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About ten years ago, I started using coupons.  It took me forever, but when I would see my savings, it was always worth it.  Since then, I have learned to scale back on the time and bump up the savings.   Today, I partnered with family Dollar to tell you how to do that with a few easy tips:

1- Get your coupons ahead of time (before you shop!) 
Family Dollar contacted me recently to check out their new program, Smart Coupons.  It is simply a way to save more money (gotta love that!)

How it works:
1- Sign up for Smart Coupons online (or text the word SMART to 28767)
Enter your e-mail and phone number (remember that this is the number that you will use in the store to retrieve your coupons).
(see it in my picture below- ps- the headphones are a GREAT deal if you need some for school!)

smart coupons

2- Sign up with 10-digit phone number
3- Make your shopping list & check out Family Dollar Smart Coupons.
4- Simply click on the coupons that you want to click.  They will be “saved” to your account.
5- When you get to the store, get the items that you need and head to the register to check out.

6- Enter your phone number at the register and your coupons will be applied.
7 Watch your total drop.

That’s it!   It is simple and effective!  A great way to save.

I personally like to by things and stock up, while I can get them with the coupon.  It is so easy, too.  I either use my phone or I just print out my Smart Coupons list.    Plus, you can access them at the store with your phone number, so it’s easy to remember.   (If you need any help, the sales people will help you!)

*Be sure to check their site often, as deals & offers can change. 

2- Stack my coupons.
 This means that if I see a Tide coupon come across my Smart Coupons, and I know that the newspaper also has a coupon for Tide, I can use both.  Now I have saved a lot more.  Plus, if Tide is already on sale that week, I’m going to be way ahead of the game!

3-  Keep them organized. 
In the past, I had a binder with all of my coupons in it.  It was a ‘baseball-card-holder” type of binder…  a 3 ring binder with card-holder inserts.  I put all of my coupons in there, but the problem that I ended up having was that I would have too many of one kind of coupon.
So- they were all alphabetized, but when I would cut yet-another Colgate coupon, I found that  I didn’t have any “Co” spots left (in my ABC order), so I would just shove it in behind another Colgate coupon.  This worked out fine, I guess, but I liked to see all of them and not just some of them.

It looked like this (sorry that it is so small- I took this years ago!):

couponsThe second reason that I didn’t like this is because it was SO time-consuming!  I was cutting out coupons every Sunday, plus printing them off every week from the computer.  So- I decided to go a much easier route:  I bought file-folders with little hanging tabs on the sides that hook onto a storage box.   I just organize them by date.  So, when Sunday comes, I take the coupons from the paper, put a post-it note on them (held in place with a paper clip) and slip it into a new folder (I organize mine oldest to newest so that when the older ones expire, I just take it, toss it and have the next one ready to go).

Now that I have digital coupons, I just grab the coupons that go along with the digital ones (digital are so much better!)

Time for REAL LIFE: 
Which way would probably save more money?  Clipping & organizing in a binder (you can take it into the store each time, so you can catch deals that the bloggers didn’t see)
Which way works better for a Mom of four little ones?  Saving & clipping for one hour the night before a shopping trip!

 The night before I want to go shopping, I just cut what they tell me to & then I make piles of 20.   I go onto my Smart Coupons and see what is available there and then I start matching.

5- I put them into groups of 20, by category (frozen, breads, produce area, dairy, oral care, hair care…)  I combine the piles if I need to, to get to 20.  I then put a paper clip on each pile and put them into an envelope.


Meet me on Twitter on Friday, September 2nd at 10:00am EST for 30 minutes.  During this time, I will share money-saving tips and I will also be giving away two $25 gift cards for Family Dollar. nd Follow me on Twitter & I’ll see you there!

Hi there!

I’m Becky, a former elementary school teacher turned certified child development therapist and blogger. I work at home with my husband and together we are raising (and partially homeschooling) our four children in the Carolinas. I love diet coke, ice cream, and spending time with my family.

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