December 1, 2012

Not So Extreme Couponing: Getting Started

Welcome Pinners! If you are interested in learning how to coupon, please be sure to also check out the rest of my couponing series under the Couponing menu.

Many of you have told me how excited you are about this series. I really hope I can give you enough information to get you started!

If you missed the intro, you can catch up HERE.

Did you go back and figure out how much you were spending on groceries each month? Did you fall out of your chair when you got to the final total? I bet it was pretty eye opening, huh?

Did you make your meal and ingredient list like I suggested in the last post? This is actually the key to couponing and saving money. If you haven’t done it yet, make sure you get it done ASAP!

Couponing_Getting Started

Ok so let’s cover the basics….

subscribe to your local newspaper to get coupon inserts.

Sometimes they will run specials and you can get a subscription pretty cheap. Our newspaper runs a special sometimes for $20 for a year’s subscription! You can also call and ask them what’s the best rate they can give you. Just make sure it’s cheaper than if you went to the nearest gas station to buy one.

Sometimes, there are smaller newspapers (usually free!) that will also have the coupon inserts in them. These papers can usually be found at restaurants & grocery stores.

Check to see if there’s a grocery store in your area that doubles coupons.

Your best way to save is if there is a store in your area that doubles coupons. You have to think outside the box on this one. It could be a little local grocery store that you normally wouldn’t even think to go to for your grocery shopping. However, when you combine their sales with your coupons, you can often save more than you would at your “best price guarantee” type grocery store.

Once you find said grocery store, make sure to get a copy of their coupon policy either via their website or from the store itself. This will be helpful if a cashier is ever unaware of the policy (yes, this happens).

If you cannot find a store that doubles coupons in your area, your best way to save is stacking coupons or price matching. We will go over this in the coming weeks.

find a coupon matchup blog for your area.

This will take a little bit of research unless you already know of one. If you know anyone that coupons in your area, they will be the best source of information for this. If not, a simple Google search should help you find what you’re looking for. I typically use this phrase as my search term, “coupon matchup blog <your city>”.

If you cannot find a coupon matchup blog, you will have to do the matchups yourself. This is simply taking the store’s sales ads/flyers and checking to see if you have any coupons to match up with their sale items. Most of the time I use a couple of matchup blogs and do a little bit of my own matchups. Why? Because sometimes I have coupons that the bloggers don’t or don’t know of.

Set up an email specifically for couponing

When couponing, you will find that you have to sign up for newsletters etc. on product brand websites and even some of the printable coupon sites. To keep these emails from clogging up your everyday email, I strongly suggest you set up a separate email account.

You will also need to have a password. Since some sites require a combination of numbers and letters, make sure you choose a password that will cover these requirements. My password includes an upper case letter, lower case letters and numbers.

Printable coupons

We covered coupon inserts above now let’s talk about printable coupons! There are many sites that have printable coupons. Below is a list of the most popular coupon sites.

Most product sites offer printable coupons as well so if you have a favorite brand, check their website. Also, all coupon matchup blogs will have links to coupons in their matchup posts.

homework for next week…

You’re now ready to start printing and clipping coupons! Before next week I want you to cut out coupons. Try not to be a brand snob and clip any coupon for a product that you might possibly use if the price is right. Trust me on this. Clipping coupons for things you wouldn’t normally buy is a great way to discover new and possibly cheaper brands!

*Next week I will go over how to Organize Your Coupons.

P.S. If you have any questions during this series, please email me.

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