Couponing 101

How to get started with coupons/Coupons 101

I have a lot of new readers that have been asking me how to get started on coupons.  I published this post last month.  Read it...It should help.  Post a question to the comments section if you need help!! Thanks

My Story
My friend Erin, with Indiana Coupon Savings was always talking about coupons and to be honest she really worked my nerves.  I decided to listen to her one day and what she shared with me truly changed my life forever!

One day Erin said something that struck home.  She said "I never pay for toothbrushes, soap, deodorant, etc.  I was like "WHAT?"  It was at this point that things started to click.  I began talking to her and she showed me the ropes.  In the beginning I was like a sponge.  I couldn't believe all the money I was saving.  My husband was beyond happy and even began helping me!

Before hooking up with Erin, I thought I was a couponer, because I would buy $200 worth of items and use 2 coupons!  LOL.  I just didn't get it!  You may be in the same boat.  Keep reading if you want to learn how to cut your grocery bill in 1/2 or more and to get many items FREE!

Getting Started
I cannot say this enough!  Buy 4-5 newspapers each week.  If you follow my blog you know that I recommend buying the paper at Dollar Tree, where they are only $1, instead of the marked up price of $1.75 everywhere else!  I tell people to buy 4-5 papers because when something goes on sale you want to make sure you have enough coupons.  For example...

Let's say that waffles are on sale 3 boxes for $5.  Because you are buying 3 boxes you can use 3 coupons.  Now let's say these coupons for the waffles are $1 off .  This means that you will get $3 off the $5 making your total $2 for 3 boxes of waffles.  Does this make sense?  If not, ask me and I will help.  (post a comment to this post)

Ok so how do you store all of these coupons?  I recommend buying a 3 ring binder and baseball inserts (you will need about 25 sheets to start)  DO NOT waste your time with the little coupon organizers you find at Walmart.  You are in the big leagues and those silly things are reserved for ROOKIES!  Buy your papers on Saturday/Sunday and cut them the same day.  If you don't they will begin to stack up and you will become overwhelmed.  In the beginning you will get disappointed because you do not have many of the coupons for the items on sale.  That is ok!  It will take you about 1 month to build up your coupons.  In the meantime I offer a lot of printable coupons on my site.  Always search the Internet and facebook for coupons.  Often times the company will offer coupons directly on their website.

ONLY BUY WHAT IS ON SALE!  If you want to save money you have to get over "I only use crest or tide or whatever)  That is BS!  If you want to save a buck you will buy what is on sale and you have to have a coupon as well.  The good thing about coupons is that you will always be buying name brand items.  You will never see a coupon for a generic brand.  So if All laundry detergent is on sale you buy it.  If it is an awesome deal you buy as many as you can (probably 5 because that is how many coupons you will have)

Double coupons
Kroger, Marsh and Meijers will double a coupon $.50 and under.  So a $.50 coupon turn into a dollar coupon.  Companies have gotten smart and most are printing $.55 coupons (jerks! Just kidding)

Store coupon policies
Each store has a coupon policy.  I have never read them.  Sorry but I am being honest.  I try to get away with as much as I can.  If they except the coupon great if not take it off my bill.  Don't let cashiers or other customers get an attitude.  When someone says something to me like "Oh look there is the coupon queen."  My response is "that's right, I have 3 kids at home I need to take care." This usually shuts them up.  If I have multiple transactions (we will get to this in a minute) I will do my first transaction and if a line has begun I let the others go and then I start my 2nd transaction.  Cashiers are used to this and appreciate your kindness. Look for cashiers that look happy and not the ones that look like they want to hurt someone!

Don't be nervous
To avoid this always be prepared!  Know what you want to buy and have your coupons in an envelope ready.  You should see me when I am at CVS and I have a deal in sight.  You would be like "wow Debbie I never knew you could move that fast!"  Well I can and when I am getting a deal you better get to steppin' or sit you bottom in the car:)  Always have your coupon binder and check the clearance section.  The other day I found Loreal mascara on sale for $2.49.  I had 5 $2 coupons.  I paid $.49.  I bought all five.  You need some mascara?  Let me know and I will hook you up!  This leads me to my next point...

Helping others
I always help others with my savings.  Family members always know that they can check out my stash and help themselves.  Donate your food to shelters.  How many mustard's does a person need?  If you get serious about couponing you will understand what I am saying.  Just remember to give back.  It is important!

Multiple Transactions - Start out small
You have heard me talk about transaction 1, transaction 2 and so on.  What does this mean?  Typically this will be done at CVS and Walgreens.  Here is an example:

CVS has crest toothpaste on sale for $.99 and they are giving $.99 cents in extra care bucks (ECB) if you buy the tooth paste (limit 1, ya gotta watch the limits) plus you have a $1 coupon.  This toothpaste is free and you just earned $.99 to spend on your next visit or next transaction.  The extra care buck will print on the bottom of your receipt.

Now let's say CVS has reach toothbrushes on sale for $.99.  You can use your extra care buck for $.99.  So the tooth brush is free! What if you have a coupon for $1 off a reach tooth?  Save your extra care buck and use the coupon.  A store will never give you cash back.

The same is true for Walgreens.  Except their rewards is called register rewards (RR).  You can use both ECB and RR plus coupons.  This is how you get things for FREE!

I hope that this is not overwhelming.  It is work but fun work.  Kind of like a hobby.  Always feel free to ask me a question.  I made mistakes in the beginning and I still do.  Just remember this...Would you throw a dollar away?  This is what you are doing when you don't use a coupons!  Thanks for reading!

Thanks, Debs Dealz