When all our friends were together last month, while the guys spent time playing corn hole, the girls and I discussed coupons. We covered a lot that I hope helped. I loved hearing their questions about how to begin couponing.
Here’s what I tried to say – and what I think everyone should know when starting to use coupons. This is a list of the top 5 things all beginning couponers should know.
1. Learn all you can about couponing.
There is a wonderful world of savings available to you in coupons. All it takes is some patience and more practice to master couponing.
To learn, you must be willing to exhaust all the resources available to you. There are coupon websites (like this one) and coupon books.
2. Pick one area of couponing on which to begin working.
You don’t have to do it all at once. In fact, if you try to do it all at once, you’ll probably get overwhelmed. Start simple and pick one area on which you want to begin.
Are you going to buy a newspaper and start clipping coupons again? Are you going to try to save at least $5 every week at the grocery store? Do you want to learn how to play the drugstore game? Are you going to set a grocery budget for the first time ever? Are you going to sart menu planning around the sales?
Pick one area and go from there. As you master one area, you can add another and so on and so on.
For example, one of the easiest ways is to start using a coupon app. I use several but Ibotta is my favorite. (You can read more about why it’s the best coupon app here.) Ibotta is simple to use and allows you to stack your sale and coupon savings to save even more. In some cases, thanks to Ibotta, I actually make money on some of my purchases!
For example, if Creamette pasta is on sale for $0.49, I can use a $1/2 off coupon to get 2 boxes for free. Then, I can earn an additional $0.25 for the any pasta rebate at Ibotta . That’s a real example from Kroger! The deals do change at Ibotta every week but I can always find at least one rebate to redeem on every shopping trip.
If you haven’t joined Ibotta yet, now’s a great time to do so. Plus, when you redeem your first rebate, you’ll earn a bonus $10! That’s a great way to earn some extra free money for grocery shopping. You can read more about how Ibotta works here.
3. Watch your receipts.
Every single time – check your receipts. Get in the habit of watching the register and questioning any overages. It happens regularly.
Many times, the computers don’t have all the sales entered. For that reason, it is important to remember the prices you noticed on the aisles. If your item doesn’t ring up correctly, tell your cashier. They are (usually) more than happy to adjust it. If for some crazy reason they won’t adjust it, politely ask them to void the item so you don’t lose your savings. That’s my strategy.
4. Don’t give up and don’t get discouraged.
Couponing is hard work. It takes time. For a general rule of thumb, give yourself a couple of months to settle into a coupon routine.
There will be setbacks. It might seem like you are spending more initially, especially if you are trying to build a stockpile. It won’t always seem easy and it takes time. Commit to trying your best and you will learn how to save money.
5. Start today!
Don’t wait any longer. Don’t wait until you have more time or you’ve read all the books. Don’t wait and let months of savings pass you by. Coupons can save you money and now is your time to save!
Do you have any advice for those who are beginning couponing? Good luck to all couponers. It’s well worth your time!