Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Welcome new couponers and skilled ones too. Today I want to talk to the basics with you.Here are the most important things you need to know to get you started and to stay afloat.
1. Get Your Hands on Coupons. 80% of Coupons can be found in the Sunday Paper. Look online for printables. Scan the stores. The drugstores are full of coupons.
2. Get Organized- Personally I love the binder system. Later this week I will picture it for you so you can see what it looks like. One thing alot of people love are those plastic coupon organizers. Small ones are available at The Dollar Tree and the big ones I have found at Target for $1. ( This one is important the better organized you are the more deals you will find. I cost myself $1000.00 in free product this last month from not being organized. That's right. $1,000.)
3. Use your coupons and match them to the sales. This may seem like a no brainer for some but in reality most people don't do this. My general rule is unless I absolutely need it I don't buy it unless I have a coupon and it's on sale.
4. Stock up when it is on sale. In coupon land they always say sales come back around every 3 months. I don't believe that is totally true. So if you need it then buy it and alot of it.
5. Be patient. You will make some mistakes in the beginning. When I first started it felt like forever before I could take advantage of certain sales because I didn't have the right coupons. By the end of the first month that was all put to an end.
6. Before I shop I search the internet for the items I don't have a coupon for. The majority of the time I can find them.
7. Once you start shopping there are coupons everywhere.
8. Learn to stack them. This is absolutely the best part of couponing. Most stores allow you to stack coupons. You can use a store coupon with a manufacturer coupon and double your savings and often time make the item free. CVS, Target, Wal-Mart, Dollar General, and Family Dollar are among the best places to do this.
9. When you use those Buy One Get One Free coupons you can stack two coupons. The bogo coupon covers the free item. You can use a coupon on the one you are paying full price for too.
10. Get the raincheck when they are out of the item that is on sale. Some stores vary on this policy. Homeland the raincheck expires in 1 month however when I miss the item or they are out of stock they usually renew it for me. CVS and Walgreens have no expiration date to their rainchecks so check your stores policy. Then USE THEM !!!!!
11. Start asking your friends, family, neighbors and everyone you know for their coupons too.
12. Once you get the basics down you can start coupon trades. I will tell you more about this later. It is not something I recommend until you have a couple months under your belt.
13. Start slow you don't want to get frustrated and give up. Shop with a buddy. There is nothing wrong with riding on the coattails of another couponer. People opt to shop with me every week. I get a crowd to watch everywhere I go. I love to teach but I had to learn first and I'm still learning.
14. Get your hands on the store circulars. This can be done by subscribing to the Sunday Paper or Buyer's Edge in Oklahoma. check in your area. Many stores have their circulars online. I have a free subscription to Grocio.com. It notifies me via e-mail when new ones are out. They don't cover them all so I still go to some stores site.
15. Think of couponing as one big fun game. It's like a treasure hunt and word search all rolled up into one complete with great prizes.
16. Share your stockpile. What goes around comes around. I like to plant lots of good seeds.
17. Never clear the shelf. There is always someone who may need it more than you. Now I have mixed feelings about this. If it's the beginning of a sale and you need 100 of the item try to call the store and see if they will order it in. If it is the last day of the sale and 10 pm go ahead and take it and then get a raincheck for more.
Remember you can do those and have fun with it too. You won't be an expert overnight but if you stick with it you will save lots of money make lots of new friends, and live in your very own mini mart.
In the meantime start clipping.
The Cute Couponer
Publicado por Valerie CottageMakingMommy en Wednesday, March 03, 2010