What are couponing tips for beginners, and do they really work?
Yes, if you know where to start! Money-off and BOGO deals can be complicated and daunting. Instead of trying to sift through the fine print on your coupons, just leverage a few insider tricks and save more at checkout.
In this article, we'll give you the pointers you need.
How Do Beginners Start Couponing?
If you’re a beginner, it can be hard to figure out where to start. This simple step-by-step guide will help you get going!
Step 1: Find Coupons
To kick off couponing, you need to find coupons. The most popular way to do this is by checking out:
- Order from Sunday Coupon Inserts
- Coupon dispensers at your local grocery store
- Online coupon databases
- Sunday newspaper
- Manufacturer websites
- Store websites
- Cashback apps
Step 2: Get Organized
Organizing is one of the best couponing tips for beginners. It may seem trivial, but keeping things orderly will let you quick-draw the right coupon at checkout, or plan your shopping trip well before you leave the house.
All couponers have their own favorite method. The most common way is to use a binder. Other alternatives include putting them in:
- Special coupon folders that you can buy online
How you organize your coupons is up to you. Depending on where you shop, and how often you need the coupons, you can try sorting them based on:
- Store Aisle
- Expiration date
Remember to organize your digital coupons as well!
Step 3: Plan Your Shopping List
The best savings are found when you plan ahead. If you just arrive at the store, buy your normal items, and apply coupons later, you’ll find the savings to be meager at best. Instead, you can create a shopping list that matches your coupon stash and vice versa. Here's how you do it:
- Take a look at you store's sales flyer
- Compile a list of what you need and what is on sale
- Match the items on your list to the coupons you have
- Look for coupons with big discounts for multiple items
- Determine if they’re items that you need to stock up on
Following this process can help you stock up on valuable products for much less, instead of buying that same product again at full-price next week.
How to Do Extreme Couponing for Beginners
If you have a favorite extreme couponing show, you’ve probably watched someone pay for groceries and earn money from it. Who wouldn’t want a piece of that?
What most people fail to realize, though, is that extreme couponing is more than just handing dozens of BOGO deals to a cashier.
Realistic couponing requires a lot of work. Planning, organizing, tracking, and calculating are all important parts of extreme couponing.
Extreme Couponing Tips for Beginners
If you want to start extreme couponing, start small. Here are some realistic couponing tips to get the most value out of your deals.
Only Buy What You Need
Only paying for what you need is the number one way to save money. It may sound like a no-brainer, but when you’re at the store, it can be easy to forget!
This is where planning and organizing really pay off. If you catalog your coupons and plan out your trip, it’s easier to know what you need.
Remember to account for the future, too. You may not need something now, but you may need it later. If there is a BOGO promotion or coupon for a product that’s used often in your household, be sure to use it.
Write to Manufacturers of Products That You Love
One of the lesser-known couponing tips for beginners is simply asking for coupons. Email and tell manufacturers that you like their products, and ask for coupons. It’s a tried-and-true method. It doesn’t always work, sure, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to ask!
Know Your Terms and Conditions
Reading the fine print on your coupons can take you far in the couponing world. Why? Because fine print can be really confusing! One coupon can have different terms and conditions from others of the same type. Stores can also vary their rules per location. Store deals may even have their own terms and conditions.
This can be overwhelming at first, but reading the fine print is a good habit to have. You should also check the coupon policy at your favorite stores.
Go Shopping Early
Stores may only allow you to redeem a deal “while supplies last.” That makes it worth shopping right away. Going early means you have more stock to choose from.
As a plus, there are fewer people around, giving you shorter lines, and making your trip much quicker.
Common Couponing Issues
Even master couponers run into obstacles. Knowing what they’ll be ahead of time can help you save time and frustration. Here are typical couponing problems, and how to solve them.
Some Stores Don’t Pay Overage in Cash
Overage refers to the extra cash that you get after applying coupons. For example, if you buy something that costs $3, and use a $5 off coupon, you have a $2 overage.
Overages are handled differently, based on the individual store. Some stores actually give the cashback to you, meaning that you get paid for shopping.
Not all stores, though. Instead, stores will sometimes apply the overage to other items in your cart. For example, your $2 overage can be used to pay for an item that is worth at least $2. You just got a $2 discount on that next item!
Solve this by getting items scanned in order. Extreme couponers will organize their items at checkout to get the most value from their coupons. This can be overwhelming for beginners, but it will definitely pay off.
Stores May Not Allow You to Use Two Coupons Simultaneously
Your local store may not allow you to stack two coupons. Even worse, some markets only allow you to stack coupons depending on the type of coupon it is.
Reading a store’s coupon policy (and knowing the different coupon types) can help you mitigate this.
A Store May Not Carry the Product You Have a Coupon for
You can plan and organize as much as you want. An item’s availability can still throw a wrench in your plans.
Most stores will give you a raincheck for the out of stock product at its sales price. So, hold on to your coupons if you get a raincheck and pair them with it when the product is back in stock. Just go to the customer service desk of your store and they will write you the raincheck ticket.
Why Sunday Coupon Inserts?
There are many couponing tips for beginners out there. One tip that people overlook is the value of coupon clipping services. You can have someone else find, organize, and mail your collection right to you. This saves a great deal of time that is otherwise spent hunting through newspapers.
Sunday Coupon Inserts offers multiple coupon insert options - you can choose the number of coupon inserts you want! Plus, they send coupons straight to your door every week. No more scouring for coupons to figure out if they’re worth using.
With a Weekly Subscription, you can leave the hard part of couponing to the experts. What’s more, Weekly Subscriptions are flexible. You can pause, change, or even cancel your subscription whenever you want.