Couponing

Let’s face it, couponing is becoming the “cool” thing to do these days.  Many women are doing it and you’ve probably envied them for their money saving ways.  While it takes quite a lot of time to break into the “extreme couponing” sphere, there are a lot of ways you can start saving money, without spending enormous amounts of time hiding your face in the newspaper.  You don’t have to let couponing take over your life to see it make an impact on your family’s finances.

Here are a few tips for the first-time or new couponers.

1. Get Coupons!
Before you can start couponing you first need to find your coupons.  You can get these from the newspaper, in the store, online, or from family and friends.  Multiple newspapers equal multiple coupons.  Most online coupons allow you to print them twice for more savings.

2. Focus on One Store
When beginning, don’t try to shop at Walmart, Walgreens, Albertsons and Broulims every week.  Learn the coupon policies for one store and master that store first.  Find out if they have a loyalty program and if they double/ triple coupons.

3. Plan, Plan, Plan
There are lots of ways to plan your grocery trips.  Check the weekly ads for what is on sale and plan your menu that week based on what you can get cheap.  Make a list of what you are going to buy.  Use price match!  Stores like Walmart will match any price from another store.  Just bring in the ad from the competition and they will lower their price at the register.  

4. Make a price book
Keep track of the prices of your favorite items at different stores.  This will help you know when a deal is really a deal.  After a few months, you will be able to see how the sales cycle in a specific store.

Online, you can find plenty of more detailed tips for new couponers.  There are whole websites dedicated to helping people become successful couponers.  The main thing is to not be overwhelmed with the task at hand.  Remember that couponing takes time and there will be a learning curve but sticking to it will be a blessing to you and your family as you are able to take control of your food budget and do more with less!

Sources:
Krazy Coupon Lady. (2012). [Web log message]. Retrieved from http://thekrazycouponlady.com/beginners/

A beginners guide to couponing. (2009, January 6). Retrieved from http://www.couponing101.com/a-beginners-guide-to-couponing/ 
Pictures:
http://www.babble.com/home/extreme-couponing-series-premiere-top-3-couponing-tips/
http://beautifulbrowngirls.com/2012/03/01/not-so-extreme-couponing/