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How To Coupon-tips For Beginners
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Over the last few years, the economy and job market have made it difficult for most of us to get by. Because of this, many of us had to get creative with our budget. Personally, my family’s budget is so tight, I feel guilty when I have to spend $20 on a haircut. But a few months ago, my “ah-ha moment” came. Trying to figure out where the money had gone that week, I totaled up how much we spent for groceries and realized the grand total came to $175. For 2 people. Enough was enough. It was time to learn how to coupon.


Now, I had done the couponing thing in the past. I spent time clipping and organizing them and once in a while I even used a few of them. But then life got busier and eventually one day I told myself it wasn’t worth it and just stopped. But after my “ah-ha” moment, I started paying attention to things my frugal friends were “liking” on facebook. Things like “Tide” detergent. And Red Plum deals. And Coupon Divas. I wondered, “Could these sites really help?” I “liked” them too. I went to their websites. I tried their tips, printed their coupons. The answer? Yes, they really can.


Where do I start?


One of my favorite “normal couponing” websites is Coupon Divas. Every week I go to their “Weekly Match Ups” section, which is a listing by store of what deals can be matched with which coupons or simply what really hot sales there are that week. There are even videos (and if you are a visual learner like me this really helps) detailing how to get your coupon binder started, where to find the best coupons, how to coupon stack, using their online tools (like printing a shopping list with your coupon match ups), and more. They will talk you through the beginning stages of how to coupon. Their facebook page is another great resource. One of the most important things Kitty, the face of Coupons Divas, will tell you in the “Make a Coupon Binder” video is START SLOW. Don’t make yourself crazy. Clip 1 or 2 sets of coupon inserts, get those in your binder, make your list and get shopping. You don’t want to spend so much time clipping and organizing multiple sets of coupons that by the time you get them in your binder it’s time to take them out.


Know Your Coupon Policies


One of the most important things to get a handle on when you are learning how to coupon is each store’s coupon policy. I know what you’re thinking-“How am I supposed to memorize each store’s coupon policy??” Well my couponing friend, you don’t have to! Sites like Coupon Divas have links to many different stores’ coupon policies on their site. Click it, print it out, read it once, and throw it in your binder (see “How to Make a Coupon Binder” above if you haven’t already). This way you can refer to it when you are in the middle of a shopping trip and are wondering, “Do I need to buy 5 boxes of brownies because this coupon says buy 2 get one free and the sale is buy 1 get one free??” If you have your handy dandy coupon policy, you will refer to it and might realize “No, in fact I only need to put 3 of those brownie boxes in my cart to get this incredible deal!” It might not make sense now, but trust me, you will thank me later.



Ready, Set…


The main thing to remember when you’re starting out is HAVE FUN! Don’t get yourself stressed. You don’t have to learn everything there is to know in 5 minutes. Take your time, hunt around, and before you know it you will be saving! Weekly match ups are really the easiest way to begin seeing incredible savings within the first few weeks. And you’ll be shopping at stores you are already familiar with. And once you do start saving, it will become addicting and will encourage you to learn more and save more. And pretty soon you will be a pro and teaching others how to coupon. So get out there and save, save save!!

Street Talk

Hi, if you want to check out one of my friends who's big with doing coupons, her name is Ashley Goad. You can probably find her just by searching on Street Articles. I'm not very knowledgeable in this field so thanks for sharing.

  about 1 decade ago

Thanks so much Seth! Your article on how to increase clickthroughs was really helpful! Working on my next article now and am looking forward to implementing your suggestions. PS-Steve "IveTriedThat" was asking about you in chat the other day. He was wondering if you were still with W.A.

  about 1 decade ago
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