Are You a Couponing Virgin?

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Are You a Couponing Virgin?

Have you ever watched those coupling shows on TV? Have you ever wanted to save a lot of money like those ladies on the show?
It may seem like a daunting task, but those ladies are professional money-savers. This article is not about how to become them. This article is about how to get your foot in the door.
This is coupling for beginners.

There are a few easy steps to becoming a savvy money saver.

First, possibly the second most important step: FIND COUPONS. It seems self-evident, but you’re a newbie, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this, so I don’t know what you know already. There are many types of coupons. But they break down into: printable coupons, e-coupons, and paper coupons. What do I mean by this? Printable coupons are coupons ‘clipped’ on a site, then sent to your printer. E-coupons are coupon electronically added to store loyalty cards. Paper coupons are coupons found in the Sunday newspaper, and tear pads and BLUs (blinky-light-units). For the best value, either ask your neighbors for extra Sundays or buy extra Sundays, that way you can buy multiples of the same items.

Second, is the most important step; ORGANIZE YOUR COUPONS. There are many different ways of organizing your coupons. You can sort by date, but the best is to sort by aisle, according to your store layout. Is the milk next to the soda or the toilet paper? If you have a lot of coupons, which you will if you have extra Sundays, then I recommend organizing them in a zippered binder, with baseball card holders. The reason we organize these coupons so obsessively, is so that retrieving them becomes easy and quick.

Third, TIMING IS IMPORTANT. Don’t use a coupon just because you have one. Be savvy and wait till a store promotion reduces the item price and then “stack” the coupon onto the discount for extra savings. Some stores have double coupon policies, this means they will double the value of your coupon, Save $.50 becomes Save $1.00. Sometimes it’s only on a specific day, so for the best value, it’s sometimes necessary to wait for that perfect alignment to get dramatic savings.

Fourth, BE AWARE OF STORE POLICIES. Different stores have different policies regarding coupons. It’s important to keep a copy of the store policies, usually found on their website, with your coupon binder. This is both for protection and information. It’s possible to get a cashier who is not aware of the store’s policies, and will be much more receptive to your coupling if they have printed proof of their store policy.

Fifth, KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN STOCKPILING AND HOARDING. If there’s an awesome sale on cereal and you have enough coupons to buy thirty boxes and only a two person household. Don’t. You should only buy up to a six month supply of what you need. Anymore and you are encouraging spoilage and wasting your money. Remember coupons are just paper. If they expire, don’t worry; they’ll come around again. Above all else, keep on top of the sales and relax. Coupling is not a competitive sport (although some people may try to make you think otherwise). Only clip what you need, stay savvy, and soon you’ll be reducing your grocery bills.