Monday, March 2, 2009

Seven Tips to Couponing

1) Stay Organized
Overall organization is critical to maintaining sanity and realizing long term value. There is nothing worse in couponing than going into a store unorganized. Have your list, your coupons, and know your sale. Leave the rest in the car. A little prep work in needed before you hit the stores. You can see how to organize your coupons Here.


2) Know the Code
There is a secret formula. A sale + a MFR (manufacturer) coupon + a store/competitor coupon = freebies, moneymakers, and cheap items. When possible combine these THREE things. In addition to the secret formula, you need to know the acronyms (see my side bar for examples.)


3) Be Flexible
Break from brand loyalties, there are a lot of great coupons out there if you are willing to try new things.


4) Learn to Stockpile
When there is an amazing sale combined with a large coupon you must stockpile. Know your store sales, how frequently things go on sale and then save enough until the next sale. This might mean you need several copies of a coupon…getting multiple copies of newspapers is a good idea.


5) Reward Cards Are Your Friend
Many stores offer great incentives only for those who are reward card holders. Sometimes it is best to get reward cards of stores not even in your area because some stores will take those competitors’ coupons.


6) Understand the Fine Print
Make sure you read the details so you truly understand what is on sale and what items for the coupon will work. Most manufacturers display the most expensive item on face of the coupon. Consumers look at the picture and select that item. If you read the fine print there might be a cheaper item for which you could get the discount (one example is a trial size item.)


7) Don’t Reinvent the Wheel
Frugal Coupon Living has done the work for you. Don’t get stressed trying to plan your shopping list. Use this resource and other resources like it to see what is on sale each week and what is matched to a coupon. If you do not have the coupon, don’t buy the item unless your family is in need (sales are good, but they are even better with coupons.) Look at my shopping lists then create your own list.

11 comments:

Jackie said...

Ashley,

Who "counts" as a competitor? I understand using Food Lion at Publix for example, but could I use a Walgreens coupon at Walmart? A Publix coupon at CVS? What are the limits for competitor coupons?

Frugal Coupon Mom - frugalcouponmom@gmail.com said...

Jackie,
You need to check with your local grocery stores to see how takes competitor coupons. In my area, only Publix does.

Tamara said...

Ashley,
I am new to this whole couponing thing. I have been cutting manufacture coupons for a few months now out of the paper but how do you get so many store coupons to be able to double? I have never had a manufacture coupon and a store coupon for the same item.
Thanks

Frugal Coupon Mom - frugalcouponmom@gmail.com said...

Tamara,
You will need to check with your local grocery stores to see who doubles them. There are many resources available on the web to tell you what to buy this week. Do you see your grocery story on my website? Many stores have stopped doubling, but it still exists. Publix doubles in places other than FL.

Kristi said...

I'm very interested in couponing but the problem I seem to run into is finding coupons on items that I actually buy. All the coupons I find are for things I never use. I've checked Sunday papers and even searched online but I have a Macintosh so finding a coupon site that I can print coupons on is tough sometimes.

xrayjenn said...

Can I use more than one coupon on the same item? A store coupon PLUS a MFR coupon? Thanks for your website! =)

Frugal Coupon Mom - frugalcouponmom@gmail.com said...

yes, xrayjenn. you can!

tyson & jhanna said...

i feel like i am missing something..i am starting a binder and the acordian folder with the envelopes but i am a bit confused about your "shopping lists" that you keep mentioning copying and pasting? its probably right under my nose. thanks

ssteudlein said...

Yes, please elaborate on the "shopping lists". I can't find what you're talking about on your site. Thanks, I'm learning so much on your site!

Patty Arnold said...

When I clicked on "Here" to see your coupon organization, it sends me to your old site but then immediately goes back to this site. (End result: can't see your coupon organization system!) Help please!

Frugal Coupon Living said...

Patty, that happens when you move websites. Sorry about that. Thank you for letting me know the link was broke. It should be working now.