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Yesterday I shared a fun free eBook with lots of simple ways to save money, use coupons, entertain your kids and more. Now it’s time to share 5 new simple tips.
Couponing is “in” there is no doubt about that. Just because everyone is doing it though doesn’t mean it is easy. For some of you this is a sea of abbreviations and terms that are Greek, and others of you see something that looks like math and you’re done!
It doesn’t have to be overwhelming or foreign. Here are 5 simple ways to get started couponing. I am assuming that you already understand the basic concepts, if you don’t read the learn to coupon page first then come and apply these 5 tips to get started with the least stress!
1. Don’t Cut Your Coupons
As you get started you will run into folks that have a large binder (or multiple binders) of clipped coupons. While this can help people feel they are saving more money, it also VERY time consuming. When you are just starting out, going that intense will only make you more frustrated.
Instead of cutting everything, try taking the inserts from the Sunday paper and filing them by the date in an accordion file. Then when you pull up your list of deals for the week cut only the coupons that you will need that week.
For example: You see SS 1/01 at the end of a coupon.
This means the coupon was in the Smart Source newspaper insert on January 1st.
2. Pick One Store to Shop
There is no need to run all over town getting every deal you see at every store. If you wait, you will see many of the same deals at the store you shop at. Grab what is on sale at your store this week and head home proud of your savings rather than frantic from a day of shopping.
3. It’s Okay To Not Use A Coupon
Yep, I just said that. One the most frustrating things for folks is when you see a coupon on your shopping list but you don’t have it. Because coupon inserts vary by region, you will never have all the coupons. It is better to buy something on sale without a coupon than it is to pay full price. Disregard the coupons you don’t have and shop away.
4. Everything Does Go On Sale
The number one excuse folks give me as to why they don’t coupon is, “The things I buy never go on sale”. Not true. Everything goes on sale. It may not be a wowing BOGO sale, but your favorite items do have a period that they are marked down. Start watching sales and you will eventually learn what a good price for your item is. For some items, don’t be afraid to think outside the box. We buy some gluten-free foods on Amazon, their prices for a bulk size package almost always beat the grocery store sale price.
5. Drop Brand Loyalties
If you just aren’t agreeing with #4… I promise you will save more money if you are willing to change up a few brands. There are a few brands that will never hit the sale prices of others in the same category. It doesn’t hurt to try a few others if you can get them for a fraction of the cost. Being content with a few different brands will also decrease the amount you need to stock up on, since you will see more frequent deals.
Hopefully these can help take away the stress that can be associated with couponing. Remember that anything you do to save money is better than saving nothing at all. Even if you aren’t up for being a “couponer” yet at least start small and save something!