When you first start couponing, you want to save as much money as possible. Believe me, I was once there too! But, just take everything one step at a time. It usually takes 2- 3 months for new couponers to feel completely comfortable learning all of the coupon rules and tricks. So if you can steady yourself until then and just do your best, you will be on the road to saving some serious money!
When you are brand new to couponing, it can be really overwhelming trying to get deals at different stores, understand all of the coupon policies and learn how to use coupons on top of it all.
One of the best pieces of advice I can give you is to start with one store at a time- working from the easiest to the hardest. So, start with a Walmart or a Target. Their couponing policies are pretty basic and you won’t have to deal with Register Rewards or Extra Care Bucks or other weird promotions from stores. (Some people will go to all the different stores to get more incentives BUT personally I do all of my shopping at Walmart. I price match everything so I only have to go to one store. Sometimes they don't carry everything but more than likely they have the items I need to get. I will go in more detail later about the Walmart price match system.) After you have been using your coupons at one of the easier stores, feel comfortable knowing the coupon policy and how to make the store work for you, then you can move on to another store.
Some must knows:
1. ‘One coupon per purchase’ does NOT mean separate transactions. You may use one manufacturers coupon for each item you buy. ‘Per purchase’ means each item you purchase.
2. Using coupons helps the store! They are paid by the manufacturer for each coupon you use, so don’t ever feel guilty about using coupons. Not only are the stores paid by the manufacturer, but they are given a handling fee as well. This is anywhere from 7-15 cents for EACH coupon!
3. Manufacturers coupons may be used along with store coupons. That means for every manufacturers coupon you have that matches a store coupon, you may use both coupons together and double your savings! This is also what is meant by ‘stacking’ coupons.
4. Don’t cut your coupons on Sunday and then use them on Monday! Wait and watch for sales to pair them up with. This increases your savings 4-5 times! If you have multiple sets of coupons, you are able to stock up when prices are rock bottom. You will feed your family and add to your storage at the same time
5. You can’t be brand specific. I know there will be some things you are going to stick with, but for the most part you have to be flexible. Anymore the quality of most products are very comparable. Not being brand specific is the only way you can take advantage of the best deals with coupons.
6. 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 all these questions.
7. Take baby steps, be positive, and remember: Every coupon you use is money you save!