Couponing 101

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The Basics

I LOVE SAVING MONEY especially with couponing. It is really fun at lease for me to watch my total go down all because of coupons. You just might be amazed at the amount of money you can save by using coupons (and no you don’t need to be an extreme couponer to save big money with coupons). If you are new to couponing, here are some of the basics to couponing.

  • Knowledge is power with couponing study and learn your skill.
  • How to maximize your saving means matching coupons to sales. Waiting for the right sale means you maximize your saving and reaping the befits of paying a small amount or nothing at all (meaning FREE products).
  • Make sure your looking for couponing everywhere! Keep your eyes open. You will be surprised where you will find coupons. Check out Where can I find coupons? to learn more.
  • Keep your coupons organized in a way that you are comfortable with. The key to being successful at couponing is be ORGANIZED.Some people cut out all the coupons and use baseball card holders to organize them in a binder. I personally do not cut out my coupons until I need them. I have all my coupons inserts sorted by date and store them in a file box. I have binder for other coupons. I have tried several different methods before I settled on this one.
  • If your new to couponing take your time! Learning how to coupon is a process. If you can partner up someone and go shopping together, is the best to learn, ideally if you can do it with an experienced couponer you will learn much quicker.
  • Make sure you know the stores coupon policy and carry with you a copy of that policy just in case.
  • Set up a separate email for coupons/samples/freebies/etc so you don't flood your personal email with spam.
  • A big NO NO in the coupon world is copying coupons. This hurts not only stores but also couponers who are doing it right. I personally want to be able to coupon until the end of time but if people are doing the wrong things then we wont to coupon until the end of time. Not to mention it is FRAUD and you can be arrested for this.
  • To successful you need to understand what the coupon's "fine print" means.
    • Some coupons limit how many "like" coupons can be used per transition or person.
    • Some coupons limit how many "like" coupons can be used per "shopping trip" or "transition".
    • The term one coupon per purchase means you can use one coupon per item purchases.

Coupons 101: Store and Manufacture

  • Stores release store coupons that are valid only in that particular store, unless another store coupon's policy states they take "competitor store coupon" . They typically say their store name next to the expiration date. Store coupons can always be combined with manufacturer coupons for extra/maximum savings.
  • If you end up with overage because of using a store and manufacture coupon SOME stores will let you can apply that toward other things in your order. Make sure you buy something else to absorb the overage, because the store will likely not give you money back (Walmart is suppose to).
  • Store coupons sometimes have minimum purchase requirements.
  • Watch the wording on store coupons. Some of them will say “limit one item per coupon” — which means, technically, that you could grab another ad, cut out another coupon, and get another item with your second coupon. Some of them will say “limit one coupon per customer” or “limit one coupon per transaction.” In that case, you can only use one per shopping trip.
  • The Catalina coupons that print out for savings off a particular item are typically manufacturer coupons. You should be able to use these at other stores. You cannot combine them with other manufacturer coupons.Catalina can also be money off your purchase and can be combined with other manufacturer coupons.
  • Manufacturer coupons will generally say “manufacturer coupon” at the top. Store coupons will generally say something like “Only at ___________(store name)” or “________(store name) Coupon” and will not have the manufacturer coupon wording.
  • You can use both store and the manufacture because the store is picking up the tab for one coupon, and the manufacturer is picking up the tab for the other. You can never combine two manufacturer coupons on the same item (There are some stores that allow BOGO coupons to be used with $ off coupon). One manufacturer coupon per item, and generally one store coupon per item.
  • Ideal scenario is to use a store coupon with a manufacture and with an app.