Home Budget How to Coupon (for Beginners!) Pt. 1

How to Coupon (for Beginners!) Pt. 1

written by The OklaHomeMaker January 14, 2016

As part of James and I’s plan to pay off $40,000 in debt in 2016 (more about that here), I’ll be using coupons to save on all our household essentials. After several failed attempts, I finally learned to coupon in August of 2015 when a friend of mine took time to teach me the ropes. Since then it’s saved us hundreds of dollars and become a fun hobby of mine. I often find the things I need for 50%-70% off retail, and sometimes even FREE! I’ll never pay full price again!

In my next three posts, I hope to teach you how to coupon for items like toiletries, cleaning products, detergents, and more so that you can enjoy the same savings! In this post I’ll cover the basics including a list of resources, where to shop, where to get coupons, and the different types of coupons available. This post will contain LOTS of information,  so make sure you pin it for future reference! Let’s jump right in!

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The Basics:

Where to shop:

Target seems to be the most popular choice among couponers, this is because their coupon policy is easy to work with, they have great sales, and you have the option of using the Cartwheel app to maximize your savings. They are my personal favorite place to shop. CVS is a close second. Since these stores are where I do most of my shopping, I’ll focus on them in my post today.

Where to get coupons:

One thing I get asked all the time is “How do you get so many coupons?!” The answer is simple, I buy SO MANY newspapers! When I started couponing, I purchased 4 papers a week from my local Dollar Tree store. Paying $4 a week for my coupons was worth the extra expense because I knew I would be saving wayyyy more than that!

Printable coupons are another convenient & budget friendly option. Visit Coupons.com and Target.com to find hundreds of coupons you can print right from your home computer!

The third option is to search for what’s called a “Coupon Fairy” in your area. This is someone that sells newspaper inserts in bulk at a discounted rate. Or you can order your coupons from sellers on Facebook groups like Coupon Inserts & Clippings.

When to buy:

You’ll hear couponers talk about “stock up” prices. The “stock up” price is estimated to be the lowest price an item will sell for in about 3-6 months, so when you find an item available at a “stock up” price, buy enough to last until the next time the item goes on sale. By doing this you will eliminate the need to pay full price for your household necessities and maximize your savings! For a list of “stock up” prices on the most common household necessities head over to Passion For Savings and search for the item you need! It’s easy as a newbie couponer to overspend on things, simply because everything seems like a great deal compared to what you’re used to paying! Consulting a “stock up” price list before buying will help keep you and your wallet on track. 🙂

Resources:

There are many fantastic blogs and social media groups out there completely dedicated to couponing. I would encourage you to start following a few as you begin your couponing journey. Some of my favorites are:

The Couponing Couple
The Krazy Coupon Lady
The Consumer Queen
Passion for Savings
Target Couponing
CVS Couponers

These websites and groups will keep you up-to-date on all the latest deals, as well as post updates about store coupon policies, money saving tricks, etc. The couponing world moves quickly so make sure you check in often!

If you follow these blogs or groups for any length of time, you’ll notice that couponers seem to have their own secret language. Here’s a cheat sheet, you might want to save it for future reference as I’ll be using it in the following posts:

couponinglingo

 

I think that pretty much covers the basics, but we still have a lot to learn! Come back Monday to learn about the different types of coupons available, and how to stack them to get the most amazing deals!

Feel free to ask questions in the comments, I would love the chance to help you learn! I’m excited to share more about my passion for couponing and hope you’ll join me on this journey!

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1 comment

How to Coupon (for Beginners!) Pt. 2 January 18, 2016 at 3:36 pm

[…] resources for beginning couponers so if you haven’t read that post yet, make sure you go here and check it […]

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