If you are new to couponing, I want to say welcome and have patience, it pays off. If you don’t know what I mean, I will explain.
Couponing is VERY FRUSTRATING at times. It can be EXCITING but itÂ can be dull at other times. Deals come and go so it isn’t always the best time to find the best deals so keeping the motivation to coupon can be difficult. When you first start, it will seem very overwhelming and very frustrating. Just be patient, ask questions. Eventually, things WILL click and things WILL get easier. Don’t give up, it is SO worth it!
I’m going to point out some of the most important things you will need to know to save a lot of money with coupons in this section.
The first and most important thing to know when couponing, is your stores policy. Each week when I do match ups for each store, I list the coupon policy right at the top so it is easy to find. I will greatly summarize for you.
Albertson’s: They are a special store. Sometimes they double, sometimes they don’t. I will keep us updated as they change. They give a $0.05 credit for bringing in reusable bags.
Bashas: Regularly DOUBLE up to $0.50. Anything over $0.50 becomes $1. Occasionally, all coupons will be worth $1 First 3 Only. After that coupons will be taken at Face Value (or what they say on the coupon)
Fry’s: All Manufacturer Coupons worth $1. First 3 Only. After that coupons will be taken at Face Value (or what they say on the coupon)
Safeway: All Manufacturer coupons worth $1. Except ones that state Do Not Double. First 3 Only. After that coupons will be taken at Face Value (or what they say on the coupon)
Ok, I know you are probably still overwhelmed a bit. But, now that you see the different stores and how they vary. Pick ONE. I recommend picking one store. It will make your life a lot easier if you learn one store and how they work. You WILL miss deals and that’s ok. We are learning right now. Learn how to make one store work for you and before long you will be able to do more.
Let’s learn to read our coupons.
- If it says $1/2, it means $1 off 2 items
- $1/1 means $1 off 1 item.
- 1 coupon per PURCHASE means 1 coupon per item you are purchasing. If coupon is $1/2 then it would be per 2 items you are purchasing.
- 1 coupon per TRANSACTION. You can only use 1 coupon. You will have to pay and do another transaction to use another of THAT coupon.
- 4 like coupons per shopping trip. (See this on Proctor & Gamble coupons a lot) You can only use 4 of the same coupon in one transaction. Even if you buy 10 of that item, you can only use 4 of the same type coupon.
- FOLLOW THE RESTRICTIONS! If coupon states not valid on Trial/Travel Size, don’t even try to use it on those sizes. If it says, 60ct only purchase that size. DO NOT try to cheat the system.
Now, just because you have a coupon and an item is listed in an grocery ad, doesn’t mean it is a good deal. I will let you know when I think an item is at a good ‘stock up’ price by changing the color and making it bold like THIS.
Stockpiling? What is it? It is when you have enough of one item to last you 6 months to a year. More or less depending on your situation. We will cover more about this in another post.
Stockpiling won’t happen over night. It takes time. Stock pile one item at a time. I really only stock pile items when they are FREE or if it is an item that I use a lot of. Here is a list of items that we get for free all the time:
Toothpaste, Deodorant, Shampoo, Conditioner, Pasta, Yogurt, Candy, Hand Soap, Dish Soap
Let’s talk Shelf Clearing real quick. Shelf Clearing is when someone takes all the product off the shelf. I really don’t like when people do this. PLEASE be considerate of others. Because trust me there is nothing like spending all your time planning a trip to have it thrown off because there is none of the product you planned to buy. Even if it is an item that you need a lot of, don’t take it all. I know many people will go to a few stores or PREORDER from the store so that there is product on the shelves for the rest of the shoppers.
About Cashiers. Be NICE to them. NEVER be rude to them. They are doing their jobs and they can be misinformed. Bring a copy of the coupon policy with you at all times so that you can help them understand their policy and show them IN THEIR POLICY where things are stated. Ask for management. Worst come to worst, don’t purchase the items, save the coupons and try a different store. Call corporate if you feel the need but NEVER make a public scene. It gives Couponers a bad name.
Speaking of giving Couponers a bad name. DO NOT MISUSE COUPONS. You may not realize the harm it does when you misuse a coupon, but it is great. If you don’t understand the wording on a coupon ASK, there are many people around here that can help you get clarification. Coupon Misuse is not acceptable. This is why Manufacturer’s quit putting out high value coupons.
Where to get your coupons from? We have a few sources:
- Sunday Paper. Nearly Every Sunday we get coupon inserts in our paper.
- We have a few sites that we can print coupons from. Coupons.com, Smartsource, RedPlum CouponNetwork. These are common ones but every now and then I will post coupons from other sources.
- There are a few FREE Papers out that get Coupon Inserts in them. Varies by area.
- Wall Street Journal has coupons in it on Saturdays usually.
- SPECIAL COUPONS:
- Blinkies – These are coupons you will find in little machines at stores with a little red light on the side, hence ‘blinkie’ coupons.
- Tearpads – These are pads of coupons that you can tear off one at a time (or more) usually on displays or attached to the shelf.
- Peelies – These are coupons that you PEEL off the packaging. These are NOT to be taken off products you are not purchasing. Peel it off when you are buying the product.
I hope this at least helps you get a basic understanding of how to coupon and where to get started. If you have a question, please feel free to post it here or to ask on our Facebook page. I am here to help you save money. No question is stupid or wrong. We also have a Facebook group that you can join.
Looking for more awesome online deals? Find them here!