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Clipping coupons is no longer just a pastime monopolized by old ladies.  Actually, smart young parents are also using coupons to keep themselves on budget.

While some coupons save shoppers nothing more than pennies, others dramatically slash prices of essential household items.  Ultimately, wise shoppers save hundreds or thousands of dollars a year by using coupons, and are able to receive many items virtually free.

However, there is a cost attached to using coupons.  They are time-consuming to organize.  Often, one must ask themselves if using coupons is any more profitable than simply working a part-time job.

Fortunately, Zoho Notebook can serve to help you save time & money with your coupons.  This free application allows you to copy coupons & to shuffle them around on the screen, so that you can arrange them as you wish.

Before getting started with Zoho, take a moment to familiarize yourself with other handy coupon tools that will make Sunday’s paper seem like yesterday’s news.

The Coupon Calendar

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A coupon clipping service, called the Coupon Clippers, provides a very handy calendar that lets you know about each week’s coupons–both past, present, & (if you’re lucky) the future.

This calendar gives you pre-organized information on all of the coupons that come in Sunday’s newspaper.  You will no longer need to cut the coupons & organize them yourself before heading to the grocery store.  Only cut the ones you need, after you have checked the calendar’s database to see what the best deals are.

Incredibly, the coupons usually get posted to this site a little ahead of time.  So, you can find out what Sunday’s deals are on Saturday evening, or maybe even Friday night.  This gives you more time to strategize, and to get the best deal before supplies have vanished.

My Grocery Deals

This is a very helpful site, which lets you compare the best deals from local grocery stores.  However, it does not seem to include non-food items. Plus, like other items listed here, it is useless outside of the United States. (However, other useful sites exist for regions such as the UK.)

Items are searchable, both by category as well as by brand name.  To search for a brand name, you will first need to enter a category.  There is an index of categories available to the left of the page, as soon as you enter into “category” search mode.

A similar search engine, which also includes perishable items can be found at GroceryGuide.

Zoho Notebook

Zoho Notebook is easy & requires no installation to use.  However if you want to use Zoho’s plugin, I recommend doing so since it simplifies the process of saving images & text to Zoho.

When using it, you can highlight anything on a webpage, and transfer it into a note.

Logically enough, you can clip coupon information from the couponclippers website & pair it up with store information either from the mygrocerydeals website or the stores’ circulars themselves.

Any notebooks you make can be shared with others, by selecting “Share” options at the top of the note, once you have first saved your note.

Anyone with whom you share the note can modify it, and send it directly back to you.  So, you can delegate tasks to one another.  For example, one person could find the best deals in Store A, while another could find the best deals in Store B, etc.  Then, you could compile all of your notes, so that you would each have a big list of the week’s best deals.

Circles Of Couponing Collaboration

If you would like to publicly cultivate circles of collaboration, there are 2 resources which capitalize on the sharing potential of coupon organizing.

The first will be found at the Pinching Your Pennies Forums, which are organized by state. Predictably, states containing strong suburban & rural markets will be lavished with more attention in the forums (i.e., Utah & Arizona), while those with urban markets will rarely receive posts (i.e. New Jersey & Connecticut).  Deals are best where stores are challenged to lure customers from miles away with attractive rebates & incentives, such as in the suburban markets.

If the forum for your state gets heavy traffic, you may want to get to know your fellow forum-visitors.  Tell them about Zoho, and try to begin collaborating together.  The worst thing they’ll do is to laugh at you.

A final place to visit is the Slickdeals Drugstore/Grocery Deals Forum.  You’ll usually be greeted by a handful of posts regarding upcoming ads for stores such as Walgreens, CVS, or Safeway.  Not only do advance ads get posted here, but savvy forum users will begin to strategize plans-of-attack, so that they can maximize coupon savings on sale items from the ads.

Fortunately, this is a highly active forum.  To improve your results, use the “search” feature of this forum, in the top right corner beneath the ad.  Type in a store to see recent messages about it.

Hopefully, you will find these forums enlightening at the least, and if they’re not useful to you perhaps they will be to one of your relatives or neighbors.

While couponing is not exactly the average shopper’s idea of fun (even if she’s a housewife on a budget), these 21st century tools are sure to bring couponing out of the Stone Age & give many families the help they desperately need in these troubled economic times.

If you know of any other coupon sites, tell us about them in the comments.

Image Credits:  Bramus!, James Withers, & ratterrell

  1. MaryEllen@TheDealScoop
    February 5, 2010 at 4:52 pm

    There are literally hundreds of couponing blogs that match up coupons with sales at various stores. All the work is already done for you!

  2. Robin
    March 29, 2009 at 6:58 am

    I agree that an online binder would be useful for online coupons, however, I have to have a physical binder when walking into stores.

    On that note I bet it will be socially acceptable in 5 years to carry in a tablet pc!

    -Robin

  3. Danh ba web 2.0
    March 28, 2009 at 1:18 am

    Nice post. Thanks a lot
    You can see more: http://tr.im/hUFh
    Good luck

  4. Kathleen
    March 28, 2009 at 1:06 am

    To get maximum coupon savings you need to have your coupons organized and available when you shop. I think a coupon binder with clear vinyl pocket pages is the best system. You can find easy instructions on making a coupon binder here:

    http://tinyurl.com/725rwp

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