought I'd share how I do my couponing each week and keep everything organized. If you're a couponer- new or old- I hope this gives you some new ideas.

Typical Schedule

Sunday morning: We get a Chicago Tribune delivered, which costs us $1 a week. I'll go through the inserts and tally up how many coupons I know we'll use and how many we might use. I also go through some of the store circulars to see what the sales are.  

Sunday night: If there were a lot of good coupons that week I'll go and buy 1-2 more papers at Walgreens, where they're $2 each. I also check the coupon websites and print out new offers. I also visit coupon blogs to learn about hot deals going on.
  • I typically visit Target and Swagbucks (coupons printed through the site earn you 10 SBs each) but also check brand websites and Facebook pages if I know we need something and don't already have a coupon for it.
Thursday night: I don't do a whole lot of coupon-related stuff again until Thursday nights, since we go grocery shopping on Fridays. After the boys go to bed I'll see if any new online coupons have popped up and print those. I also update my Target Cartwheel account and add any mobile CVS coupons to my Extra Care card. Finally I go through my coupon organizers and pull out the ones for the next shopping trip. 
  • A majority of the coupons I use are internet printables. To offset the cost of the papers we buy I aim to use at least $5 worth of newspaper coupons each week. 
Friday morning: I organize my stack of coupons by store (we usually go to CVS and Super Target) and check the coupon blogs again if I have time. 

Friday evening: After shopping I'll input any qualifying receipts in to my Ibotta app. See below for a detailed description of Ibotta.

Throughout the week: I follow a bunch of couponers on Instagram who are constantly posting deals so I see those every day. If there's a hot deal I'll jump on it but I try to stay away from the stores until Fridays. 

Coupon Organization

I know a lot of couponers use binders with baseball card dividers to organize their coupons. That sounds like too much work for me, so I do something simpler. I bought these accordion folders for $1 each at Target.


Food categories take up one and a half folders (sections include: drinks, frozen food, produce/deli/bakery, breakfast and dairy). The rest of the folders are divided into baby, household and personal care categories. It works well for me. Every couple weeks I go through and get rid of the coupons that have expired (see what you can do with expired HERE!) 

Ibotta


If you're a couponer and you're not using Ibotta, you really should be! On top of all the other in-store savings you could be earning money back from Ibotta. Here are 2 breakdowns of recent deals I took advantage of at CVS.

Huggies Slip-On diapers: regular price $11.99
Huggies wipes: regular price $3.49 (I think- I threw away the receipt)
Used a 20% off CVS savings pass
Used a $2.50/1 manufacturers coupon for the diapers
Used a $.50/1 manufacturers coupon for the wipes
Used a $3/1 CVS store coupon

My out-of-pocket cost was $6.38

Earned $4.25 back from Ibotta because of a special promotion going on  (usually you'd earn $2.25 on the Huggies) 

Total for the diapers and wipes was $2.13

-and-

Gallon of milk: regular price $2.99
Received a $1 ExtraBuck for future purchase

Earned 75¢ back from Ibotta

Total for the milk was $1.24

After you rack up $5 in your earnings through Ibotta you can send your cash to your PayPal account. I've been using the app for about 3 weeks and have already banked $13. If you're new to Ibotta and are confused about how it works, check out the awesome tutorials on YouTube. It's really easy once you get the hang of it.

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR IBOTTA!!! (referral link)

CLICK HERE to see all my money saving tips! 

1 comment:

  1. Catching up on your latest posts, and you know I'm gonna love this one! I'm so happy that I have a "real life" couponing friend. Haha, I know we don't REALLY know each other in real life, but being crafting friends first makes it seem as if we are.

    I keep forgetting that I can print the same coupons I print now through Swagbucks. I signed up for that weeks ago, but I haven't done anything with it. It just didn't seem like something interesting for me, but I can definitely at least print coupons.

    I only recently came across the thing about donating coupons to the military! I love that idea! I've been just throwing them away afterwards. I should definitely save mine for that cause. How often do you send yours? I know they have certain time constraints, so I was curious how often you mail them out.

    You've earned a LOT on Ibotta! I've only earned about $3.50 so far because we just don't use much of the stuff that's there. I only got the Eggland's Best offer because I happened to have it in the fridge and still had the receipt and the Tropicana one when there was a great sale at Stop & Shop. But I think it's totally worth continuing even if it takes me longer to earn $5.

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