Coupons, Part 1

Introduction to Coupons

Coupons – the tool of all good bargain hunters. I learned this skill from my Mom. When we were little, my sister and I used to help Mom clip coupons. Later, she allowed us to help sort out the coupons that were expired. Every time we went to the store, Mom always had her coupon box with her. It is no wonder that as soon as I was out on my own, I created my own coupon box. Yes, it takes time. Yes, it takes a bit of organization. To me, the rewards of saving money are well worth the time spent preparing and organizing my coupons.

Couponing has certainly changed – and is continuing to change – in our modern society. In the past, coupons were provided in the Sunday paper, but today, less coupon inserts are included. They are still there and I buy my paper every Sunday just for those coupons. Today, in addition to the newspaper inserts, we can print coupons online and even load electronic coupons to our store loyalty cards. I recommend using all of these aspects to fully utilize your savings. Over the course of my coupon series in the next three weeks, I will cover the various ways to collect coupons, how to organize coupons and most importantly, how to effectively start using coupons.

Beginning Couponing

There are varying degrees of couponers out there, so I will attempt to be relevant to all. For those of you who are already clip coupons, congratulations to you! While I am, admittedly, an avid couponer, there is always room for improvement! What is your best couponing tip? What is your favorite way to accumulate coupons?

For the new couponers, there is no better time to start than now. The first thing you need to do is collect coupons. The simplest way to do so is to buy the Sunday paper. While you can certainly subscribe, you don’t have to subscribe to get the coupons. My husband and I pick up the paper on our way home from church every Sunday. The next step is to cut the coupons. Some people would say only to cut the coupons only for products they use, but I recommend cutting all coupons. You never know when you might find a great bargain on a brand that you don’t normally use, thanks to a coupon! The only coupons I don’t cut are those for products I would never use. For example, we don’t have any pets so I don’t clip any pet food coupons. Go through your Sunday paper and start clipping this week. Consider this your homework, and we’ll continue with this series after you’ve collected your coupons.

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