If you are a newbie couponer, this would be the place to start! It may be a little bit overwhelming when you first decide to use coupons, but after you learn the ropes, it is soooo worth it!!
I have been using coupons for twenty years. Yes, before the internet and printable coupons. I had to do my own “coupon match ups” without the help of a computer. You are lucky because you have all the wonderful information that the internet has to offer!
Using coupons takes time. You need to acquire the coupons, clip them, and have your eyes open to what is on sale and as to what coupons you have on hand. Many shopping trips could end with you paying just pennies or getting the items for free, but it does not happen overnight.
My biggest piece of advice: do not be “brand loyal”. Of course there are some brands that you just love and will use nothing else. But always have an open mind and the willingness to try new products and you just may be surprised that you can fall in love with something else.
Now you are wondering......how the heck do I even get my supply of coupons?
- Start off by purchasing the Sunday newspaper. I would suggest buying two newspapers to have double the inserts. If your budget allows you to buy more, by all means do so. But do not go overboard, you have to be able to use these coupons to make the purchasing of the extra newspapers worth it.
- Ask friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers to save coupons for you. Please do not steal your neighbors newspapers, it's not nice and well, it's stealing so it is against the law!
- I have a few local gas stations that I go to on a Monday. I just simply ask if they have any leftover newspapers that didn't sell and if so can I have them. I get many free this way. It never hurts to ask.
- There are many sites that offer free printable coupons:
Follow companies on Facebook. They often offer printable coupons or coupons by mail just for “liking” them.
- Send companies an email. Under the “contact us” tab on many company websites, they have an automatic form to fill out. You leave your name and address and state if it is a praise, complaint, etc. Companies want your feedback, in fact, they NEED it. After contacting a company, they may send some high value coupons to use on their product. I would suggest not to abuse this however. I would be honest when contacting companies.
- Trading coupons. I have done this often in the past and occasionally still do. There are many forums online that offer the ability to trade with other people and you snail mail each other your trades. There is a great forum over at WeUseCoupons.com
- Many magazines offer coupons. All You magazine offers many good coupons every month. It is available to purchase only at WalMart or by subscription.
- You can purchase coupons already clipped through many clipping services or through ebay. You can purchase only the ones that you want and they usually are very quick to ship. This service is wonderful if you need coupons for an upcoming sale. Make sure you take shipping time into consideration in order to you have your coupons before the sale is over! Some coupon clipping services are:
- Electronic coupons. These are great! You load coupons on to your shopper's card or loyalty card from the internet, when your card is swiped at the store, the coupons come off! That is way cool :) You need to pick a store and register your card number. Check out:There you have it! Now get clipping :) and watch for part two “Organizing Your Coupons”.