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What I love (and hate) about coupon trains!

April 29th, 2006 at 12:49 pm

Okay, so I complain a bit when I'm trying to keep track multiple trains. The coupon trains are still one of the most enjoyable things I do!

Why?

Well, for one, the people are GREAT. Some of us know each other through our blogs, some are new but so warm, friendly, and excited to participate. And when they tell me how much they are saving on their groceries each month, it is completely worthwhile.

I love knowing that all those coupons I receive and can't use are going to others who can. The range of "hot coupons" varies so much by individuals. Organic, quick meals, baby products and teenager appetites. Some people love one laundry brand, while others are allergic to it.

Keeping track of all those wish lists in my head while I'm sorting through coupons, well, okay, so I need to set up a database. But it's not bad. The hardest part seems to be remembering who uses Pampers and who uses Huggies, who prefers Beechnut to Gerber. But, that only takes an email to sort out.

One benefit I didn't expect when I started on a coupon train was how much it would influence ME in terms of savings. I'm more selective now, having a greater range of coupons to team up with my purchases. I stop and think a bit more frequently about whether or not that's a great deal. Another coupon may be on it's way!

Those "great" coupons that used to call out to me, "please buy me it's a great deal!" don't any more. If it's not a product I would normally use, I send them out the door immediately to someone who has them on their wish list, or just into the pile. They just might be a great find for someone else!

And...I get those offers that other's don't want. I don't think I've had to purchase puppy food since Max arrived, and he's six months! FREE offers from all the non-dog owners. And enough to share with other dog owners. Dog chews, now, those coupons more than make up for the cost of postage. Did I mention that the Corgi EATS EVERYTHING?

I find I'm much more aware of the offers that are out there. I think someone else posted that the coupons just start jumping out at you. They do! Even my DH is noticing those blinking lights on the coupon boxes, and pulled a few off of a tear pad today that were above my eye level!

I would love to hear more on how much others are saving using coupons and what they get out of the trains.

The postage, well, I've learned to stop and ask the postal clerk how much it costs to ship first class versus Priority. Almost equivalent time frame, but first class is usually only $1-2. For a really big train, if it goes over the $4.05 priority Flat Rate, (yes, I just mailed one that would have been $6 first class and was $4 priority, but that's not the norm) I will choose the Flat Rate.

The postal service also provides a flat rate BAG envelope, not just the cardboard one designed for letters. It can hold a very large dictionary, at the flat rate of $4.05. I've never shipped that many coupons, but if I did, it would be at Priority Flat Rate!

The only thing I hate about the train...sometimes I get so involved in putting coupons IN for everyone else that I forget to take coupons OUT for myself!

5 Responses to “What I love (and hate) about coupon trains!”

  1. mjrube94 Says:

    You really do a great job organizing all of this. I'm going to start tracking the savings I get beginning with this next cycle...

  2. markio26 Says:

    good for you.. it is always a great feeling to think of others first.

  3. baselle Says:

    That's great! Not only do you make it easy to buy the items you routinely use, you get rid of the temptation to buy items that you don't routinely use. Brava!

  4. wooleyduck Says:

    I've been reading your blog for quite a while now, and I wanted to tell you you're quite a good inspiration. Smile I actually just started my own blog here, partially due to you. I was wondering how to go about getting into a coupon train though? I don't even know where to begin with looking for one or anything like that.

  5. flash Says:

    Wooleyduck...first, WELCOME. Thanks for the kind words!

    Coupon trains...

    Savings advice has four threads with information on coupons trains:

    http://www.savingadvice.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=99

    If you are interested, then send me a private message (PM) and I'll help you get started.

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