How to Coupon

5 Mar

Couponing can be a hobby, and for some people a lifestyle.  You don’t have to be “extreme” to save your family money.  You don’t have to have a stockpile you, your family, and all your neighbors could live on for a year.  Stocking up on items when there is an awesome sale is the key.  Below are some tips on how to save money, without going overboard.

  • Start off by buying 1 double Sunday paper a week.  They are $5 and you will have 2 of each coupon…very important if there is a buy one get one free sale because you can use a coupon for each item…even the free one!  You can also buy newspapers at Dollar Tree on Sunday for $1, though you have to get there EARLY because they go fast!!
  • Next is to decide how you will keep your coupons organized.  Some people clip all of their coupons and put them in a binder.  Some people don’t clip at all.  They keep their inserts together and work off of the Master Coupon List (a list of all current coupons telling you what date they came in the newspaper and what date they expire) I prefer to clip my coupons, it takes up more time, but makes it much easier for me to see what I have when I am in the store. If you clip, be sure to organize them however you are most comfortable.  You can organize them by category (frozen foods, dairy, snacks…etc) or you can organize them by your store layout.  I use categories because I shop at several different stores, but its your own personal preference.
  • Next, you can grab your local weekly store sale paper and start matching up.  Find out if your store doubles/triples coupons.  This can be very handy.  Most stores, if they do, will triple any coupon up to $.39 and will double any coupon up to $.50.  That means your $.35 coupon that you didn’t think was worth the trouble of keeping is now worth $1.05 and when matched up with a sale can be great! I had $.35 off coupons for pasta and Tom Thumb put them on sale 10 for $10….They actually paid me $.05 each box of pasta I bought!
  • Obviously it will take a couple weeks for you to build up a good variety of coupons.  Don’t be discouraged when you feel that you aren’t saving as much as you wanted.  It will come in time.  It helps a lot to check a couple of stores sales in your area, know their coupon policy and plan your trips accordingly.  Sounds like a lot of work, and it is, but becomes easy over time.
  • Keep ALL coupons!  Even if you don’t think you will use them.  Money makers (when the value of the coupon exceeds the price of the item) come up all the time, especially at drugstores!  Why not buy something you could give away if it makes you money towards a purchase of something else you want?
  • ALWAYS check clearance areas!!  That is my first stop everytime I go in the store.  Most grocery stores have a clearance area and when you match up with your coupons, you can find a lot of free or really inexpensive items.

Have fun with it!  Find blogs for stores you shop at and be proud of every penny you save!  It’s the thrill of the hunt and when you find your first great sale all by yourself, it’s very rewarding!

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