Monday, January 24, 2011

Couponing 101: Part 1


So you want to start couponing but are not quite sure how?  I couponed for about a year, and although I don't as much anymore, I thought I would share some tips!

What is Couponing and Why Should I Start?  Couponing is the practice of matching a coupon with an item in a store.  It's best matched when the item is on sale to get the lowest price possible.  Getting started is easy and can save you a lot of money on items you are planning to purchase anyway.

Where Can I Find Coupons?  There are several places to find coupons.  Here are a few you can start with:

The Sunday Paper
The Internet
In the Mail
In Magazines
On a Purchased Product
In Stores

How Do I Get Started?  Pick one store and start there.  When I started, I went all-in and became quite overwhelmed with all the stores I was visiting.  I spent a lot of time in the car going from one store to the other.  Don't get me wrong, I did save a TON of money...but I also spent a TON of time on doing it.  Try starting with your grocery store first, and once you have that mastered, add other stores. 

Collecting Coupons.  The first thing you need to do is start collecting coupons.  If you don't subscribe to the Sunday paper, you can start now, or just pick one up each week at the grocery store.  Or, if you are like me, check with family and friends who live close by, who can give you their coupon inserts.  It is best if you can get at least two copies of the weekly inserts, but starting out with just one is fine.  Try to collect your coupons for at least a month before you start couponing.  You'll need to have a good supply before you start getting the best deals!

Now That I Have Coupons, What Do I Do With Them?  Good question!  There are several ways people organize their coupons.  I don't like to waste a lot of time on clipping coupons I don't use, so I do not clip coupons until I need them.  I organize my coupons into three-ring binders, based on the type of insert.  For instance, the inserts in the Sunday paper include:  SmartSource (SS), Red Plum (RP), and Procter and Gamble (P&G).  I made one binder for each type.  Once I separate the three types, I would put the date I received them on the top of the insert.  The date would go on the top of all three, I would punch holes in them, place a tab on the end with the date (or separate them with a divider with the date), and put them in the corresponding binder.  The most current inserts go on top.  There is a reason for this method, and I will explain that in the next lesson.

So that is all there is to get started with couponing.  Once you have a few weeks of coupon inserts collected, you can really start saving money on your grocery bills!  I'll continue with Couponing 101: Part 2 next week, so stay tuned!!

3 comments:

Lynda

I am looking forward to hearing more about this. I have used coupons before, but never achieved the savings to make it worthwhile. It will be nice to learn some tips and tricks. Thanks for linking your post to No Ordinary Blog Hop! It will be very useful.

Have a wonderful day, Christine!

Tracy

Hi Christine!
I am not into coupons, but maybe I should be to save the money. We do alot of our shopping at Sam's/Costco where coupons can't be used from the paper/internet or can they? My mom was really big into coupons while I was growing up and she did save lots of money and that was all before the internet resources! I still can see her big cardboard box of coupons that were left on the top of her car and she drove off with "coupon snow" flying everywhere...a money saving mom's worst nightmare! :)
Thanks for this helpful post and linking it to No Ordinary Blog Hop!

Lindsey V

This is great! I found you through No Ordinary Blog Hop! I have been wanting to get into this but so many people often share their savings but not always a practical how-to. I like how you said to start with one store because going to multiple stores each week seems overwhelming to me! I am going over to part two now! Thank YOU!

Post a Comment

I'd love to hear from you!