Do you like a good deal? Who doesn’t right? Because of couponing I have turned into that person who whips out a coupon for food and activities because well…why not and who doesn’t like to save money?
But I didn’t always! I remember that in the past I would go grocery shopping or make a Target run, I would plan a grocery list or even better yet cut out coupons from the Sunday paper and then be oh so happy when I would use them or even remember them! But I found that I could not find a way to really stick with couponing or using them before they expired and then finding them at the bottom of my purse after I had left the store.
Columbus introduced me to store competition that Florida lacked and I also discovered fuel perks and doubling coupons (say what?!) and that’s how I got sucked in. Suddenly there were over three different grocery stores for me to shop and price compare at. Each store had its own policy (which can sound daunting to conquer) but over time I found a way to get the best prices and not feel overwhelmed! I look back to my Florida days and think about how easy it was “back then” but then again, no fuel perks!
When I am out shopping and using my coupons I am stopped at least 2-3 times in the store and get asked everything from “what are you doing?” “Oh couponing, is that like on that T.V. Show?” “Oh I could never do that-I don’t have enough time!” and a personal fave which I got asked again yesterday “Do you actually save money doing that?” I totally get it-it seems intimidating seeing my coupon binder and me meticulously checking my coupons against products trying to get the bottom line dollar for a product but at the end of a shopping trip and I am paying 25% to 50% less than the person behind me for the same products-well then folks-it is totally worth it!
Here is what I have learned:
- Organize, Organize Organize! If you don’t know what coupons you have-you will be less likely to use them! Trust me! It took a while to find a system that worked for me but this is another reason why people stop me in the stores because they always tell me what a good idea my coupon book is and that they would probably use coupons more because they always forget them and wish if they knew about this first trick! Try my coupon book idea-if it doesn’t work out for you there are other ways-important thing is to know what coupons you have and when they will expire!
- The Sunday paper is where you will find most coupons and I try to buy mine with a Groupon. I like to start saving money from the start because you can find that subscriptions with Groupon there is usually a 25-50% savings over going through your newspaper company sales! Sunday coupons will have new products and seasonal products and sometimes old favorites too but this is great because who doesn’t like to try the new stuff first and for less?
- You can also print coupons online from coupons.com This is my favorite online resource for extra coupons especially while you are filling your coupon book or looking for items that you normally buy or something you want to try.
4. Know your stores couponing policy-each store is different and knowing the policy saves time at check out! However, some cashiers aren’t familiar with their own policies and this is where kindness and patience goes a long way especially if they need to call a manager to your checkout to approve coupons!
- Know your coupons verbiage and expiration dates and read the fine print-please don’t piss off cashiers and the people behind you in line-don’t be THAT person! Fortunately for the cashiers most coupons will beep when they are expired and the cashier is not able to override this-but it’s just easier to be prepared before using them! As far as fine print goes an example is: If a coupon reads “.50 off any two (2) products” Do not try to use this coupon on 1 item when it says you must buy 2 just because you only want/need 1 item it won’t work-read the fine print.
List of items to get started making your coupon book:
- 3 Ring Binder
- Coupon Sheet Protectors- These clear plastic pages allow you to store your coupons for easy and quick visible access! I linked what I use here: https://www.walmart.com/ip/Staples-3-Pocket-Heavy-Duty-Coupon-Pages-Clear-5-x-8-10-Pack-41178/187539207
- Coupon Sheet Labels to separate your type of coupons- for example: Dairy, Cereal, Medicine, etc. these can be typed out as shown below or use any paper and write them out based on your needs. An example of what I use:
- I still advise using a grocery list so you don’t forget what you are shopping for. I put a C next to items on my list that I have a coupon for to remind me in the store!
- And last but not least, just because you have a coupon doesn’t mean you must use it! To quote my husband “It’s only a good deal if you use what you buy.“
Now go get those deals and Happy Couponing!!!