Learning how to effectively coupon can be a daunting task for some people. It can seem time consuming and confusing. These tips will help keep you organized and make your transition into the couponing lifestyle hassle free.
#1 Take a Couponing Class
While you might be able to pick up the basics of couponing by reading some blog posts, taking a class will give you all of the information you need to get started. You will have the opportunity to ask questions, and may even meet some other couponers that you can exchange coupons with, or share deals that you have found. If you’re local to Central Florida-check out the current COUPON CLASS Listing!
#2 Start Small
Do not go in to couponing and expect to save 90% on your first shopping trip. Pick one store (or store of each type, one grocery and one drug store) and pick a deal scenario that you would like to try. Also remember that you will still be buying some of your everyday items until you build your stockpile. After a few weeks or months of couponing, you will have some staple items in your stockpile, and your shopping list will begin to change. You will be able to focus on buying items only at their lowest price, rather than having to buy them weekly.
#3 Stay Organized
There are many different ways to organize your coupons. Binder method, filing whole inserts, file by type, etc. Find what works best for you. If you have the time and like to keep all of your coupons with you, the binder method may work. If you are stretched for time, filing whole inserts may work. (Though don’t forget to write the date on the front of each insert. The dates can be found on the side of the insert in teeny-tiny writing. If you should mis-file, having the date visible will help.)
Personally, a combination of the methods work for me. I file my newspaper inserts by date, and my printed coupons in a binder with photo pages, as the baseball card pages seemed too small. I also have an accordian file that I use on my shopping trips, as well as one for any blinkies, tearpad, or peelie coupons I may find along the way.
#4 Use a shopping List
Before I started couponing, I would go to the store for a few items, and walk out with a full basket, spending way more than I intended to. By always using a list, I know exactly what I’m shopping for, and have less temptation for any impulse buys. Using a list has also taught my kids the difference between necessities and treats. They know that if not on my list, we’re not likely to purchase it.
#5 Learn Your Store’s Coupon Policy
Ask at the customer service desk what the stores coupon policy is, and if they have a printed copy, keep it with you for your shopping trips. Your store may accept competitor coupons that you may not even know about!
#6 Get a Raincheck
There will be times when a deal is so amazing that a store will sell out quickly. Don’t be disappointed, get a raincheck! You can get a raincheck by asking at the store’s customer service desk. Let them know what item you are looking for, and how many you would like to purchase. Note that some stores may have a limit on how many items you can purchase on a raincheck, and some rainchecks expire after 30 days.
#7 Don’t stress!
It may not always be possible to catch every deal out there, but don’t worry, sales always run in cycles. If you miss one sale (and your coupons expire before you can return to the store with your raincheck) there will always be another.
#8 Be Polite
Always remember to thank the cashier for being patient with your transactions. I also try to let the shopper behind me in line know that I am going to be using coupons and that it might take longer than they would like to wait. That will give them the option to change lanes if they are in a hurry, though most don’t seem to mind after I inform them, and they usually end up asking me how I saved so much!
And now it’s your turn! Comment below with your best advice for someone just learning how to coupon.
This post was written by Melissa R. – Melissa will be sharing many tips in the next few weeks to help you get started couponing — successfully! Stay tuned……