There is no really easy way to coupon. I wish I could say there was, however you just have to learn as you go and be patient. I want to give you some tips on how I have learned to coupon and to this day I am still learning and discovering new secrets.
Once you become more familiar you will start to feel guilty for walking into a store without a coupon. Couponing is time consuming, but you can end up saving a lot of money (and even make money if done correctly). It is very exciting when you suddenly see your paypal account grow or you receive a check in the mail because you used the right coupon or app rebate. Not to mention how awesome it is to discover the item that everyone else is purchasing full price you are walking out of the store with it free and with a smirk on your face as you stare down all those angry customers complaining about all these high prices! Yes, it takes some time and work to coupon, if it were easy everyone would be doing it and coupons would be no more. (Recently, we were in Rite-Aid, and I saw a coupon lying on the ground so I picked it up. It was a $4 coupon off of $10, so I found a promotion currently running on Listerine Mouthwash that allowed me to get 2 bottles literally for FREE that I wouldn’t have gotten if I didn’t pick up that coupon.)
Today, I am going to share with you some helpful tips to help you get started on your savings and freebies! After all, it’s up to you to start saving for your home.
First things first, never use your own personal or work email to sign up for coupon websites or freebie sites. Take it from someone who discovered this the unfortunate way (…me). I wish I had done my research before all the overwhelming daily spam emails started to flood my account. So before you begin signing up for anything, your first step should be creating a new email account made specifically for couponing and freebies!
Setting up another email account is 100% free and super easy. Just pick a provider, gmail.com, yahoo.com and outlook.com are all good. I’m not going into the nitty-gritty on setting up an account, just follow the instructions on the site that you choose and you should be up and running in no time. (If you have any questions or need help, please leave us a comment on our blog or send us an email and we will be glad to help you get started).
Second, you’re going to need a good printer. I’m not kidding. Take my word for it, you will be printing many in years to come if you start couponing. An inkjet printer will work, but Jason recommends going with a Laser printer. The upfront cost will be a bit higher, but the cost/page will be SUBSTANTIALLY lower when you’re printing off coupons (and anything else that’s black and white). InkJet printers are nice for occasional printing, but the cost of the cartridges really adds up compared to laser printers. We personally use an HP LaserJet P1102w with these cartridges and it works wonders. We’ve had the printer for years now, and the thing just keeps printing and printing. The wireless portion is a bit of a trick to setup (you have to have a home wireless router, and be able to get into it and configure it), but you can always just use the USB cable with this model if you can’t get the printer connected wirelessly.
Third, keep your coupons and shopping lists organized and on-hand. You want to invest in a coupon organizer. I cannot stress the importance of this. Take it from someone who decided to not have one and walked into the store with a stack in her hand just to end up seeing each one gently make its way to the ground. I could almost hear the pro’s walking by saying “rookie.” Lesson learned and now I am passing this onto you. Have a coupon organizer! They are inexpensive and so worth the investment! Also, I recommend a cheap pocket folder to keep your grocery lists inside as well as any other lists, store policy, pen, etc… I have to admit walking in the store the first time with a folder made me feel a bit awkward and like I was doing an assignment for high school but after the third time I started to realize just how much I needed it and my coupon organizer.
Ok, so enough already where do you get these coupons and all of the freebies?
Thankfully, today there are numerous sites and pages that help you with coupons and savings. However, this can be way overwhelming trying to find the right one. I will briefly go through and list some of the one I use and if you have any that you recommend please feel free to leave a comment. I always love hearing of new ways to save!
When first starting to coupon, I remember searching Google for some helpful sites and I found some (links are posted below). One that popped up and seemed to be mentioned a lot was the site couponclipinista. There isn’t a whole lot of information on couponing on this site however; there are tons of ways to win freebies and participate in giveaways. You can sign up on the website to receive text messages and emails when giveaways go live so you aren’t missing out. Another website is the Krazy Coupon Lady. I will have to say, this is by far the best coupon site I have found that works for our home. Again, you can sign up to receive emails so you never miss out on a great deal. What I like about this site is how easy it is to operate and isn’t very busy. On the top of their page there is a header where you can select the store of your choice in which you will be doing your shopping. Once selected, there will give you lists of deals for the day and the week. What I have found to be the perk of the website is how you can select the deals you want to use and it automatically makes a “shopping list” of how to apply your coupons, rebates, etc so you can print it off so there is no need to write it all down on paper unless you want to.
The trick to couponing is knowing where to find the best coupons and how to use them. If you don’t understand how to coupon you will end up very frustrated at the checkout counter and never wanting to coupon again. Don’t let this happen to you! To prevent this headache, be sure to have a plan beforehand and know what to expect so there are no sudden surprises! I found this article extremely helpful when I was trying to learn the coupon lingo:
I highly recommend taking their 10 day study to learn about couponing. You will not be disappointed. You can even purchase their book, Pick Another Checkout Lane, Honey, on Amazon to learn how to stop throwing all your money away at the grocery store. I have a copy that I purchased and it was such a great investment! You can purchase yours here also.
So, now that you know the coupon lingo you need to start clipping and filling up your coupon organizer! I find the best places to find my coupons are on the Internet and in the Sunday Newspaper inserts (look for RedPlum, P&G inserts and SmartScource). The Internet has several places to download and print coupons you just have to search harder for them. I’ll go into all of that in Part 2 of my guide to Couponing.