About a year ago I cancelled my Sunday newspaper subscription because it became more of a waste of money than a savings. I subscribed to the Sunday paper solely for the coupons and every 8 weeks about $13 was automatically taken out of my bank account. It became overwhelming keeping up with the paper and then I had sooooo many coupons in store for later use that it became a burden looking for the coupon I needed. AND then, those coupons in store for later use expired, but I forgot about them and so I had a pile of coupons, which were in an organizer, that never got used and my $13 would eventually end up wasted.
Well, I no longer subscribe to the paper, but I still get it at a 30% discounted price at Wal-Mart. I like doing it this way because I can preview the coupons beforehand and determine whether the paper's worth buying or not. AND to determine whether the paper's worth buying, I at least make sure that I will save more than the $1.25 that I will pay for it.
The other change I made is determining which coupons to cut out. I no longer cut out coupons that I think I'm going to use later. I look through the coupons and determine which coupons I will really use and then on my next grocery run, I purchase the products. The only coupons I store for a later date is for products I absolutely know I will need, like Pull-Ups. If I need a product and there's a coupon for a brand name that I don't normally use, I will compare the prices with the store brand and if the store brand is cheaper, then I buy the store brand product. I find that some people use a coupon because they think it's saving them money, but sometimes I find that even with a coupon, a brand name product is still more expensive and I don't mind using store brand products.
The last change I made is how I keep up with the coupons. When I subscribed to the paper, I didn't look through it immediately and then I would have 2 to 5 weeks worth of papers to look through and a whole pile just sitting waiting for me. Now, I make sure to look through the paper at least by the day after purchasing it AND then immediately tie it up and put it in the recycling bin. Unfortunately, I don't look through the paper to read it, but at this season of life, I don't have the time.
So, that's my new strategy to using coupons. It's helped with keeping out the clutter and I'm finally saving money now.