How to Extreme Coupon
There are lots of new couponers. This post will teach coupon basics to help those who are just starting out. Remember in addition to couponing to check out the online shopping deals (which is another way to save money). If you know someone interested in couponing, share this post!
Couponing is fun and very rewarding.
First and foremost, to start couponing you have to find coupons to build a coupon inventory. HERE is my YouTube video on “Where to Find Coupons”. There are many places to find coupons but the most important will be a newspaper subscription and printing coupons. One thing to keep in mind is that printable coupons have a budget. Meaning when a coupon is released the manufacturer who releases it may say only 100,000 of this one coupon can be printed. Once it reaches the limit it will disappear off the internet. Therefore, it is important to print coupons as they are released.
Next thing is being organized. Find a coupon organization system that will work for you. I use a binder method. HERE is a video on “How to Make a Coupon Binder”. Others use a file box or any other method you create to make storing coupons easy.
Next, compare your coupons to sales ads. Many people make the mistake when they first start and only cut the newspaper coupons that they think they will use. If you are a new couponer, for the first 6 months keep all newspaper coupons. When you do coupon match ups, you will learn that you will get something that you thought you may never use for pennies on the dollar. Since you are getting items for pennies on the dollar; it is worth trying new products. The fun thing with couponing is you will score items very cheap that you might have not tried otherwise.
When you compare the coupons to sales ad, make a list of your coupon match ups. This will become your grocery list. I list store and each item with the coupon that matches to it. Next, I decide is it worth my gas to travel to all those stores to do the coupon scenario I listed or should I price match at a store. Price matching happens at many stores like Walmart, Target and more. You will need to read each stores policy that is near you. I have a video about price matching HERE.
It is important you do these coupon match up list every week. The drug stores and super stores typically released their ads on Sunday while grocery stores release their ads on Wednesday. The more frequent you do your match ups, this will help teach you the sales cycles and coupon cycles. Yes, coupons have cycles. The same coupon will be released every 3-6 months just as sales have cycles. It is all about matching a sale up with a coupon. When items go on sale they are on average 30% off retail and when you match a coupon with the sale this will give you on average a 50% savings. Yes, sometimes you can score free items and other items you may not have a coupon or sale for so this is where the averages come from.
Learn to make coupon friends. Swap coupons and products with your friends. Above is a picture of some friends getting together for a Coupon Swap. A Coupon Swap is where you swap your unwanted coupons and will score coupons from others. The more you interact in coupon pages and groups you will learn who also coupons. You will make coupon friends which in many cases become very good friends as well.
Next my favorite thing is to shop clearance items and match coupons with them. I shop after seasons to stock up for the next year. Meaning right now is Valentine’s Day clearance so I will buy cards for my daughter while on clearance now and hold them for next year. Same for Christmas, I will buy Christmas decorations when they go on clearance but hold them for the following year. Also, some clearance items can be used for other holidays. Like above is a picture of my after Christmas 70% off clearance finds at Target. Many are items I am holding for presents. The plastic ware I used the red one for Valentines Week and the green set I am holding for St. Patrick’s week. Clearance shopping is always thinking of the entire year ahead on how you can use products now to save for later!
I am an extremely frugal person and watch every penny I spend. You will not see major hauls like Extreme Couponing TV Show from me but you will see a more realistic way of how I save. My grocery budget which includes paper products, food, cleaning and basically everything bought at a grocery store is $100 per person per month. That means my family of 3 sticks to a $300 budget a month. 8 years ago, our budget for a family of 2 was $700 a month.
Couponing is about having fun so have fun while saving your family money. Also, I have a lot more YouTube videos so go HERE to watch them. I use to teach a 3-4 hour coupon class and have broken my class into 10 minute or less sections and made videos on the sections. My class in 2013 was released in a book called Couponing in Hawaii. Only about 20 pages is dedicated to Hawaii stores but most of the stores are in other states like Target, Kmart, Walgreens and more. Many people buy the book from Florida to Japan to Australia. This is the basics of couponing! Welcome to the coupon community and Happy Shopping. Go HERE to read more Tips & Tricks.