We all know that couponing can be a very useful hobby. Before I started it I had a lot of questions.
- Will I be able to find the deals?
- Will I spend more money then save?
- Will I have the time?
- How do I stay organized?
- Will I even be able to learn how to coupon at all?
I know I had all of these questions and then some, so I am sure that other people like me will have the same questions. I will answer all of them and tell you what you will need to get started.
When you first start couponing there is a few things that you need:
- Coupon supplier
- Newspaper Subscription
- Coupon Fairy
- Website where you plan to buy coupons
- Good pair of scissors/paper cutter
- Binder with baseball sleeves for organizing coupons(quick access)
- Store Flyers
Organizing Your Coupons
There are a lot of different ways that people can organize their coupons. Some people choose to cut them and keep them in a binder, others like to keep them still in the insert, and others like to use the little coupon organizer folder.
You can organize your coupons however you like to make them fit you. You just want to make sure you can get quick access to the coupons that you are looking for. You could even use a table of contents for all of your coupons. If you put the coupons that expire first in the front then you know what you need to use first.
When you first start couponing, it’s best to learn one store inside and out. When you know so much about one store it’s easier to get better deals at that store. Pick one store, learn the policy on using coupons and print it out to have in your coupon binder for reference. If you have any issues with a cashier you can look back and show them the policy and they should not have a problem with you using your coupons(as long as it is the correct way).
- One Per Purchase – Cashier’s like to tell you that this means you can only buy one of the product per transaction per day. This is not true, this means that you can only use this coupon how it says. EX: If the coupon says that you can only buy one per purchase, technically means you can only use one coupon for one product. You can still use multiple of the coupons, but you have to have the same number of coupons to products. You can not have more coupons then you do product.
- Know the prices – To make your life easier, I would go in the store and write down some prices of the products that you are planning to buy, or buy the most. You can even write down all of the prices if you like. So when you get a coupon for a product and you don’t know the price you don’t have to run to the store to check the price.
- Limits – Some stores will have a really good deal on a product and they will have to limit the product that you can by per person per day. Some coupons will limit how many like coupons you can use per transaction. To bypass this you can just split up your transactions.
- Shop Early – If you have other people that coupon in your area then you might want to consider going to the store pretty early in the day to make sure there is product there for you to get.
- Bigger isn’t always better – Naturally when you buy a bigger item it is going to cost more. If you have a coupon that does not tell you that you have to buy a certain size of a item, then you can buy a smaller item and get it for almost nothing or free.
- Check Clearance – Don’t forget to check in the clearance aisle, these items the store is trying to get of the store will be in a certain area for a discounted price. You can use coupons on these products unless the coupon says otherwise
- Cash Back Apps – With cash back apps you can take a picture of your receipt and get extra savings with things that you already buy.
- Check your receipt – Make sure you watch the cashier and that everything rings up the way it is supposed to. If you are questioning something then check your receipt and make sure that the savings are all there.
- Stack Coupons – You can use store coupons with manufacturer coupons, you can also use instant store discounts along with this, and cash back rewards to get extra savings.
*I would recommend starting with Dollar General, they have so many sales, they offer $5 off $25 purchase, $3 off of a $15 purchase, $2 off a $10 along with taking store coupons, manufacturer coupons, and digital coupons.
Watching For Sales
The whole point of couponing is getting a item with it is at its cheapest and using a coupon to get it free or very cheap. You want to make sure you can get the sale ad as soon as it comes out. There are a couple different ways that you can get them:
- Getting the Sunday paper
- Going to the store
- Download the Flipp app
- Download the store app
When you get the sales ad you want to take a look at it and see what you can find. See what coupons you have for the items that are going to be on sale. At places like dollar general they have sales where you can get $3/15 before coupons, so after you take the price off for all of your coupons you can try to have a really low total, maybe even a total in the negative.
To keep track of all the deals and make it easy when you go into the store you do a match up. To make it easier on you, we already do this for you. Make a list so that you can just go in the store and know exactly what you are getting and how much it should be.
This can be confusing to say the least. Some coupons can be used together, Its just determining the store coupon from a manufacturer coupon. Dollar General also offers digital coupons, you can stack these with store discounts and instant discount. Digital coupons can not be combined with manufacturer coupons, they are both manufacturer coupons.
- Store Coupons – You can find these in your digital coupons. Sometimes they will be sent out in inserts. You can combine these with manufacturer coupons(paper, internet printable, or digital coupons)
- Manufacturer coupons- These come in a few different varieties and you can not combine these with other manufacturer coupons. These come in:
- Insert Paper Coupons
- Internet Printable
- Digital Coupons
Building Your Stockpile
Building your stockpile will take some time, everyone knows that you can’t just build your stockpile over night. Here are some tips on building your stockpile:
- Buy for the future – Don’t just buy one of something that is really good deal especially if it is something that you really use.
- If a coupon comes out for something that you find a good deal for your family, order more of the coupon. Having multiple of one item is how you grow your stockpile. Extra coupons will grow it quicker.
- All new couponers will go overboard when they first start, if you get a lot of a item because it was free and you can’t use it just donate the product to someone that can.