Friday, May 15, 2009

Couponing Basics

Pin It Since I have so many new readers, I thought I'd post these articles I wrote a while ago to help answer some couponing questions.



10 Steps to Getting Started with Couponing

  1. Figure out how much you’re spending on groceries & toiletries right now.
  2. Make a savings goal. I started by decreasing our grocery allotment by $25 the first month. That was actually much easier than I thought, so I decreased it by $50 the next month. Now that was a challenge- $75 less a month! We lived on that budget a couple months before I decreased it again. Within 6 months our budget had gone from $400 to $250. I’m now working on getting it down to $200/ month. Remember too- your goal should be to not only get the necessities for your family, but to add to your food storage or “stockpile” as some call it!
  3. Get the Sunday paper so that you can start collecting coupons. Check out my discount on papers here! Some say you need 1 Sunday newspaper per person in your family to effectively coupon. I'm a fan of staying within your budget! If it's something you feel like you can do, then great! If not, try and find a neighbor who gets the paper but doesn't use coupons. I only got 1 paper for a long time. However, now that I have a family of 6, I'd say I need 4 at least. It helps to have 2 or more, but it’s certainly not necessary.
  4. For the first few weeks, allow twice your normal time to shop so that you can take time to acknowledge prices. Some people keep a list. There are several price point lists online- PYP has one here. In order to start recognizing a good deal, you need to pay more attention to current prices!
  5. As you shop, collect coupons. They’re all over the store; you just need to keep your eyes open! Online coupons are helpful too- I'll give you tons on my site!
  6. Start using grocerysmarts.com. Let them take the guesswork out of figuring out if the sale price is good or not. Over time, you’ll begin to recognize a good sale.
  7. As you collect coupons, organize them. I think the easiest way to start is with a basic, plastic accordion file coupon organizer. Once you get more into it, you can decide if you want to use a binder, envelopes, etc.
  8. Start slowly. It’s very easy to jump into couponing and spend $100 MORE each month than you normally do! Resist the urge to go to the store 4 times a week! I actually suggest you use cash to pay for your groceries for at least a few months. When the money’s gone- you’re done! I pass up sales all the time. If it’s on sale for a great price once, trust me- it WILL happen again!
  9. Begin to get comfortable with more than one grocery store. It’s hard, I know! It’s very important though. When you are shopping for a car, you don’t just go to the cleanest dealership nearest to your house and buy your car there- you shop around! Why not for food and toothpaste?? Don’t be loyal to just one store!
  10. Be patient. It takes time to learn how to effectively use coupons. You’re doing great though- being motivated to save money is half the battle!

7 comments:

Julie said...

HEY!! I know you :) lol. This is awesome - now I can learn to be like you!! I don't know why I didn't know you had this blog - but fear not I have found it. Watch out world I will soon attempt to be a coupon clipper wipper! :)

Anonymous said...

I have just decided to try and do this and I am scared to death.

Anonymous said...

Do any stores in double coupons?

Julia said...

Anonymous... I know Walmart does double coupons on Tuesdays. I am just starting but they normally have signs at the register that tell you Double Tuesday!

Jen said...

Thank you so much for your help in getting started with coupons. My husband is a school teacher and we have 3 kids under five and one on the way. Let's just say I'm busy and we could use more money. We send a good $500 on food every month and I want to start coupons to help us. I know you have alot of info on your blog, but I was wondering if I could ask a special request. I would love a video of how you start your couponing to the end at the check out. I learn so much faster watching someone do something and I think it would really help me get the idea. I understand if it's too much. Thanks!

Lisa said...

I'm just starting out with couponing and their are lots of great tools and links on your blog, thanks. I use Winco alot because they seem to be cheaper than walmart and some of the other main stores. Are there any links or sites that compare winco pricing with other stores?

Anonymous said...

me and my wife just had a baby a few months back and we are wanting to start couponing and im starting to read your blog and has alot of good things but and other advise will be grate from any one

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