Saturday, May 22, 2010

5. A few other Couponing things . . .

I've posted the very basics of couponing and hope it's been helpful. There is plenty more to learn, but my advice is to definitely start small and go from there. You will catch on as you go.

Here are just a few more helpful things to know as you begin:

  • If you are ever confused about your stores' couponing policy, just go to customer service and ask. When I first started, I did this because I was confused about a few things at a particular store. It definitely helped me to understand how a few things work at that store. 
  • For Example: Check with the stores you shop at to see if they double coupons daily. I didn't realize it for a while when I started, but there are 2 stores in my area that double all coupons below 50 cents, EVERYDAY! That means that if you have a coupon that is 50 cents or below, it is actually worth double the value! So a 50 cent coupon is really worth $1.00!!!  Find out!
  • If have a Walgreens or CVS in your area, it is definitely worth the time to figure out how to coupon there. That is where you can get a lot of free stuff because of their Register Rewards / Extra Care Bucks. Basically, you buy something and they give you a coupon worth that same amount to use on your next purchase (which makes it free.) Then the next week you use that coupon to buy something else that gives you another coupon worth money, and you just keep rolling it over....getting free stuff every week! 
  • Choose your stores. With 2 little boys in tow, I've come to realize that I just cannot go to every single store and get every single good deal that is available! I just can't. So, I've narrowed my couponing down to about 4 stores that I go to weekly. Sometimes it's just 2, and if I have extra time or an extra good deal, I might go to 5. But 4 works for me. And, of course, they are the 4 that most often have the best deals.
  • Choose your time. Figure out a schedule that works for you. For example, it works best for me to have Monday be my couponing day. That is when I do it all (Previous Post: How I coupon). When I first started, it seemed like I was going out everyday to a different store trying to get the good deals while I could. I went to tons of stores and it was eating up all my time and was very challenging....especially with my boys. As much as I love couponing, there are many OTHER things I want to do with my time and with my family. So, I decided Monday was the only day! And after that, I put away couponing until the next week. It works best for me! 
  • Check out some Mail in Rebates! This is another way that I have gotten things for free....AND a few times I've actually made more money than I spent! (I love it when that happens.) Usually they are listed on the websites you look at. Sometimes they are in the Sunday inserts. Keep your eyes peeled.
  • Remember how much you are saving! Coupons are like money. Seriously. If you are going to buy something and have a $1.00 coupon, you are basically holding a dollar in your hand! ALSO, couponing DOES take some time, but as a stay at home mom, I've realized that the time I spend couponing is kind of like a small job....because the money that we save stays in our savings instead of being spent, and it is like earning an income! 
  • However confusing or time-consuming couponing may seem at first, just know that if you keep going, it gets much easier, and much faster. To me, it's worth the investment of time and learning for what you get out of it!
I hope all of this random information about couponing has been helpful this week. If you have any questions, let me know!!!

Good luck!!! $$$$$


Rob and Marseille said...

teach us specifically how to coupon at walgreens!

familyofthree said...

I love couponing, too! I get such a thrill out of seeing my price go lower and lower... silly, I know, but I feel the same as you -- being a SAHM, I feel like it's part of my job to make our money go as far as it possibly can. :)

Oh, one other thing I started doing a couple months ago was price matching! Walmart is where I have to go to do this b/c Kroger (and as far as I know, Target and other stores) won't do that. I pull out the ads for all the stores I know I won't make it to in the week, select the best deals from all of them, and get all the savings in one spot! :) The only bad thing is that Walmart does not double coupons (man, that'd be great!!!) and also that electronic coupons won't work there as they don't have a "shopper's card" to link them to. Here's a post I wrote a while back about price matching, but I know I've put other things up on my blog from time to time:

Now, here's a question for you... can you combine regular coupons with a "register rewards" item at Walgreen/CVS? I tried to do this a few weeks ago on some diapers, and the cashier wouldn't take the coupon. Do you ever have that problem??