Getting Started With Couponing
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Getting Started With Couponing

Posted on Friday, May 6th, 2011 at 8:12 am
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Do you have the couponing bug?  With today’s economy being what it is and TLC’s new show, Extreme Couponing, on the air people everywhere are starting to take notice of the amazing deals they can get by clipping coupons.  If you’re new to couponing you’ve come to the right place!

What Kind of Coupons Are Out There and What Does It All Mean?

Well, you can find coupons for nearly anything!  Food, electronics, auto repair, restaurants–the list goes on.  Now, when you’re first getting started you may be a little confused by a lot of coupon lingo that you might run into.  The basic thing you need to know is that coupons, discount codes, promotions, and vouchers can all save you money.  To go a little more in depth and for a nice list of coupon vocabulary and abbreviations check out my blog post on Coupon Abbreviations.

Where To Find Coupons

You have several options when looking to find coupons.  The most traditional way and probably the first thing that comes to your mind would be the inserts in your Sunday newspaper.  These inserts can save you a ton of money!  You can also find coupons online.  FreeCoupons.com has hundreds of coupons for you, both to print and use online.  

While you’re online you can wander over to our Facebook page and add us.  Here you can see our posts on coupon news and savings, links to deals, and talk from fellow couponers.  Manufacturers Facebook pages will also let you know of upcoming deals and how to get coupons.  If you still can’t seem to find the coupon you want go ahead and email the manufacturer.  Often times an email with praise, suggestions, or even complaints can result in the manufacturer sending you coupons in the mail.  Use one method, a combination of two, or all!  You will be swimming in coupons in no time.

How to Organize Your Coupons

Now that you know how to get a good pile of coupons you’re going to need to know how to organize them all to maintain your sanity! There are several ways for you to keep your coupons tidy and easy to manage.

  • Envelopes
  • A binder with plastic sheets (like for trading cards)
  • Index card or recipe box
  • Accordion folders

These are just a few ideas for you to start with.  As you continue couponing you’ll find out what works best for you.

Using Your Coupons In Store

The obvious tactic is to hand the coupon over to the cashier when you’re checking out.  You should be aware of ways to save more though.  For example, you can stack.  Stacking is using manufacturer coupons on top of store coupons.  Match up coupons with store deals to keep saving! You should know that there are opportunities to double (and possibly triple!) your coupons! Also, there is the possibility of essentially getting money back when you use some coupons and being able to apply that to the rest of your transaction.  This is called overage and can be very helpful.

There is always more to learn and new coupons to find!  Good luck!

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Good Tip: Saving money is important – especially if you have a lot of expenses like bills to pay, loans to pay off, and all the other things that drain your bank account. Figuring out a way to save money can feel tedious to some, and like a punishment to others. U.S. News suggests that you try one of these money saving challenges. The “No Eating Out for a Month” Challenge This one is self-explanatory. The goal is to avoid eating out for an entire month. This might be super easy for people who enjoy making meals at home. People who really enjoy dining out, or ordering food to be sent to their home, may struggle with this one. It’s worth a try because spending money on take-out is more expensive than buying groceries. The Pantry Challenge This one is a variation of the “No Eating Out for a Month” challenge. The goal is to use up all of your groceries before you buy more. It forces you to try and remember why you bought a food or beverage that you don’t know what to do with, and gives you the opportunity to find a way to use it. The one exemption to this challenge is the foods that have expired. Don’t eat them! Throw them in the trash. The “No Spend” Challenge Make a goal to avoid spending money during an entire weekend. The only exemption in this challenge is that you are allowed to pay bills. This challenge is interesting because it requires creativity. You must be creative and find workarounds for problems that you would typically solve by spending money. You may have a different outlook on spending after finishing this challenge.