What is "couponing" and why do it?
Couponing is the act of matching store sales along with coupons to bring your out of pocket expense as low as possible. Once the item is at the lowest price possible, it is advised to buy multiple quantities of that item (stock up).
Where can I find coupons?
- Sunday Newspaper: I prefer the Fort Worth Star Telegram. I buy my newspapers at my local Krogers. They sell a bundle of two newspapers for $3. I buy two bundles, therefore giving me four newspapers resulting in having four copies of each coupon in that newspaper. Inside each newspaper, there will be coupon inserts/magazines. The inserts are named SmartSource (SS), Red Plum (RP), or Proctor & Gamble (P&G). The P&G insert usually only comes once at the end of every month. I like to visit Sunday Coupon Preview to see how many inserts I should be expecting and what kind of coupons will be included.
- Internet Printable Coupons: This is the easiest way of starting your coupon collection or if you're low on time. By visiting Coupons.com, Red Plum, and SmartSource, you will have to download a coupon printer file which will allow you to print two "like" coupons. YOU CANNOT PHOTOCOPY COUPONS. This constitutes coupon fraud and the coupon police will come knocking at your door!! Just kidding. But seriously don't. Each printed coupon has it's own unique code. You can however print from different computers! Also, be sure to "like" your favorite brands on Facebook as companies frequently send awesome coupons through their Facebook page.
- Inside products or on the packaging: This type of coupon is also known as a "peelie" since you peel the coupon off the package and use it.
- Digital Coupons: These coupons are loaded onto your grocery store loyalty card.
- Pick one or two stores and get comfortable with that store's coupon policy.
- Each grocery store is unique. If available, access the store's coupon policy and print it out to bring with you just in case a problem with a cashier arises.
- Join their loyalty card program, if applicable. I mainly shop at Albertson's and occasionally visit Kroger or Tom Thumb.
- Access the store's weekly ad online
- Drug stores are a completely different ball park. My next post will be how to save at CVS.
2. Collect and organize coupons.
- Stay organized! This is probably the most important rule in couponing. I use a binder but find whatever best works for you.
- Every Sunday, before adding new coupons to my binder, I will throw away any expired coupons. This ensures that all my coupons are valid and there won't be any wasted space within the binder.
- Only cut coupons you know your family will use. Also, keep in mind if you can get the items for free, think if it could be donated.
- In my coupon binder, I organize my sections by: General, Fridge, Freezer, Cleaning, Beauty, Medicine, Pets, Household, Misc, Restaurants, Beverages, Snacks/Candy.