Who doesn’t want to save money? Using coupons saves money! Chances are you have found this page because you want to know how to coupon. I just want to start off by saying it’s nothing like you see on TV. You typically cannot walk out of the stores with $3,000+ worth of groceries for free. While there’s always free items there’s also limits. There’s a lot to learn but once you understand the basics the rest comes easy. For most couponers it becomes a lifestyle change. Whether you’re a single person or a family of 8 couponing is for everyone. It would be easy to say get a weekly ad to a store, find a sale and get a coupon to match the sale but there’s so much more.
Here’s the basic steps you would want to follow when starting out for the first time.
Rule of thumb: get 4 sets of inserts (magazine like papers with coupons) per person in your household. For example If you have 4 people in your household get 16 sets of inserts. What I mean by “sets” is the paper varies from Sunday to Sunday. Sometimes you have 2 inserts and sometimes you have 5, it depends on what’s coming out. Also check to see if the Sunday paper has inserts before purchasing them. A few times a year there’s a “no insert” Sunday paper. You may also google ” insert preview” (Google is your best friend).
Where do you get coupons you ask?
- Sunday papers, buying the paper can get very costly when some papers are $2.50 + so check out dollar tree. Depending on your area you may get inserts in the mail. Some convenience stores will have papers left over on Monday and let you have the inserts.
- Clipping services, people sell their time and effort of sorting, clipping and mailing coupons to you and not the actual coupons because that’s illegal. The costs may vary depending on the coupon i.e. value and demand for that particular coupon. Majority of the time coupons are offered in sets of 10. You will get 10 of the same coupons in 1 set and ranges anywhere from $1-$2 on average. This is different from getting whole inserts and usually when you have purchased from a clipping service you have already got your feet wet and know a little about couponing.
- Ask your friends, family, neighbors, or co-workers for inserts.
- There’s a thing called a “coupon fairy” – people who sell whole inserts via mail or locally in person. *This may be considered unethical couponing measures since you cannot sell coupons!
- The internet! These are called ip’s or internet prints coupons.com has a lot of printable coupons. First You need a printer download the software from coupons.com. Now search for the coupons you want and clip them to your cart. You may print 2 of the same coupons per device…for example: you can print 2 from your desktop computer, another 2 from your laptop and another 2 from your tablet. Click on the “coupons” tab on my page to check out the coupons or click here
Find an organization method to keep your coupons ready to go
- Envelopes- sort them in sets of envelopes, label them i.e. beauty, haircare, laundry, dairy, frozen foods etc.
- binder- get a binder, buy baseball card sleeves, and sort them i.e. by insert date, by categories, or even by how your stores are set up- whatever floats your boat!
- accordion coupon book with tabs
What I do now- I keep my inserts whole and sort them by date of when they came out (you can find the date on the edge of the insert in tiny writing). I now only clip what I’m going to use at the moment. Here’s why… If I find a deal, I’ll look to see if I have the coupon via a “coupon database” (try this one). I now can find the coupons easier because the database will tell me which insert what date and when it expires. Personally this method saves me more time. I used to clip the coupons and not use them all. I then would have to get rid of the expired coupons. That was a process in itself that I didn’t like. I have used all of these methods and this works best for me. The downside is if I find an unadvertised deal or a clearance item, I don’t have the coupon for that item with me and miss out. You will learn what works best for you as you go along.
Do your homework
- Start by choosing the stores you will be shopping at in your area and get familiar with their coupon policy, (this will be important stuff to know) you can find it on their websites… Learn what “works” in that store for example: Do they have a loyalty card with digital coupons? Do they have their own store coupons that stack with manufacturers coupons? Is there an app to the store that will give you additional savings?? etc.. My favorite stores are Target and CVS ( I barely ever shopped at these places prior to couponing)
- Learn the coupon rules…Coupons have small print on them with rules. ” 1 per purchase” “4 like coupons per person” ect.
- Join Facebook groups by searching in the search bar for the store name and key word “couponing” for example: “target couponing” and you will see many groups populate.
- Use your best friend google use search terms like ” target deals” and “stop&shop matchups” also ask Google for anything you don’t understand
- Follow me! Subscribe to my page! Read my deals posts and break downs on how to get the same exact deals I do. Feel free to ask questions as I will answer to the best of my abilities
- Check out my Coupon Lingo page to get familiar with the language.
- Follow what others do till you can master couponing on your own and find your own deals or matchups
Ready for your first couponing trip to the store?
- Make sure you have a game plan- “a deal you are going to do”
- Bring your coupons,loyalty cards, weekly flyers, your phone for a calculator or for apps you need depending on the store you go to, for example: “cartwheel” an app to target for additional discounts.
- Be nice to cashiers. You definitely want to make friends with your cashiers, it’ll make your couponing life much better! Some wont know the coupon policy and/or rules as well as you do. If things don’t turn out as planned ( price rings up wrong or coupon beeps) they will be more willing to deal with you and help you when you are pleasant.
- Follow the “rules” of the coupons and store’s policies and your couponing experience will be successful.
You will do great! Take your time go at your own pace and again feel free to ask any questions by leaving a comment or on my Facebook page found here