Have a little extra time on your hands? Looking for a deal? Here are some of the best couponing tips from the experts!
The Art of Couponing
Have you ever seen the show Extreme Couponing on TLC? Those people are arguably the most intensely organized, driven, and maybe a little psychotic. But, those couponers are laughing all the way to the bank with their deals. In some cases, the store owes them money when they finish scanning all their coupons at the grocery checkout! They’re serious about their “stockpiles,” too. Picture an entire garage stocked to the brim with deodorant, wipes, ketchup, detergent, barbecue sauce…basically anything. Will the ever use it all? Who knows. Extreme couponers are usually not too concerned about that. Their main focus is this: whatever it is, they bought it for mere pennies. It’s all about the deal.
Apparently there are two tenets of extreme couponing:
1. Only buy items that are on sale, and
2. Combine that sale with one or more coupons.
Couponing Tips for Beginners
Fortunately, you don’t have to be an “extreme couponer” to save a few bucks while grocery shopping, and it could even be a new hobby! Here are some money-saving couponing tips for beginners that the pros use.
- Stay organized. A binder helps with this! Use sheet protectors to keep the coupons easily accessible and undamaged. Be sure to maintain your coupon binder by removing expired coupons. If the binder method doesn’t work for you, try using a file box.
- It’s a good idea to get familiar with coupon lingo and policies. Are your coupons stackable? (This means you can use a manufacturer’s coupon combined with a grocery store coupon.) Do stores in your area have double coupon deals? (This means at certain times you can use a coupon and it’ll be worth twice its face value.)
- Have the store’s coupon policy on-hand and ready to go. This will come in handy if the store questions whether the coupon is usable or valid.
- It’s probably going to take some research to find good deals on the items you want, so put grocery store ads on your reading list for the week. You also have to be willing to spend some time organizing your coupons before each trip to the store.
- Set aside a bit of time every week to clip and organize coupons. If you’re busy, try to find ways that you can fit your couponing activities into your schedule. Instead of watching TV before you go to sleep, browse and clip coupons! Commit a time-slot to coupon without distractions.
- Online is a great resource for finding coupons, especially since we’re all stuck inside. However, only print out the coupons you know you’ll use, otherwise you’re wasting ink and paper.
Where Can I Find Coupons?
- Store coupon walls/bulletin boards
- Local newspapers
- Store flyers
- Online Coupon websites (like coupons.com)
- Coupon apps (Ibotta and SnipSnap)
- Reward sites like Swagbucks which feature cash back rebates, promo codes, and Safeway coupons and Albertsons coupons.
Couponing Tips: Take it One Step At a Time
Listen, you don’t have to be that person on Extreme Couponing to save some money. Even as beginners, with a little bit of patience, organization, and time, you can start saving a few dollars at the checkout on your next shopping trip to the grocery store.
It’s Time to Start Couponing!
For the next few months, we’re all going to have a little extra time on our hands as we hunker down indoors during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, using these extra hours to clip coupons and use them on one, big grocery shopping trip may be the way you can start saving! Let us know your best couponing tips in the comments!