Know Where to Find Coupons
Obviously, having coupons is the first thing you need to get started. But, where do you find them all is usually the first question I get asked.
These days there are so many more options to getting coupons from paper to printables to electronic coupons. Here are top 6 ways to find the best coupons.
Inserts in your weekly paper – these are inserts that vary each week in your Sunday paper. Inserts are from Smart Source, Red Plum and/or P&G.
Printable Coupon – check out my list of all the top printable coupons sources http://couponingforbeginners101.simplesite.com/434861721
Catalina Printouts – these are coupons that print at your store after checkout
Magazines – Look for magazines with coupons. There are many magazines that contain coupons including Good Housekeeping, Woman’s Day, Better Homes & Garden Magazine and even Shape magazine have some great coupons
Tearpads/Blinkies – These are coupons that are found in store. You can find them on displays or hanging from the shelf.
eCoupons – These are becoming more and more popular. eCoupons are coupons that load onto your store loyalty card or your smart phone. They are deducted at the register when you make a qualifying purchase.
Emailing Companies- Emailing Companies for coupons is a great way to get coupons some send you high dollar ones and others send you Free coupons for their products, they also send you samples but that varies when emailing companies not all of them do send samples, When emailing them i always just ask for coupons, some give them compliments and tell them how their family like's their product but most times they just say "Thank You" So its really up to you what you say to the, Now keep in mind sometimes its hit and miss when you email them and ask for coupons, some get them and others don't you just have to keep emailing them back till they send you some, it also takes patiences waiting for them to email you back and send you coupons, but in the end its worth it. Theres a list of compnaies to email for coupons on my website. http://couponingforbeginners101.simplesite.com/434861454
2. Know When to Use Coupons
Clipping and using coupons is only the first step in saving on your groceries. Knowing when to use your coupons is what will get you the biggest bang for your buck.
Wait for a sale – Waiting to use your coupons when the items go on sale is the secret to saving the most money. Don’t waste your coupons on full price items. Hang onto them for the lowest price sale and then use that coupon.
Follow Sales Cycles – Sales on products usually run in cycles of about 8-12 weeks. Also, sales follow cycles of holidays and events throughout the year. For instance, snack and finger foods always go on sale around Super Bowl and candy goes on sale in February for Valentine’s Day. Follow our Grocery Sales Cycles to see what you can expect to buy during certain months of the year.
Buy at the Lowest Price – This goes along with the first point which is wait for a sale. If you wait for that item to go on sale, you are able to get it at it’s lowest price, combined with a coupon and even a store promotion
3. Know How to Use Coupons
Have you asked your customer service department at your store if they accept competitor coupons? If not, you should! There might be some ways to save at your store that you didn’t even know about. Here are some things you should ask your store so you know that you are taking advantage of every savings opportunity:
Double Coupons – Does the store double coupons? If so, does a $0.50 coupon double up to $1? Does a $0.75 double up to $1.50? Is there a limit to the amount of coupons that double? Make sure you understand exactly how their double coupon policy works.
Stacking Store Coupons – Make sure to ask the store if they allow you to use a store coupon with a manufacturer coupon. This is called stacking coupons. Although you can never use 2 manufacturer coupons on the same product, you can, for most stores, stack a store coupon with a manufacturer coupon.
Competitor Coupons – Does your store accept competitor coupons? Make sure to ask. If they do, it’s even more of a savings opportunity. I recently found out that Harmon Discount Stores accept Ulta Coupons. Ulta Coupons are usually better coupons then Harmon puts out so now I am always saving Ulta coupons when come in the mail or newspapers.
4. Stock Up
Stocking up on sale items is a very important part of getting the most savings at the grocery store. It gives you control of what you are paying for your groceries instead of the store having control of your prices.
Let’s say your family eats a lot of Cheerios cereal and you were able to purchase a box for just $0.50. After 1 week, that box of Cheerios would be gone. When you go back to the store the next week, you’ll need to buy another box of Cheerios. And, guess what…it’s no longer on sale. So, you wind up paying $3.99 or maybe even $2.99 if you have another coupon. That is a big difference from the $0.50 you bought the week before.
Now, lets say you bought 8 boxes of Cheerios at the sale price of $0.50 (after coupons). You are now in control of the price you will pay because you can wait for another sale. You are not forced to pay a higher price for that product since you have enough to get you through a couple of months.
Stocking up does not mean turning your house into a mini market but it does mean having a stock of items that will last your family about 3-6 months. A typical stockpile will consist of products that can be stored on 3-4 shelves. That’s all you need.
Important Facts You Should Know Before Using Coupons
With the new shows such as Extreme Couponing, there are a lot of new coupon users out there. With so many people trying to save an “extreme” amount of money, sometimes you could, inadvertently, use a coupon incorrectly. Using them incorrectly may, in time, cause stores to adjust their policies. So, I wanted to take a moment to address some important facts.
1. Do Not Copy – This is a very big NO-NO. You can not copy coupons. This is actually against the law and is considered fraud. In most cases, you can print 2 per computer. If you need more, see if friends or family members can print for you as well.
2. Unique Codes: A lot of people email me telling me that their store would not accept their coupons because the UPC codes were the same on their like coupons. If you are using more then one “like” coupon, your UPC codes WILL all be the same. They are coded to work for each product and dollar amount. However, there are numbers on the coupons that will change with each one printed. This is how they insure that they are not getting ones that are copied.. Here is where you can find those numbers on your coupons:
Coupons.com Coupons: There is a small barcode located under the expiration date. There is a different number for each one printed.
Smart Source Coupons: On the left side there is a pin number. There is a different pin number for each coupon printed. Update: Some of the Smart Source coupons may have the pin number located around the perimeter.
3. Fraudulent Coupons: If you received a coupon from a friend in your email or spotted one online and you are not sure if it’s legitimate, you can head over to http://www.couponinformationcenter.com/ . They have a list of coupons that have been reported as fraudulent. If you have received a fraudulent coupon, DO NOT use it.
4. Use The Coupon How It Is Intended: Be sure to only use the coupon how it was intended to be used. If the coupon is for $1/1 off Maxwell House International Delight Coffee, don’t try to use it on Maxwell House Regular Coffee. If it states “any Maxwell House Coffee” then you are free to use it on any of the Maxwell House products.
Also, pay attention to the size restrictions on the coupon. If there are no size restrictions or it states “on any”, you can use it for any size in that product including trial or travel size.
5. One Per Purchase: A lot of consumers and cashiers think that this means you may only use 1 coupon per shopping trip. What this actually means, is that you can use one coupon per item purchased. So, if you were buying 4 Cheerios, you can use 4 $1/1 Cheerios Coupons.
Occasionally you will see coupons that are 1 per transaction. In that case, you will only be able to use 1 even if you purchased more then one of those items in your transaction. There really are not too many of these coupons around.
Some coupons, like P&G coupons, allow you to only use 4 “like” coupons per transaction.
6. The Value of The Coupon: Another thing to pay close attention to is the value of the coupon. If it states $1/1, you can use it to take $1.00 off 1 product. If it states $1/2, you can use it to take $1 off 2 products. So, for the $1/2 coupon you can only use one for 2 products.
How To Organize Your Coupons
There's multiple ways to organize your coupons, I personally use the binder method because I like to have all my coupons where I can see them, in there own little space and not all stuck together plus its easier for me when i go to the store and i find a good deal on something I'll have all my coupons with me and know right where the coupon is without have to search for it. Below is a list of organiztion methods you can try as well as pictures:
start with a small clutch. And use recipe dividers to create sections. Some recommend organizing the dividers based on the layout of your grocery store. That way, you can easily set your stylish organizer in the upper basket of your shopping cart ad you go from aisle to aisle matching items to coupons.
Mini expandable file folder
Found in the office supply aisle of most major retailers. ( I found mine at dollar tree.) The accordion- like design of expandable file folders creates pockets for easy sorting. If you're not the type to map out your grocery store, it's simply ti organize by general departments like produce, meat, and bread.
Binders can range from basic 3 ring organizers to full on suites for pens, pencils, calculators and more. Choose a size based in your commitment to coupon clipping, then store coupons, and shopping list in clear page protectors.
Basket or crate
Create a coupon clipping stations by placing a basket or crate next to the area where you set your mail. Simply fill your container with file folders, spruce them up with a design of your liking and use each folder to organize coupons by store.