What is the best way to start couponing?
The best pointer for someone just starting to coupon is to start with simple shopping trips. Begin by getting familiar with one store in particular and plan a few trips that match a sale item with a coupon that you have. Don’t start with long, complicated shopping lists and expect to save tons of money. Instead, work up to that point by making smaller couponing trips and becoming more familiar with the process as a whole.
Where are the best places to find coupons?
There are several great ways to find coupons, and the most popular places are typically inserts in the Sunday paper and online. The Sunday paper will usually include two to three inserts full of coupons, and most of the time, you can find similar coupons on the internet by searching for printable coupons. You can also get coupons from inserts in the mail, as printouts or Catalinas at the grocery store, and by subscribing to magazines that typically include a lot of coupons.
How much time will I have to spend couponing?
It is completely up to you how much time you want to spend couponing, and you don’t have to spend a huge amount of time just to save money. However, you may need to invest a little time in the beginning as you get used to how the process works. As you become more comfortable, you will be able to spend less time planning your trips and more time saving money.
How should I organize my coupons?
You may need to experiment with a couple of organizing methods for your coupons until you find an approach that works well for you. Some couponers use small notebooks with pocket folders to hold their coupons, while others use large notebooks with baseball card inserts. I use a large notebook with inserts for all my coupons and take a small plastic photo book with me to the store to hold the individual coupons I need for any particular shopping trip. The trick is simply finding the organization method that works best for you.
What are stockpiles?
You may have seen some of the huge collection of groceries or personal items that some extreme couponing shows have included. These are called stockpiles, and you can create one with your own couponing as well. Basically, you can use a stockpile to get extra benefit from the products you are able to find at an incredible discount.
How can I start stockpiling?
You can start stockpiling by purchasing a large quantity of items that you use regularly, when you can find them at incredibly reduced rates. The best way to begin is by focusing on one or two items that you purchase very regularly and scoping out the sales for those items on a regular basis. Make sure that you are trying to stockpile non-perishable goods that your family will use. See our post on stockpiling for beginners.
Can I find coupon deals online?
You can definitely find coupon deals online. You can start on store websites to view weekly ads and coupons available. Also, you can take advantage of blogs and websites (like Coupon Community) that alert you to great deals that are going on now or will happen in the near future.
How do I know when to use my coupons?
Once you start couponing regularly, you will notice that many of the deals you encounter are seasonal (i.e. Super Bowl snack foods in February). Simply start paying attention to sales or even keep a price journal on items you use consistently to become more familiar with the best times to use your coupons.
What is a store coupon policy?
Store coupon policies give you an idea of the rules and guidelines that individual stores have in place for customers who like to coupon. It’s always a good idea to know your favorite stores’ coupon policy so you can stay up to date on any changes and get the most savings possible.
What does it mean to double coupons?
Some grocery stores will double (or triple) the value of a coupon. This is something you can find in your grocer’s coupon policy, which will also tell you which days or coupons they will double on a regular basis.
Let us know if you have more questions. Please leave your questions in the comments below.