Sunday, July 13, 2014

Couponing 101

So a few people have asked how I coupon and where did I go to get started. The very first site I stumbled across was and it still is my #1 go to site. Take some time to check out the page. They do a great job of listing deals at various stores,  showing you the breakdown,  AND providing links to printable coupons. In this post I will provide you with a few tips and lingo that should be helpful in getting you on your way to couponing. 

  1. Chose one or two store to become familiar with. Sign up for their loyalty card and check out their weekly ads. I've become familiar with CVS and Target. I just recently began to explore Rite Aid. Keep in mind that in the beginning your out of pocket expense will be higher at stores since you are a couponing newbie. Once you get rolling and earning rewards you will be able to roll rewards into new deals to minimize your out of pocket expense and maybe even get some items for free :)
  2. Purchase a small according folder for your coupons (save the binder and pocket sheets for when you are an extreme couponer lol). NEVER leave home without your coupon folder! There are always great deals lurking in stores when you least expect it. 
  3. Sign up to have the Sunday paper delivered to you or purchase the paper every Sunday. The Washington Post had special that made the Sunday paper $.79  a week for a year. I took advantage of that. Also, harass friends and family members for their coupon inserts :) 
  4. Check out weekly for items that you have use for. You can often print these coupons 2-3 times on one computer. Remember photocopying coupons is illegal.
  5. Use social media to your advantage. Search hashtags such as #couponing #cvs #riteaid #couponingcommunity to find deals that people across the nation have found.
  6. Become familiar with your favorite store's coupon policy. Most store allow you to use one store coupon and one manufacture coupon per item. Some stores even allow you to uses coupons on BOGO deals when one item is free. 
  7. When you are feeling comfortable explore coupon buying. Several people sell multiples of particular coupons for a small fee. The amount you will save using the coupons is often worth the small fee.  I've found these individuals on Instagram and they often use PayPal for payment. I haven't tried this BUT if I don't potty train my 16 month old in the next 2 month I'm going to stay buying diaper coupon sets.
  8. Even though you may be able to use coupons to get an item for free remember that you will still have to pay taxes on your total prior to coupons. I wasn't initially aware of the "prior" part. 8) Lastly, a little advice.....I watch the extreme coupon shows and although they really inspire me to coupon, I am a realist. This means I only buy things my family needs, I know I will NOT have time to collect 100 coupon inserts from each Sunday paper weekly, nor will I stay at the grocery store for 10 hours doing 50 separate transactions lol. My couponing hauls are often small and very realistic! 

Coupon Glossary

BOGO-Buy one get one

catalina- coupons printed on or with your receipt. These can be uses on future purchase and are often store specific. 

coupon stacking/stack- using both a manufacturer and store coupon together.

ECBs- Extra Care Bucks are earned at CVS and can be used like cash for future purchase. You may use ECBs printed on your receipt for a separate transaction. 

filer- a low price item used to reach a particular total in order to trigger a deal manufacturer coupon- issued from a manufacturer and can be used at any store.

moneymaker- items that end up giving you a store reward or money after coupons.

OOP- out of pocket (how much your actually pay after coupons and not including any earned rewards).

P&G- Proctor & Gamble insert from most Sunday papers. So if you see "P&G 7/6", that means the coupon was in the Proctor & Gamble insert in the Sunday paper from Jul 6th. 

qs- coupons

RP-Red Plum insert from most Sunday. So if you see "RP 6/15", that means the coupon was in the Red Plum insert in the Sunday paper from June 15th. 

SS- Smart Source insert from most Sunday papers. So if you see "SS 6/29", that means the coupon was in the Smart Source insert in the Sunday paper from June 29th. 

stockpile- a collection of surplus items you have as a result of couponing. 

store coupon- a coupon that can only be used at a specified store. 

UP Rewards- are coupon like rewards earned at Rite Aid. These cannot be used immediately,  as they are not activate until 6am the day after your transaction. You cannot use partial Up Rewards, this means your total must exceed the amount of the UpReward in order to redeem it.

No comments:

Post a Comment