4 Tips for People New to Couponing
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4 Tips for People New to Couponing

Posted on Thursday, June 4th, 2015 at 7:00 am
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Ready to start couponing for the first time, ever?  Here are some tips for people who are brand new at using coupons.Ready to start couponing for the first time, ever? Maybe you didn’t need to use coupons before because you were young and living with your parents. Or, perhaps you are having a rough time with your finances and could benefit from learning how to use coupons. Here are some tips for people who are brand new to couponing.

Coupons Have Expiration Dates
Almost all coupons will have an expiration date printed on them. (One exception to this rule are certain types of manufacturers coupons that were sent to you by the manufacture.) In general, you should assume that the wonderful coupon you just found has an expiration date.

Take a minute to read over the fine print and locate the expiration date. Make sure you use the coupon before that date. Once that date passes by, the coupon becomes completely unusable.

Stay Organized
The more coupons you collect, the better your organizational skill need to be. For most people, putting the coupons in an envelope, and bringing the envelope with them to the store, will work just fine. If you start getting into the “extreme couponing” lifestyle – you are going to need to put together a binder of your coupons (and constantly keep it updated).

Staying organized also can help you to remember to use your coupons before they expire. If you get good at couponing, you will eventually start matching up your meal planning with the coupons you already have. Being organized also can help remind you to actually bring your coupons to the store with you.

Pick the Right Product
You have to match the coupon to the correct product. Failure to do so means you won’t be able to use that coupon. Start by seeking out the brand of product that the coupon lists (or shows a photo of). Next, check the fine print on the coupon to see what size of product it can be used on.

In general, most coupons state that they cannot be used on the “sample sizes” of products. Find out the minimum size of product that the coupon can be used on. Pick that size, not the biggest one available. Doing so will help you make the most of your coupon.

Extreme Couponing is Overrated
You may have watched an episode or two of those television shows that feature “extreme couponers”. Keep in mind that what you saw doesn’t match reality. Finding and organizing the amount of coupons the extreme couponers use is pretty much a full time job.

In addition, some of the stores, in some of the episodes, agreed to bend their coupon rules in order to appear on the show. Regular people cannot expect to get the same results with their coupons.

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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.