Why Start Couponing?
You have probably heard about people who can walk in to a store get a shopping cart full of groceries, use a stack of coupons, and pay $1.72. You are probably thinking to yourself I could never do that. The reality of that is, you don’t need to. Those types of situations are very rare and usually involve much more effort than you were told. But what you can do is take little steps, little steps that will slowly help you to start saving 50%+ on items that you buy already. So how can you do that? Where do you start? How can you start to speak “coupon”?
Here are a few steps that I recommend that can get you started.
1) Get Coupons! I know right? You need to have access to coupons to start couponing. The Best source is to get the coupon inserts, Smart Source(SS), Red Plum(RP) on a weekly basis, and P&G on a monthly basis in one of your local newspapers. Every major market puts these 3 main coupon sources in the Sunday Paper. As with the push towards technology, these three companies have made available a lot of their coupons online. www.coupons.com, www.smartsource.com, and www.redplum.com are some of the best online resources for printable coupons.
2) Organize your Coupons! You probably have seen people walking around grocery stores with their large baseball card binder FULL of coupons. And if you feel that that could be you, great! I unfortunately, am not that organized. That type of system takes a lot of time. And to be a successful couponer, you need to learn tricks to save time, not just money.
So after trying Sooooo many types of ways of organizing my coupons, I have found what has worked best for me. I “file” my coupon inserts by date. That means that, for instance, on the January 6th, 2013 Sunday, the newspaper had 6 coupon inserts. I got 5 sets of those coupons that weekend. I put those 5 sets in a folder marked “1/6″13“, for future easy access to that weekends coupons. Then the following week, 1/13/13, had 2 coupon inserts. I got 5 sets of those too. I put those in another folder marked “1/13/13“. I do this for each week. So when I see a deal that refers to a specific coupon in a specific coupon insert, I can quickly find that coupons. For instance if I see a deal for Advil that wants the “$1/1 Advil Coupon 1/6/13 SS”, I go to that 1/6/13 folder, find the Smart Source insert(SS), and then find that coupon and clip it. Very quick and efficient.
3) Start using Coupon Match-ups! So you have started to collect all these coupons, now what? You look at an ad, and…well…nothing’s changed, you still just see normal “sales”. That’s where Coupon Match-ups come into play. I go through each ad each week, and find the deals for you. All you need to do is look through the coupon match-ups, find deals you that interest you, find and/or print the coupons you need, and you are ready to buy the items.
4) Make your Store Shopping List! So let’ say you found 8 items in the Coupon Match-ups that you want to buy. I have features on my site that can help you make a printer friendly list. Make your list, bring your coupons and your good to go!
5) Remember my Deals work! IF you see a deal outside the weekly match-ups, you can be confident that when you go to the store, follow my steps to making the deal work, IT WILL WORK FOR YOU!
If you read Step #4, and thought, I buy more than 8 items, and I don’t shop at the store normally…..is it worth it? Great Question! If you look at the 30-40 items you buy on a week to week basis, have a real look at those other items. Are they really cheaper at your normal grocery place? Most major grocery stores are with-in up to 5%(sometimes up to 10%) of each other. Their marketing departments try very hard to keep their prices with-in “set” percentages of each other. So if you are saving 50%+ on 8 items, perhaps major items, is that worth the “3-5%” loss in other areas? The math in most cases will tell you, yes. Or, I find that in our area the major grocery stores are within miles of each other, and so it’s very cost effective to buy your 8 items at one store, and buy the rest of your items at another.
Stay tuned for other great tips on saving even more using coupons!
Other pages to view!
Master List of Coupon Lingo Learn the common Coupon Abbreviations!
Does it REALLY matter who checks you out? Good suggestions for working with your cashier.