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So you think you might want to start couponing and need some couponing tips, huh? Takes me back to 2017 when I found out I was pregnant with Collin. A cute surprise baby who I knew for sure was going to turn life upside down as we knew it, especially considering his older brother had only just turned a year old. As my mind danced with the idea of possibly finding something else to do that would require no travel but pay less money, the planner in me figured I’d need to start finding ways to cut the budget and be more savvy with the coins by couponing.
I’d seen shows that showed couponers shopping and ending up getting money back at the register. I figured surely I could figure it out too. Well, as with some other things in life, I didn’t make it my forever thing. However, I did manage to hang on to a few pearls and I’ll open my hands and show them to you :-). Consider it Couponing 101…
Tip 1: Find a Couponing Expert
I knew if I was going to be even halfway successful at this, I’d need to do my homework. I’d need to study from what seemed to be the best. I started where everyone else in the world starts…on YouTube. I bounced around from “Couponing for Beginner” videos of all kinds, but ended up being drawn to one in particular whose blog I decided to follow and even app I installed in my phone…The Krazy Coupon Lady. This blog and app had all the tools I needed that made me feel armed to go into the stores and save money like a boss! From here I managed to gather a few mini pearls that have stuck with me the most:
- Get a notebook (rather a real paper one or create a paperless OneNote, perhaps) that you can keep all your coupons, weekly ads, and coupon policies in.
- Print out or save your top visited stores coupon and price match policies.
- Invest in plastic baseball card holders to store all of your paper coupons that you either print or collect from the newspapers you purchase.
- Sign up for loyalty programs at EVERY store that you shop at that offers them.
I could go on and on, but I think these are enough mini’s to get your wheels starting to turn. When you visit the Krazy Coupon Lady website or watch their videos on YouTube, you’ll open that Pandora’s box for yourself.
Tip 2: Put on an “Appy” Face 🙂
- Download whatever Couponing Expert app you choose to follow
- You’ll get push notifications about sales the stores you shop at are having. You will also get periodic extra couponing tips. Plus, you’ll get couponing strategies that will show you what your net cost for products of your choice will be. Some even end up being free or giving you cash back!
- Consider cash-back and rebate apps
- Download the Coupons.com app to incorporate coupons electronically into your favorite stores you shop at
- Through this app you get two options to save your money. Either adding coupons to the stores loyalty card or submitting a picture of your store receipt and getting cash back.
- Also visit their website too to print coupons directly from there. The coupons are from most manufacturers that are included in those Sunday papers you’d otherwise scramble for.
- It’s so much easier to know what you have in your coupon stash by quickly searching in the Coupon Keeper 2 app that you can scan them into instead of relying on flipping through your big daddy binder! In this app, you can categorize them and you enter expiration dates. That makes it easy to filter them out and find exactly what you need to get rid of or exactly the coupon you need to the product you’ve decided to work up a deal for!
Tip 3: Have a Game Plan BEFORE You Get There!
Now this should go without saying, right? As you watch various YouTube videos from various couponers, their best couponing tips will help you learn how to write out deals. Once you’re familiar with a store’s policies, you’ll know what the sale price is of an item. Then subtract the manufacturer coupon + the store coupon (if it’s allowed) and even sometimes be able to apply a rebate to it as well. Stores like Target will sometimes even have a special where if you buy a certain product or so many of it, they’ll give you a small store gift card. There’s all kinds of possibilities! I’ve just always found it easier when I do my coupon shopping to have my deals written out for each store I’m going to with the coupons needed clipped to it or electronic coupons. That’s yet another thing I liked about the Krazy Coupon Lady site and app. The deals are already written out for you and you can just save them there.
Tip 4: Think Price Per Unit…
This one goes even beyond couponing tips. The best examples I can think of for this is paper goods and diapers. Back in my days of having to buy diapers for two, this was my best friend. I thought I’d be getting a deal for going for a cheap box of diapers because the total was the lowest. However, when I figured it out per diaper, sometimes I was cheating myself and having to come back to the store sooner for diapers and thus spending more. When doing comparison shopping to decide- write out your deal. Figure out your bottom line, divide that bottom line by the total amount of diapers (for example), and that gives you your net price per unit. Make sure you’re getting the lowest price per unit available if you’re deciding between 2 stores to get your items from.
Now the million dollar question, what’d I go with for the diapers? At that time in 2017, my best bet was shopping Walmart for Parents Choice Diapers by the biggest box count they had available for the littlest one. Shopping Sam’s Club for brand name Pull-Ups in the biggest box count they had available for the not-so-little one was cheapest. It was always cheaper per unit for me to do that than any coupon deal I came across.
Tip 5: It Takes a Village…
Not only to raise a child, but also to have fun and be savvy with couponing. I found being a member of couponing groups on Facebook to be most helpful. It was not only a place to commiserate, but a place to share crazy specials that popped up when any one of us were shopping. It was also a place to commiserate. There’s a Facebook group for pretty much all the stores I liked to shop at including:
Pretty sure I’ll have some real coupon experts who might come across my site and scoff at my rookie-ness. I’m pretty sure we could all benefit from your expertise no matter how experienced any of you are! Drop your best couponing tips here so I can give a more seasoned update 🙂