Friday, October 4, 2013

Tips From A (Semi) Extreme Couponer#1- Basic Tips

Accepted Readers,

Today is day #4 of the 31 Day Blogging Challenge and I have something special in store for you! For the past few months I've been attempting to learn how to coupon and I'm making a bit of progress. I call myself  a semi-extreme couponer because I have yet to get my total balance down to 0 in any single transaction, however I normally slash balance by 75% or more.

In this post I want to share some basic tips on how to coupon and show you two of my best transactions up-to-date. Please keep in mind that I am still learning how to coupon and I am in no way an expert on this subject this is just a hobby of mine.
Couponing Tips
Step #1: 
Locate and stockpile coupons. 

This is the most important and possibly the hardest step. You will need a pretty decent amount of each individual coupon if you plan on bringing home a brag-worthy haul. I have a friend who delivers newspapers and he gives me any of the leftover coupons.

Coupon inserts can be found:
  1. Various Sunday newspapers (Smart Source, Red Plum, & Proctor & Gamble)
  2. Online (,,,
  3. Magazines (All You & Women's World)
  4. Manufacturer websites
  5. Email your favorite companies (Tell them you enjoy their products and ask if any coupons are
  6. Peel-Here Stickers (Found on the product)
  7. Catalina (Found on the back of your receipts)
  8. Store sales ads &  Displays, & Store websites (Even their Facebook pages, or Twitter accounts)
  9. Store Phone Apps (Target, Food4Less, CVS, and various others)
  10. Store loyalty cards
Step #2: 
Research sales ads of all stores in your area.

The biggest tip I can offer is this: Use coupons on items currently on sale. It's an added bonus if the product is on sale at a rock bottom price. (meaning it won't be on sale any cheaper) Always compare prices at numerous stores for all products you have coupons for because it they be cheaper elsewhere.

Step #3: 
Sort and Clip desired coupons. 

This step by far is the most time consuming.  It helps to have a binder, envelope, or box to keep your coupons in. It is also useful to sort the coupons into different categories. (Such as pet food, laundry products, oral care, etc)

 I found an excellent coupon organizer kit for my binders at Walmart called The Coupon Saver Start Pack by Ultra Pro. (also on Amazon)

Step #4: 
Write a shopping list & find needed coupons.  

It's always easier to have a list of items you want to buy and the coupons you need to use. However, I recommend taking your binder (box, envelope, or whatever) in the store with you. You may see an product on sale along with a coupon to pair with it!

Step #5: 
Save Money! 

The most exciting and self-explanatory step.  Remember to stay calm and have fun!

Other Useful Tips:
  • Look up and read/print the coupon policy for each individual store you visit, each store has different rules and regulations.
  • Read your coupon carefully including the small print. Some have certain restrictions.
  • Make sure the coupon your using is for the product you want to buy. (correct size, brand, amount, etc)

My Hauls
Both of the following hauls were from Walmart. :)

Date: 9/13/2013
Balance before coupons: $83.11
Total after coupons: $44.00
Total # of items:  56
Total # of coupons used: 32

 Date: 8/21/2013
Balance before coupons: $96.40
Total after coupons: $12.26
Total # of items:  54
Total # of coupons used: 27

Interested in seeing part 2 of this mini-series?

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