New?! Start here!! Couponing 101 is in session!!

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New?! Start here!! Couponing 101 is in session!!

Post by majorcouponing on Mon Jun 20, 2011 6:04 am

Maybe you're curious about the reality show, you'd like to improve your spending habits, or you're just plain going through a rough time like most of us! Either way this is your quick and easy guide to jump right in! Let us help you by learning from our mistakes!

Couponing 101!!:

Step 1. Familiarize:
Assuming you've already read THE LINGO it's time for you to step up to the basics! As you peruse this forum you will see all of the subsections to specific stores, take a peak in them and you will find out what the coupon policies for those stores allow. Luckily this is a local forum so the stores around you are already listed. Most stores vary, so be sure to read them all! Consider these store policies your study guides to your test, remember them well and you will reap the rewards.

Here is a quick check list for step 1:
1. Understand acronyms and coupon terminology.
2. Read and remember all coupon policies!! If you have any questions be sure to ask ahead of time! I ALWAYS call in ahead of time to make sure I don't run into any problems.

Step 2. Get coupons:
First things first you need COUPONS! There are two ways of kick starting your coupon collection. One is to go to Wilmington Star News. They stock the past four weeks of newspapers and will sell you however many you want for the normal price of $1.50. You can also check out our Freebie section to start out with. Also check all of our local store websites for coupons! You can stack a store coupon with a manufacturer coupon for even MORE savings!!

Step 3. Organize:
It's time to clip and organize all those coupons! Don't make the mistake of throwing your coupons out because they aren't on sale or you don't think you'll use them. It is my recommendation to not throw away ANY coupons! You never know what you can get for free or even get overage for buying! If you don't need it then donate it, or give away coupons to someone else who can use them. Many people use 3" three ring binders that zip closed. Me personally, I use a plain 3" binder that came with 65 plastic sleeves used for baseball cards. They hold 9 coupons per page, and do me well. It was $16 as a kit at our local walmart, and will hold 585 coupons...and almost 1200 if you put them front and back like I do. I fold the large coupons to fit, then jot the expiration date and quantity on the coupons. I also purchased a 8 dividers to organize all of my coupons. I did it simple but I also put all of the similar coupons on the same pages (for example, all the laundry soap together in "cleaning"), this should be a great start for you.

They are as followed:
Store coupons (for store specific coupons)
Pantry
Cleaning
Paper products
Health and beauty
Refrigerated
Frozen
Restaurants (for coupons to local restaurants/businesses)

Step 4. Get your Store cards (loyalty cards) NOW:
Having these ahead of time makes for a smooth trip, and a CHEAP one if you add e-coupons on it. If you don't have time to stop in and get one then use today's technology and register online!! You can even go that day and use your card because they have your print out a temporary card that uses your same number until the real card comes in the mail.

Step 5. Research:

Spend sometime RESEARCHING!! Check out the deals we post, the savings don't just stop at insert coupons and store circular ads! There are TONS of unadvertised ads, and internet printable coupons that we want to share with you, and it's much easier then browsing every aisle, blog, and forum yourself! Also spend the time to make sure the deal you found, is actually going to work so you aren't stuck flustered and frustrated at the register! Again, ask questions and make phone calls!

Step 6. Plan:

Once you have your store circulars you need to start your list of what you plan on getting at each store. Sit down and make a list of things on sale/clearance that you have coupons of. I think personally it's easier to go online and look up what the retail value is from the store's website, note the savings of the coupon and finally the cost of what you will pay. This way you will have an idea of what to expect to pay before you checkout, and it will be easy to see if you have made a mistake somewhere!

Step 7. SHOP & SAVE:
Sounds VERY easy, but it's almost the hardest part! DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT buy things you didn't plan to because you have a coupon in your binder for it. This is a rookie mistake I have made, and you will feel awfully silly when you see it several dollars cheaper the next week! Don't get too wrapped up in the game, and the best way to do this is to pick prices you expect to pay for things and be sure to stick to it! You may not save much to begin with but the more time you devote the more it'll pay off, I will promise that!

majorcouponing
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