Getting Started

Its easy for people who been couponing to get started, whats challenging is for someone who has never seriously couponed to navigate around the coupons available and matching the sales to the available coupons. You must decide if you are going to be brand loyal or are you willing to try products that are similar to what you are used to buying but a different brand. Many people can't even think about using a brand they have never tried, most people if a coupon is not available for their favorite item they either don't buy it or pay full price, which is a no no!!

May people also swear or live by shopping at club stores, they in my opinion are only good for if you own a store and need to stock your shelves. They do not offer large savings even though you are buying in bulk, IE you buy a 10lb bag of rice a warehouse store for $10, why? When there are coupons for you to get 10- 1lb bags of rice for FREE!!Just because its a larger size you are not getting a large savings, Ill take free over $10 any day of the week.

There is a method to what at times may seem as couponing madness but actual its a very well planned out system. So here you will find extremely useful tips to help guide you to increase your grocery savings weekly not just once in a while.
  • If you have never read your store coupon policies do so now, make a copy of them and keep them with you on your shopping trips. Also check them regularly because policies change without warning and you always want to adhere to your stores policy.
  • Next if you do not have a printer, get one! Many stores like Kmart, Target and Wal Mart have printers at great prices, always comparison shop but make sure you check the ink prices as well,its no point getting a printer if the ink cost just as much.
  • Now that you have your polices and printer you have to organize the coupons your going to get. I use the binder method. A 3- ring binder with baseball card inserts( check your local dollar store, but can also be found at Staples, Office Max and Office Depot) and dividers to categorize your coupons. You have to find a method that's works for you and will help you stay organized, theres nothing worse than an expired coupon! In my binder I keep a calculator and small pair of scissors.
  • Start getting your local newspaper delivered at home. See what paper may be offering a special for a trial period or for daily delivery instead of the weekend edition. My local paper the weekly sales flyer are in the Thursday paper, some people get theirs in the sleeve that is delivered on your door step already for FREE.
  • When you start couponing to build a stock pile you will notice for about the 1st 6-8weeks you will be spending the same amount on groceries, however you will be getting so much more for your money and building a couponers most prized possession, your stock pile. A stockpile is your own in house grocery store! This is what stops you from having to run out in the middle of the night for cereal in the morning, or last minute lunch and dinner fixings.
  • You have to decide what is going to be your rock bottom price for items. Myself I refuse to pay more that .50 for a box of cereal or more than .99 for laundry detergent. Once you get familiar with the sale cycles of your local grocery store you can determine how much of what item you need to stockpile on at what time of the year. Remember stores sale cycles are usually every 9-12 weeks repeating themselves, and specific items at certain times of the year are always on sale again.
  • Another great thing about coupon is a a marketing company called Catalina! They are AWESOME! A Catalina is a coupon that prints from the little printer next to the register and is given to you when you buy certain products and saves you money on your next purchase!! e.g Buy 4 Dawn, Joy or Gain Dish washing Detergent at .88 each and get a $3 Catalina for use on your next purchase of ANYTHING! Meaning you now just got paid $3 to use towards meat or produce for buying dish detergent! To sweeten the deal use your Dawn coupons and get what is referred to as a Money Maker! Use 4-.25(doubled to $0.50 each) Dawn coupons buy 4 Dawns Pay $1.52 get back a Catalina for $3.00, you just got paid $1.48!!!!
  • Did you know Supermarkets pay you for using your own reusable bags? Get paid $0.05 for every reusable bag, comes stores also pay you if you bring in your own plastic bags $0.03 per bag!! SO take your own bags to the store!!!!!
These are just some beginning tips to help you get started. You should use which ever method helps you stay organized. It is fun to have a "Couponing Buddy" so recruit a friend to start with you! and as always Miss Tina is here to help whenever you need it :)

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