couponing 101

Tip and Resource Guide
Couponing 101~

Welcome to couponing 101! This is the beginning of your journey to saving hundreds of dollars buying products you ALREADY purchase! By following a couple of simple rules, you will be able to cut what your currently spending on food, personal and household items in HALF! That’s right!

Extreme Couponing = Extreme Savings!

There are three basic rules? 

The first, be patient on your journey.  There is a learning curve, but if you’ll just start, it will slowly come together for you in the coming few months.   You WILL save money, the only way you will loose is if you quit.  

The second~ use coupons when an item is on sale. When the store has already discounted an item then you want to use your coupon to make the discount deeper. 

The third~ use multiple coupons. Think about it…if your favorite laundry detergent was on sale at an all time low price, wouldn’t it make sense to stock up by purchasing more than one?   This is where using multiple coupons comes in.

Go HERE to become familiar with coupon lingo.

How do you get started?
If you live in the Las Vegas valley, schedule a free class! Get your friends together and learn how to use coupons together. Watch for upcoming class announcements.

If you live outside the Las Vegas area, use the following tips to get started:

1. Choose 2 stores you shop at most often.
-become familiar with their coupon policy (posted on store website)
-join the store’s savings card program
-access the store’s weekly ad circular online or in-store

2. Organize your coupons
-Build up your coupon stash by
a) getting multiple Sunday newspapers (discounts apply to subsequent subscriptions,generally.)
b) check Internet for printable coupons.   RedPlum, Smart Source, Coupons.com, and Cool Savings

-Ask yourself these questions before clipping a coupon: Will my family use the product? Even if I snag it for free, will it get used? Can it be donated? Don’t save the coupon if you answer NO to these questions.  We’re extreme couponers not extreme hoarders!

-Coupon organizers can be simple & economical: A standard white envelope, a homemade coupon box with index cards as dividers, 3-ring binder or file whole inserts by date.

-Arrange your coupons alphabetically, by category, or keep your coupons unclipped and file by date of the ad circular.

If you and I were sitting down over a cup of coffee, these thoughts are the additional things I would share with you.

Where to find coupons: Newspaper, magazines, company websites, company Facebook pages, internet printables, home mailers, inside product boxes, on product packaging, newsletters, attached to store shelves by product, dispensers called blinkies on store shelves, peelies on the package. I’ve found coupons at grocery stores, gas stations, toy stores, military stores, liquor stores and hardware stores. Keep your eyes open, coupons are everywhere.

Copying coupons is illegal!  Internet printables have serial numbers and are designed to be used only one time.

Read the coupon, ignore the pictures! Manufactures cannot show pictures of all the products a coupon may be used for. Does it read “not on trial size”? Does it read “on ANY product”? Is it for a specific size only? You get the picture.

Purchase multiple items. A coupon usually reads “one coupon per purchase” which means, if you are purchasing 4 like items in one transaction you can use 4 like coupons (one for each item being purchased). Every once in awhile a cashier will not understand this and believe it to mean one coupon per person. They are mistaken. The couple of times this happened to me I politely ask for a supervisor and the correction was explained to the cashier. If for some reason they still don’t understand, simply don’t buy the item. Don’t get discouraged. I have decided arguing with a cashier is not worth the energy. I promise you will be able to go back to the store and a different cashier & supervisor WILL understand their store coupon rules and accept your coupons. When this has happened to me, I went back to the same store the following day and used ALL the coupons during one transaction.

Stack your coupons: Use a manufacture coupon with a store coupon (Target, Walgreen, CVS etc) a manufacture coupon may be used toward the same item. This refers to stacking.

A store is reimbursed a small handling fee for accepting the coupon. This printed in the fine print of the coupon.

How to use a Buy One Get One Free coupon: Most people understand this to mean you can use 2 coupons. By this I mean, the one I’m ‘buying’ can have a manufacture coupon for it to reduce price I’m paying and the BOGO coupons will apply to the one I am getting free.

Storing / filing coupons: Some love binders with baseball card holders to slip their cut coupons in to; some have accordion files, shoeboxes or totes full. For me, I have complete inserts filed by the month (found on the binder of insert). I write the date on the outside. I have one file for internet printables filed by broad categories and one file for each drugstore I shop for store specific coupons.

You may also find rebates for the items you purchase. Certainly, send in for any rebates you qualify for.

If you find the shelf empty of the product on sale, ask for a rain check. Now, you have another 30 days of savings!

Shop with Confidence: If you are using coupons correctly there is no reason to be intimidated over using many coupons! It’s your money being spent!