Couponing 101- Getting Started!
So you have decided it might be time for you to look into trying to save your family some serious money by starting to coupon. Couponing can save you hundreds of dollars a month on your regular groceries and also your toiletries and household goods.
One of the first things you will notice once you really start getting the hang of couponing, is it can seriously become very addicting. There are a few things you will need to do to get yourself prepared before you set off for your first trip to your grocery store.
Also at this point let me reassure you that you may not save $50-$75 or more on your first trip, and that is ok. Once you start to get a huge stockpile of coupons and start learning the tips and tricks your savings will start to amaze you and your family members. So do not be hard on yourself if you do not save a large amount right out of the gate give yourself time to stockpile your coupons and also to learn the system so that it become easy and second nature for you.
The first thing we need to figure out is what stores are in your area. Use a notepad and write down all local stores and do not discount your dollar stores. A lot of the dollar stores such as Dollar General also will accept coupons and these can be great ways for you to save a bundle. Next thing you will want to do is to familiarize yourself with their coupon policy. A simple phone call can save you embarrassment while standing in the checkout line.
Here are some of the things you should find out before you head out to the store of your choice:
Do they offer Coupon Savings– Some stores offer a particular day of the week where they offer DOUBLE or TRIPLE coupons. These can save you a ton on your overall grocery bill. Most store will only double your coupon value up to $.50 so for example, if you had a coupon for Ragu Spagetti Sauce for $.50 off one jar, and your local stores offer double coupons, your $.50 coupon now is worth $1.00 off one jar of Ragu Spagetti sauce!
If you combine this with a sale you can get your Spagetti sauce for FREE or next to nothing. But we will go more into detail on this later on.
Do they accept Online Printable Coupons– Most stores in this day and age are NOT allowing you to use printable coupons for the simple fact they are too easily manipulated using programs like Paint Shop Pro and Adobe Photoshop. But call your local store and find out their policy on this.
Can you stack your coupon with their coupons– A lot of stores such as Walgreens and CVS Pharmacy will allow you to use a manufactors coupon ONTOP Of their coupons they put in their Sunday ads! These are HUGE for saving you TONS of money! So be sure to ask your locals stores on their policies on this also.
Do they accept Competitors Coupons? Save you have a coupon from a Shop N Save for $1 off Crest Toothpaste but today you are going to go shopping at Schnucks do they accept and acknowledge a coupon from their competitor Shop n Save for example.
Now that you have all your questions answered and probably should have written them down for future reference, you are ready to start stockpiling and collecting your coupons to get you started on organizing them and storing them!
The benefits of couponing cannot be discounted. Clipping coupons are by far the best and easiest way of saving money. It might be time-consuming, but the benefits are well worth it. Many retailers offer coupons as a way to reward customers and keep them coming back to their store. You can even clip coupons out of your local newspaper. The benefits of couponing apply to everyone and can even be used when going to the local grocery store.
COUPONING RESULTS IN SAVINGS
The biggest reason to clip coupons is the savings they offer. Coupons help customers save money and in this economy; everyone is looking to save a few dollars wherever they can. If you are prepared to clip coupons diligently, you will save even more money. By clipping a lot of coupons, you can really save up to half of your overall bill, especially if you use the coupons at your local grocery store. Some coupons even offer dollar amounts; this makes customers feel like they are saving even more than when there are percentages offered.
COUPONING RESULTS IN TRYING NEW PRODUCTS AND BRANDS
Couponing is great when used for products or brands that you would not normally buy. In some instances, coupons let you buy a brand that you would not normally consider because of the price. If the price is lowered by the coupon, you can try the new brand without having to pay more than you would normally. This gives you the opportunity to try new laundry detergents, shampoos, and even cereals without the extra expense. You have nothing to lose and you can always go back to your normal brand if you don’t like the new one. This is great for products such as specialty coffee or luxury biscuits.
COUPONING RESULTS IN THE ABILITY TO BUY IN BULK
Coupons can also offer products for free when you buy a certain number of them. For example, buy three products and get the fourth one free. This allows customers to stock up on certain products when the price is lower. You are saving money and the store in return, is getting you to spend more money in their store.
WHAT’S IN IT FOR THE STORE?
Couponing is a great marketing tool for the store. People will remember the name of the store they have coupons for as they know it is where they can save money. For retail stores the benefits are great; it creates loyalty with their customers, gets more people into their stores and makes customers feel that they are getting a great deal for their money. This leads to a positive image amongst their customers. Coupons are used by retailers to reward customers for coming into their store and spending money, and to give them an incentive to return to the store.
HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF COUPONING
Most coupons have an expiry date so you need to bear this in mind when planning your shopping. Also, some coupons limit the amount of items you can buy and oftentimes, you cannot use the coupons in conjunction with any other promotions taking place at the store.
You need to carefully clip and check your coupons when making out your shopping list to make sure that you are adhering to the stipulations. The last thing you need is to get to the checkout counter and have to swop products or put items back. Also, once you have made your shopping list, go through your coupons and match them to your items. This will save you a lot of time and money. If you have coupons for products not on your list, think about whether or not you want this product and if using the coupons to buy these products will be worth your while.