How To Coupon | A Beginner’s Guide to Saving Big with Coupons
If you’ve ever seen a veteran couponer in action, you probably wondered how on Earth they managed to get such great deals. In fact, when I first began bringing home great deals, my husband was convinced I must be doing something illegal! The deals were too good!
But there’s nothing illegal or tricky about it. It really is possible to get fantastic deals on the items your family buys and enjoys every week–you just have to know how. This easy-to-understand guide will walk you right through the process so you can start saving big too.
1. Gather Coupons
The first thing you need when couponing is coupons, of course! The best place to find coupons is right here on simpleethrifty.com. Just click ‘Print Coupons‘ in the blue header, and you’ll instantly have access to hundreds of printable coupons from top sites including SmartSource, Red Plum and SavingStar! You can also find coupons in your Sunday paper, in the mail and on manufacturer’s websites. Easy!
*Do be careful about purchasing coupons online, however. Buying and selling coupons is illegal. Some coupon clippers get around this by selling their time–not the actual coupons–but you always run the risk of purchasing counterfeit coupons when buying online.
2. Organize Your Coupons
While a small envelope is fine for holding just a few coupons, if you really want to save big, you’ll need a way to keep a large number of coupons organized. Most couponers use a large 3-ring binder with baseball card inserts and tabbed dividers. It’s a really easy and effective way to help you see at a glance which coupons you have, and which coupons are expiring soon.
3. Match Up Your Coupons to Products on Sale
Step #3 is crucial for couponing success! If all you do is cut a 40c coupon on Sunday, and then take it to the store on Monday, all you will save is 40c. The key to getting the best deals and saving big is matching up your coupons with great store deals and promotions. By combining high-value coupons with a store sale or promotion, you can really save big!
For example: Say your 40c coupon is for a product your family buys all the time that sells for $5 at CVS. Instead of spending it right away, you wait until two weeks later when the product goes on sale. Now, CVS is selling the product 3 for $10. Plus, if you buy $20 worth of product, you get $5 back. Now, instead of buying one product at $4.60 ($5 minus the 40c coupon), you buy three products at only $2.10 each. That’s over a 50 percent savings!
(Confused on the math? 3 products = $10. Assuming you bought other products to get you to $20, that’s minus $2.50 for the original three products and minus $1.20 for three coupons for a total of $6.30. Divide that by 3, and you have $2.10 per product.)
Yes, it does take a little bit of basic math, but it’s nothing you can’t do with a pencil, a paper and a calculator. The hardest part is just matching up all the coupons to the deals, but lucky for you–I post all the hottest deals and Michigan coupon matchups for you right here on Simpleethrifty.com! All you have to do is check the site to see all the awesome deals you can get today, then grab your coupons, head to the store and score some amazing deals on the products your family already buys and enjoys all the time!
4. Plan Out Your Trip
If you are planning a big trip, you will want to do a little planning ahead of time to make sure that everything goes as smoothly as possible. Make a list of the items you plan to buy. Write down the sale amounts. Subtract your coupons to come up with your new total. (Don’t forget sales tax!) Pull out the coupons you need to make sure that you still have them and that they aren’t expired. If you have everything ready to go before you head to the store, checking out will be much easier!
You can also search for deals with our search deals feature along with specific coupon search in our coupon database. These are tools to help you save time and money! Plus, you can print your shopping list right our favorite stores weekly coupon page.
5. Go Shopping!
This is the fun part! Head to the store with your coupon binder in hand. Grab all the items on your list, and keep your eye out for other items you can get a great deal on. You might just get lucky and find an unadvertised deal or an item on clearance that you have a great coupon for! Tell your cashier that you have coupons before she starts ringing you up, and hand them to her so she can scan them all at the end. That’s it! Easy, right?
6. Check Apps for Rebates!
With just a little bit of time and effort, it is entirely possible to slash your grocery bill by 20, 30 or even 50 percent or more! Even if you are on a special diet or even if you have picky eaters, you can still save big. This five-step process has saved hundreds of shoppers thousands on their weekly grocery bills. How much will you save?
We would love to hear what savings tips you use to save money?
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