Couponing Tips and Tricks: Just started couponing and already overwhelmed? I can help!

I can’t tell you how many people I’ve talked to, or received e-mails or comments from, who are completely lost and overwhelmed with the world of couponing! And I can see their point. If you log on to any coupon site, you’ll see upwards of 30 posts a day with numbers and slashes and abbreviations that make up the bulk of the content, it’s confusing! I get it.

I won’t pretend to be some expert couponer, and I don’t know everything about every store, but I’ve figured out a few tips and tricks over the past few years that have helped me save a lot of money in a little amount of time. They may not work for all of you, but for those completely lost and overwhelmed, hear me out. I might be able to help you!

Tip #1:  If you are brand new to coupons, DON’T start by getting a newspaper subscription! I know that’s probably the last thing you expected me to say :). Now, if your ready to go completely crazy and have a large amount of time to spend, you may want to. But if you’re brand new and not quit sure, a newspaper will overwhelm most of you and waste your time and money. I recommend you start by watching the coupon blogs (mine preferably :)) for deals that interest you. There are plenty of tester deals that you can try using printable coupons. If you see a really really great deal that you want to get, and stock up on, head over to a clipping service and buy a bulk amount of coupons. I prefer eBay. Just type in “blah blah coupon” and you’ll see lots of auctions. I always search for “Buy It Now” auctions, so I can be sure the coupons will arrive on time. You can generally snag 20 coupons for around $2 shipped, give or take depending on the coupon. Call ahead to your store where the deal will be and see if you can pre-order the amount you want. If you can’t, get to the store early!

Tip #2:  Once you have done a few of these deals, got that “Coupon High” from getting tons of stuff for cheap, assess if you have the time and commitment for newspaper subscription. Time for a confession: I do not always have a newspaper subscription. It’s true! There have been times over the past few years where I have had too much going on, or I was focused on something else, and I just couldn’t get around to shopping as often as I would have liked. I used the strategy in Tip #1 to keep my pantry stocked. However, if you do have the time and energy for a newspaper subscription, you will see an increase in your savings. You will be able to participate in a larger variety of deals and clearance finds that those without the subscription. You’ll need more than 1 paper (preferably 5 or 6) so call your local newspaper and ask for the “Coupon Special.” Once you have the coupons, organization is the key to success. There are different levels of organization, depending on your commitment and time needs. Check out my Couponing 101 for more details on this topic.

So those are my 2 tips for today. I plan on sharing my tips and tricks with you on a regular basis, so if you have any you want to share, leave a comment or send me an e-mail and I’ll try and post it! My kids are needing attention, so I’ll continue this discussion on my next Tips and Tricks post!  You can head over to Couponing 101 to get a few more tips in the meantime.

Comments

  • Ashley

    Thanks so much for this! I’m new to couponing and very very frustrated in the stores and I want to give up. I look forward to more tips down the line.

  • shelby

    Where do you find out about sales before they happen or about coupons that are going to be coming? I would love to know so that I can stock up! Thanks

    • Shelby – check the forums – Slickdeals.nte, Afullcup.com, Hotcouponworld.com, etc.. The ads for drugstores get scanned in 1 or 2 weeks early on the forums. The forums are harder to navigate and can be confusing for some but are a great resource for me when planning out deals.

      If others are interested, I can start posting more deals a week or so in advance. Let me know!

      Ashley – don’t give up! If your frustrated, just slow down and cut out some of the time your spending. Any savings is better than no savings!

  • You rock…I follow a few websites, but you are my favorite. I do get overwhelmed, but i am learning slowly that every good deal may not mean a good deal for me and it is okay to pass from time to time.

  • Pat

    I really like this. Have been couponing awhile. Would have appreciated this kind of info early on. Good job!

  • Bobbi

    I just started couponing and I am getting so overwhelmed. I’ve been reading everything you have on here, but the one thing I’m confused on is double coupons. How do you use them and how do you know when you can use them? Thanks for all your helpful tips. I’m determined to do this no matter how frustrated I get. 🙂

    • Double Coupons are tricky. It depende on where you live. Some stores double coupons daily automatically, they sometimes run specials where they even triple coupons (usually up to $1). In Idaho, where I live, Albertsons occsionally publishes “Twice the Value” coupons in their ad. You can use these with any manufacture coupon valued at $1 or less and Albertsons will double the coupon! I’ll try and write up a post about double coupons soon to help explain all the details!

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