Getting Started

READY TO SAVE SOME MAJOR BUCKS?

Using coupons can be somewhat intimidating when you first get started, but no worries! I'm here to help. I started couponing a few years ago, but I really didn't get the hang of it. I saved a little here and there, but it wasn't enough to make it worth it. I was having a hard time finding deals by myself, so I kind of gave up. I now know that I was just uneducated and have learned how to get great deals and free stuff every week with coupons! Hopefully my site will provide you with answers and the help you need to save tons of money. Here are a few things you might want to consider doing to get started using coupons:

1. Try (hard!) not to be brand picky! This is quite an adjustment for some people. In fact, it was for me at first. For example, if you only use Tide laundry detergent, consider getting what's on sale with a coupon. I never pay over  .99 for a bottle of laundry detergent. LOVE IT!! Use what brand of bodywash, toothpaste, razors, etc., you get for super cheap or free. This will save you TONS of money.


2. Learn to plan your meals around what's on sale! You can cut at least 50% of your grocery bill doing this. Create a menu weekly or monthly (however you shop) with your sale papers in front of you. Plan your shopping trip accordingly. This will eliminate those last minute trips to the store before dinner to get garlic bread!


3. Finding coupons! There are several different place to find coupons. The more you use them, the more familiar you will get with finding them. The main source of coupons are newspaper inserts (In the Sunday paper). These inserts include Red Plum (RP), Procter & Gamble (PG) and Smartsource (SS). You can buy these inserts from coupon clippers online or by buying the newspaper. Some people even do whats called dumpster diving. This is when you go to your local recycle bins and find them. Another way to get them is simply ask family and friends. Not everyone uses coupons!

Another great source of coupons is the good ole internet! Printable coupons are my favorite as sometimes they tend to be higher in value. Especially the Facebook coupons! I will do my best to pass on all the great deals I can find so you can get to printing. If you are a first time coupon printer, each site requires you to download a fast and easy software. Don't worry this is safe for your computer! Generally, you can print two per computer, and remember it is illegal to copy them.


4. Create a binder! Get a 1-3" binder, put some baseball card sleeves in it and start filling! Most people have their own system and order when it comes to their binder. I have mine pretty detailed. Separate categories, such as dry food, cold food, personal care, pharmacy, pets, household goods, paper, etc.... Whatever makes it easier for you to shop and not miss any deals!

Now if you don't want to clip all those coupons every week and would rather follow deals online telling you which insert a coupon can be found in for a deal, don't clip them. Just organize your inserts by date so they will be easy to get to for match-ups.

Don't be sad if you have to throw coupons away! Yes, you will throw some away, sometimes it's depressing how many you don't use. BUT, absolutely do not go shopping and buy the stuff just to use the coupons!! I have heard so many people say they are going over their grocery budget since they started couponing. Here's why: you have to wait for store promotions and sales to find the deals and save big.

Let me give you an example:


Betty Crocker seasoned mashed potatoes: $1.97
Coupon: .50/2 (.50 off when you buy 2)
If coupon doubles they will still be $1.47 each. (GV brand at Walmart is $1.00)
Just so happens this week they are on sale 10 for $10!
With coupons, that brings them down to .50 each!! (.50 cheaper than the off brand!) This is when you would want to stock up!


5. Stock up when prices are super low (stockpiling)! Stockpiling does not mean hoarding. To build a stockpile means to make sure your family has enough of certain products to last for say three months or six months. For example, Crest toothpaste is priced $2.99, they go on sale for 10 for $10. You have a coupon for .50 off ($1.00 off after doubling), making them free! While they are free, get several (stockpile)! Then you won't run out before the sale comes back around and end up paying full price (boo to paying full price on anything!).


6. Create a price list! This will let you know if you have found a good deal. Don't feel like you have to run to every store in your area and write down the price of everything you buy. You will quit couponing before you even get started. Instead, make a list of the stores in your area and as you visit them pick 20 or 30 items you normally buy and write the prices down. The more you shop the sales and use coupons, the easier it will be to recognize a good deal. I will be happy to share items off my list if you have any questions!

To learn how to save money by price matching at Walmart read "How to Successfully Price Match at Walmart".  Sometimes you can save just as much money as using coupons.