Many of you will remember when I first started blogging, I was a frugal blog. Since then I have shifted niches and started a fun lifestyle blog. But several of my readers and friends are still looking for tips on how to save money for their families budgets. Couponing is an excellent way to help save a few dollars off of your grocery bill every month. Yes, it does take some work to learn to coupon. Watching the savings grow in your bank account will help spur your passion of couponing. Here are a few tips on Couponing: How to Get Started.
When your thinking about starting on your coupon adventure think of theses changes that will be made in your life.
You will no longer be making those early even stops to the grocery store to pick up dinner. No more huge shopping trips at the wholesale stores/clubs. Instead you will have your meal plans organized based on what is on sale. You may have you visit a few different stores to maximize your savings and with your coupons in hand you will be able to get sale products to stock up on for cheap or even free.
Couponing can be a bit scary at first. A coupon is a piece of paper from the manufacturer that offers a discount for a specific item that is printed on the paper. Coupons can be used at most stores that carry that particular product. To be able to receive the discount you need to purchase the item that the coupon is for and give the coupon the the cashier. The cashier will run your coupon across the scanner and the amount of the coupon will be taken off your purchase.
There are many places you can find coupons. Newspapers, magazines, in stores and online.
In the newspaper almost every week you can get the Red Plum and Smart Source inserts. The first week of each month Procter and Gamble have an insert in the paper as well.
Many magazines have great coupons as well. All You is always full of great coupons. Good Housekeeping, Woman’s Day, Family Circle and Red Book often have manufacturer coupons.
Look for coupons on products or store shelves when you walking though the store. There are also times you can get great coupons printed out at the register.
For a great source of where to find coupons, click here.
If you have certain products or brands that are your favorite try emailing the companies or calling them to request coupons. Some companies offer specials if you follow them on social media sites as well.
When you are ready to take on more coupons start asking friends and family members to save any unused coupons or complete inserts they have. Some people also choose to have more then one paper delivered to their homes. I am fortunate to have a Dollar Tree that sales the Sunday paper for $1.00. If I know that it is a good week for coupons, I will make a run to the store and buy a few more papers just for the coupons.
Decide how you want to organize your coupons. There are three well known “systems”, the binder, the small coupon organizer and keeping the entire insert.
* Keeping a coupon binder is great but can be very time consuming. If your binder is organized just right and you come across an unexpected sale you can easily flip though to see if you have a coupon for that item. It is best to organize the coupons in your binder by certain categories. This will take more time in the beginning but in the long run will save you time and money.
* The small coupon organizer is great for organizing the coupons you know you will use and not all the extras. This is also a great option to combine with the binder. When you have a certain trip planned you can get out all the coupons you know you will need for that trip and organize them in the small organizer.
* Keeping all the inserts is a great option too. You can organize them in a little file box by date which will help when searching the deal hunting sites and they tell you which date to get certain coupons from.
*** Be sure to regularly clean out your expired coupons. You can always donate the expired coupons to the troops. You can send them here:
Support Our Troops®
P.O. Box 70
Daytona Beach, FL 32115-0070
When it is time to shop go though the stores circular ads and make your grocery list. Go though your coupons and match the sales with what coupons you have in your coupon stash. You want to be as organized as possible so your not overwhelmed when your at the check out. Also, when the store is having a great sale, I stock up on items that I know that my family uses.
When preparing your first coupon trip you will want to be sure to check out that stores coupon policy which can usually be found on the stores website. It is best to print it out and have it with you at the store. If you can’t find it online ask someone at the customer service desk if they can get you a copy. It is always good to have a copy with you in case anything comes up at the register.
You will soon realize that couponing has a language all of it’s own. Here is a cheat sheet to help you understand the lingo.
Remember to be careful and honest when couponing. Mistakes do happen, but the important thing is to be an ethical and knowledgeable shopper. Also, if you have any questions: don’t hesitate to ask. I am always here for you. I hope that you enjoyed my post on Couponing: How to Get Started.