Couponing is a strategic method used by shoppers to get their normal toiletries and groceries on monthly basis for less amount of money. It is generally fun, very addictive and can save one`s household money expenses. It is however required for one to be systematic, dedicated and habitual in approaching it. Coupon is not just an activity but a lifestyle.
Where to look for coupons
There are always lots of coupons for grab and it just calls for one to look for them. The best places to look are:
Newspapers: These are one of the common places to find coupons. For instance current discounts for the RedPlum and Smart services keep on appearing on newspapers on weekly basis.
Online sites: These provide loads of printable coupons, i.e. RetailMeNot
Magazines: manufacture coupons are always available on women`s publications like Red Book and Good Housekeeping
In stores: They can also be found on shelves in stores, on products and on back of receipts
Other places that you can look for are junk mails, direct from manufacturers and from store mailings.
How to keep coupons organized
There are always a variety of ways in which coupons can be organized. The only factor is finding the appropriate approach that works best for an individual. One should consider clipping out all coupons, clipping those they intend to use or leaving them intact and clipping them when need arises. To ensure that your coupons remain neat and easily accessible:
Develop a filling system. Although most people organize their printed promos by grocery category, it is better if one finds a filling system that works for them either by aisle or expiration and put the system in action.
Find a container to hold them together. One can opt to use a storage container, a shoebox, binder and wallet. It is important to have a landing spot for all the offers.
Find coupons the same day you get them. Although one may not always have time to file their promos, it is always to file them as soon as they find them. This saves one the hassle of sorting them through a big mess and prevents them from getting lost.
Purge regularly; Coupons that have expired will not save you money. As a result there is no need of letting them take up space in the coupon file. Always have a set schedule of trashing offers that have expired.
This video explains the basic principles of couponing:
How to maximize your savings
i. Always shop at stores that double your coupons
ii. Keep them with you always because a deal might just arise at an unexpected time
iii. Take some time to check the coupon policy of each store
iv. Always match your coupons to sales by using sites like couponmom.com
Tips for couponing beginners
Technological advancements have made matching coupons and sales easier. There is also an increase in online and printable coupons. The basics that one needs to know regardless of the store they shop in are as listed below.
i. Coupons must be used before they expire since they have expiry dates. Other restrictions that need to be followed are: brand, make, size and quantity.
ii. Coupon websites that have services of matching sales with the coupons are the best sources while planning a shopping trip. They simplify work for you by finding sales and the available promotions for sale before matching them up. They are usually easy and quick to use. Examples of such sites are: Favado.com and www.grocerysmarts.com
iii. You can always print coupons online since most have the ability of being printed twice per computer. Those of you who own laptops and desktops can get around 4 coupons per use. One just needs to hit the button at the back after coupon printing is done and it will reprint.
iv. For those who use between 5-10 coupons each time they go shopping, it is advisable to buy the Sunday newspaper subscription so as to save money.
v. Coupons come on the newspapers and mail. Red Plum is the main mailer. In selected areas it may come in the Sunday newspapers. Impotent abbreviations to note are MM (money maker) and BOGO (buy one get one free). An MM means that by buying the said item you will have extra money to use towards another item
vi. Each paper has a date indicated on its tiny pine. This is normally visible if one looks closely. For internet coupons there is always a link that one clicks in order to get to the site. For newspapers coupons, it is stated using the abbreviation of date and insert on the spine.
vii. Make sure you buy multiple items on sale and ensure you have coupons to go along with them. Extreme couponing is a situation where one stocks up on items that are bottom in price.
viii. The easiest and most efficient way of couponing is not clipping coupons until the time to use them comes. It is good to order them from the new ones to the oldest. Also keep printed coupon and random ones that come in magazines and mailers.
ix. Always monitor your expenditures. It is possible for one to go broke by saving money by trying to get every single deal. It is always good to be moderate and build stocks slowly.