Let us begin with a few basics of couponing. The information I am sharing with you will be a demonstration on how I save. Not every family will have the same need to save on the family grocery budget as the next. After all not everyone loves a good deal on Nutella, me I snap it up! Where Do I Get The Coupons I Need?
Choose your coupons wisely. By this I mean, don't waste your time and money by cutting coupons for items your family does not use. Example: For me this would be pet food or sugary breakfast cereal. I will also add I do not toss out the insert after I finish clipping what I need and know I will use. I pass them on to my family members. Everyone will have a different way of collecting their coupons. They come in the Sunday papers in most areas. An depending on what area you live in this may vary. different coupons go to different regions. With this method you can order multiple papers to have extra coupons for the items you are looking for. Personally I like to read the paper everyday so I have one Sunday paper. I do not order extras. My theory on this is: I don't like the idea of maybe receiving the coupons I want for a sale I know is coming up. I don't like the extra paper to go to the landfill. An I really like spending my free time doing something other than scouring the inserts to possibly find a few coupons I need. Now remember this is my thoughts, I know everyone will have their own ideas about this. Many web sites, such as the manufactures will have printable coupons. Magazines will have coupons to clip or tear out. When reading through your magazines be sure to watch for "codes" This may be a % off at a store or web site. Some of my favorites are All You (allyou.com) which have several dollars in coupons every month. I have found Amazon codes in Parents magazines. There are sites dedicated to printable coupons: I will put up links to these often. I have a link to Coupons.com on my page. Don't forget to check at the end of the month to print any you need before they change them at the first of the month. Then print the new coupons at the first before they reach the print limit. Normally they will only let you print 2. Using your browser back button. Some may only let you print one. Since they are set on a "limit for the nation". If I see a coupon for an item I know I will need to purchase during the month. I print it or I risk not being able to later. Coupons found in the stores: Pealies are found "ON" the items in the store. Make sure you peel it off and put with your coupons to use during your transaction for that day. Blinkies are found in a coupon machine hanging in the isle next to the item the blinkie can be used for. The next method is coupon clipping services: This is by far my one of my favorite ways to acquire coupons. I says this because I can purchase only the coupons I NEED and want. For a small fee I can have the ones I want delivered clipped and ready to use. Always read the expiration date to make sure you will have time to use the coupons you will receive. Depending upon which service you use, and where they are located. Your order should arrive in 3-5 days. I say this because I'm frugal and don't like to pay for faster shipping. I feel this is a less expensive way for ME to acquire my coupons as opposed to buying several Sunday papers and maybe getting the ones I like or need. Now a few things about using a clipping service. Some require you purchase a membership which varies with services. Others do not. Most have a set limit on how many you can purchase either by the week or month. They may also have a limit on the amount you have to buy on some. Example: Min of 5. Which for most of us who stock pile and shop only by the current sale this is not a problem. Another thing to keep in mind if/when you order coupons. Have an idea of how many you will need. Example: A store has tissue on sale for 70. a box. You want to buy 5 boxes. You will need 5 coupons. Or a 2/$1 sale. You will still want 2 coupons. The more you can bring the retail/sale price down with coupons the more $$$ money stays in your pocket! Which coupons should I clip? This is always a difficult question at first. But my rule is I only clip what I will use. However, In the coupon game you can not be brand loyal to every brand you bring into your home. Say you love one brand of bath soap. It is on sale and you have a coupon this week. But perhaps you are running low and a different brand is on sale and the coupons in the paper are for brand-x making it less than your "favorite" brand. Then I buy the least expensive and wait for my favorite brand to go on sale. Meanwhile I stock up on coupons so I can score a stock pile of what I want. When it does go on sale. This works for everything. I may like Dove but if Secret is on sale… then I'm using Secret period. Now there is one item I really don't like to change out and that is my coffee creamer. I get a wee bit testy when someone messes with my creamer. So I watch for high value coupons for the brand I love. Then buy several to get me thorough, until they start a new coupon series. Also just because you have a coupon, don't feel you have to use it. It was cheep enough to come by and they will come around again. Loose the guilt of throwing out an expired coupon.*Note the expired coupons can be sent over seas to our military family's. They are allowed to use coupons past the expiration dates! Almost every item in you super market goes on sale at a fairly regular interval. Let us say pasta sauce. I know for a fact it goes on sale a my local Target every 4-5 weeks. So I plan accordingly and purchase enough to make it through until the next big sale. When you stock up on your coupons keep this in mind. How many jars can I afford to purchase when the sale starts? That is the number of coupons you need to have on hand when the sale begins! When starting out it can all be a little daunting at first. However in no time you will be a coupon master, I have no doubt. Take that first step, we can save together. This has been the second installment in a series about the choice to use coupons and how to succeed after the choice has been made.
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