LEARNING THE ROPES

 
When I first started using coupons 2 years ago I read just about everything I could find about how to do it before I ever made a trip to the store and I recommend you do the same! With each new page I went to I learned something that may not have been mentioned on the previous one! There is a lot to learn but do not get discouraged! To coupon effectively takes a lot of work but it is well worth the time invested in learning how to do it properly!

 

My best advice is to:

1. Read-Do your homework! There are many pages out there that can teach you how to use coupons! You do not need to pay someone to teach you when there are so many websites out there that you can learn from for FREE! After all this is about SAVING money!

2. Start out slow…Make one or 2 deals like the ones I post on this page… Remember Rome was not built in a day! As your confidence builds with each successful coupon trip step up your game!

3. Do not fall into the trap of buying things your family does not use…This is wasted money! Just because something is cheap or even FREE does not mean you should get it! (unless of course it is something you plan to donate!) YOU DO NOT HAVE TO DO EVERY DEAL!

4. If you plan to build a stockpile make sure you do not go overboard! Buying 20 jars of mayo because it is cheap and you have that many coupons is not cost effective if your family cannot use all of it before the expiration date! Always rotate your stockpile items so the one with the longest date is in the back! Also make sure you have the space for the amount of things you plan to keep in your stockpile! You do not want to have your stockpile take over your whole house! When I started mine I started with things we use on a daily basis…Laundry soap, deodorant, toothpaste etc…

5. Know the coupon policies of the stores you plan to shop at! Your whole trip can be in ruins if you do not understand the policies! I have posted notes with the policies for our local stores! It is easier to learn one store at a time…Do not feel you have to learn them all right away! Some stores policies are pretty confusing (Walgreens for example) so make sure to print them out for reference and review them before you plan your trip!

6. Plan your trips out! I sit down and make a plan as to what I am buying and how much of each item I am going to get along with the price of the item. I then pull the coupons for each item and arrange them in order of the stores floor plan in an envelope with the stores name written on the front. As I go through the store I either write down or cross off each item as I put them in my cart. This makes it so much easier to shop and also ensures that I am buying in the amounts I need to!

7. Do not panic if things do not work out like you planned! This can happen to all of us and you have to just roll with it! Sometimes the store may be out of an item you planned to purchase as part of a mega sale. This happened to me the other day so I improvised! Went to the store to purchase some of that $0.25 pop that are part of the buy 6 save $3.00 deal…They only had 5 bottles left on the shelf…So I grabbed the 5 and then threw in a mac & cheese to make my 6! Problem solved!

8. Try and be respectful to other shoppers and couponers! I have been known to not only leave extra coupons on the shelves next to products for others to use but to also approach other shoppers and give them coupons when I see they are buying something I have an extra coupon for. If you have a BIG order or are planning to do multiple transactions let the people behind you in line know your checkout may take a while so they can decided if they want to go to another line! Also please do not be a shelf clearer! (unless there are only a few of that item left) While the early bird may get the worm it is also nice to leave product on the shelf for that lady who does not have much money and really NEEDS that item for her family! Rude and greedy couponers give all of us a bad name and that in turn hurts us all in the end!

 

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