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Coupons : The Basic Starter Plan for Beginners
Turning Coupons into Cash
Where to acquire your coupons
Here are a few ways to build your "coupon stockpile". It is best to utilize more than one source so you can generate the most diverse collection of coupons and acquire the largest quantity possible. A broad diversity of coupons allows you to save on more items on your shopping list and the multiple quantities of individual coupons allows for taking advantage the "stock-up" factor on your most used items. Go Wide, Go Deep, Go Save.
1. Subscribe to one or more different Sunday newspapers that offer a coupon section. Often you will find that different papers offer different coupon inserts. The cost of the Sunday only (or Wednesday/Sunday) papers are easily covered by the savings from just 1-3 individual coupons.
2. Visit online coupon sites and sign up for those that offer the types of coupons you use on a regular basis. Some grocery stores have programs where you can "load" coupons from online directly to you store card and they will automatically come off at the register. Also, visit manufacturer sites to see what offers they may have available.
3. Ask friends and family to save their coupons for you if they are not using them.
4. Engage in coupon trading with friends who are also coupon savers; some areas have local coupon trading meetings at locations such as public libraries and other convenient locations. .
Organizing : Easy to Find = Easy to Use
After cutting out all your coupons it is important to keep them organized. If they are not organized well, you will likely have many expire before they are used or get lost altogether.
1. Get a index card file box and tabbed index card dividers. Categorize each section either according to food/item type or according to each isle in the store you do your primary shopping. Pick the system that will work best for you. I like organizing by isle at my primary store, but either will work.
Another option is to use protective sheets like those used for business cards, baseball cards or post cards. These can be put into a 3-ring binder and each sheet can be a different category or isle and each section of the sheet can be used for even more "sub-categories".
2. Place coupons in their proper section; for same or similar products place them in order of expiration date. This way you won't "lose" coupons to the Expiration Date Void.
3. Periodically, usually when you add new coupons, take out expired coupons.
Biggest Bang for Your...Coupon
Find out what your favorite stores offer as their coupon policies. You can ask at their courtesy desk or go online to find out all the facts.
1. DOUBLING - Some will double manufacturer coupons, but may differ in how they do it. Some will double a 75¢ coupon to $1.50, while other will only double it up to $1.00. Some stores have offered limited time Tripling as well.
2. LIMITS - Find out if their is a limit to the number of the same coupons you can use on the same day. Also, check if they have a total coupon limit per day. This is important to determine if you can "stock-up" on certain items or not.
3. COMBINING - Do they allow you to combining store coupons with manufacturer's coupons? Can you use multiple coupons on multi-packs.
Giving Back...Paying it Forward...
Anything we do we should find ways to give back to others. Here are two easy ways to use your coupon-ing prowess to do just that.
1. While you are in the isles or at check-out and you see other shoppers getting items that you have extra coupons for...give them some that they need. Another reason to stock-up on multiples.
2. Stock-up on non-perishables and extra cans goods during sales and then donate to your local food-bank or women's shelter.
Give back...it's better than just saving.