We’ve all seen the show or heard about Extreme Couponing, where everyday moms get carts full of foods for next to nothing due to their vigilant couponing. But how do you start couponing? From watching these shows and even reading about it online, learning to coupon can quickly seem overwhelming and confusing.
Luckily, couponing actually isn’t all that difficult. Extreme couponing can definitely take some time to master, but everyday couponing is fairly easy and should only take an hour or two of your time each week to prepare for. Even if you don’t graduate from basic couponing to extreme couponing status, you can still save a bucket load on your groceries just by learning the couponing 101 basics and utilizing all coupons that apply from week to week.
So just how do you start couponing? Well the best couponing tip is to prepare, which includes:
- How to Get Coupons – The main two sources for coupons are newspapers (either in the newspaper itself or pull outs) and online. Avoid getting overwhelmed by narrowing down a couple of coupon websites you want to use and check back on them daily to find the best and latest coupons to print. Likewise for your newspaper subscribe to just one or two coupon heavy newspapers. Once you’ve identified your coupon sources, you can then start to gather your first coupons. Here is one of our favorite source https://www.babble.com/crafts-activities/the-13-coupon-sites-youve-got-to-know-about-asap/
- Investing in a Printer – You’re going to need a printer for a lot of the online coupons you come across. While some can be used via your Smartphone or iPhone a lot still can’t, so definitely invest in a cheap printer. Even if you only use your printer for coupons the money you can save from couponing will easily outweigh the cost of the printer.
- Getting a Folder with Coupon Sleeve Inserts – With couponing, it’s essential that you are always 100% organized with your coupons or you’ll quickly find yourself losing them or getting confused on what you have. Invest in a file with coupon sleeve inserts so that you can put your coupons in one place and categorize them.
- Dividing Your Coupons per Store – There are two main stores that are great for couponing – drugstores and grocery stores. Divide your folder up accordingly and label which type or specific stores each section applies to.
Now that you’re prepared it’s time to start gathering your coupons! This is probably the most fun part of learning how to coupon. Couponing is very much like the famous Forest Gump saying “Life’s like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get!” Some days you won’t find that many great coupons where as others you’ll be amazed at the top money saving deals you stumble across. Unless you have more time to do so, you only need to spend 10 minutes or so a day looking for coupons. Print or cut out any that apply and directly store them in your file. Also bear in mind that for newspaper coupons Sunday is usually the best day for coupons, so you might want to spend a bit longer searching for the best coupons this day of the week.
One you’ve gathered your first week’s worth of coupons, it’s time to go shopping! Pick your grocery or drugstore you want to apply your coupons to and remember these important couponing tips:
- Bring Your File – The most important coupon tip is to always bring your coupons file with you! Don’t be afraid of your file, yes you may look like a bit of coupon nut toting your file around but if it saves you a ton on your weekly shopping expenditures – who cares?!
- Shop During a Quiet Time – The first few times you coupon it’s likely going to take you a while to find all of your coupon products so definitely choose a quiet, off peak time to shop. This should make it easier for you to find products and for an overall less stressful ease into the world of couponing.
- Look for In-Store Coupons – Some stores even provide coupons exclusively inside the store, and will usually be placed nearby the products they’re for. Don’t forget to watch out for these, as they could save you even more on your shopping.
- Watch the Cashier – Coupons don’t always go through properly and sometimes cashiers will make mistakes with them, so always watch the cashier closely to make sure you’re getting all the discounts you’re entitled to.
After your first couponing shopping experience, don’t be disheartened if you don’t achieve the incredible discounts you’ll see on Extreme Couponing – as remember that is a TV show and the people they feature have many years worth of couponing experience under their belts.
Nevertheless, becoming a coupon pro is absolutely within your reach, but you’ll need a bit of practice first. Use our tips to coupon to help you get started. Good luck and happy shopping!