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DIY: How To Start Couponing

Updated on August 6, 2015

Introduction To Couponing

Learning to coupon can be overwhelming, but don't worry, I am here to help you through the process. Remind yourself that is is just like learning a new job, but once you know your job and know it well, you keep getting better and better at it. I am not going to lie to you and tell you that in one week of couponing you will be bringing home thousands of dollars worth of stuff for absolutely nothing. The reason I won't tell you this is because, even some of the most experienced couponer's haven't been able to bring home that big of a haul.

Couponing takes time and patiance; if you take the time to learn it and get good at it, there is no reason why you wouldn't be capable of bringing in that big of a haul eventually.

My first big haul. Total before coupons $142.40. After coupons I paid $28 and some change.
My first big haul. Total before coupons $142.40. After coupons I paid $28 and some change. | Source

Lets Get Started

In order to start working with coupons, you are going to have to get some coupons first. Here are some tips on how and where to find good coupons on the cheap.

  • Neighbors, family and friends
  • Sunday papers
  • Online
  • Smartphone Apps
  • Paper Recycling Centers
  • Work
  • On products
  • At the stores on shelves and counter tops.
  • In store advertisements
  • Contact the the local newspaper company and see what they do with their left over Sunday papers when they pick them up. Chances are you can buy them super cheap or even have them given to you.
  • Hotels and Restaurants

Coupon Advice

My Coupon Set Up

Click thumbnail to view full-size
My coupons all organized and ready to go.Coupon Policy Section
My coupons all organized and ready to go.
My coupons all organized and ready to go. | Source
Coupon Policy Section
Coupon Policy Section | Source

Get Organized

A huge part of couponing has to do with organization. Cutting coupons is just half of the battle. Once your coupons are cut, what do you do next? How do you plan your shopping trip? Here are some suggestions on how to help get you organized for your shopping trips.

  1. Get a binder and fill it with baseball card sleeves and tabs to organize your coupons however you feel more comfortable. Insert the coupons inside of your binder separating and organizing them as you wish.
  2. If you do not have money for a binder, you can use envelopes as a cheap solution.
  3. Use a notebook to keep track of what coupons you are planning to use and for what items you are going to use your coupons with. You can also write down the price of the item before your coupon and the price after your coupon.
  4. Print out ALL of the stores coupon policies in which you plan on shopping and using your coupons at.
  5. Study the coupon policies for each store and keep them up to date. (they change frequently.)
  6. Pick up the stores monthly coupon booklet if they have one. (Wallgreens has one!)

Envelope Example

Envelope Example
Envelope Example | Source
Envelope Example
Envelope Example | Source

Got Time For A Question? Take The Pole.

What is your favorite coupon insert?

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Importance Of The Coupon Policy

When shopping at your local grocery store with your coupons there are going to be strict rules and guideline you must follow, don't fret however, even though the rules can be strict they are very simple to follow.

It is important to know your stores coupon policy, because there will be times when a cashier or even a manger will tell you that a certain coupon is not allowed because of whatever reason.

  • Sometimes the manager might not even be updated on the coupon policy.

Do not try to school the employee on their job, in a nice way pull out your coupon policy and let them know that you are aware of the coupon rules within the store and just point it out to them. Not knowing your coupon policy and/or not having it with you can make or break a good deal going on.

Where Do I Get The Stores Coupon Policy?

Here is a list of the stores that I know of that have the coupon policy available online for you to be able to print out. If by chance a store that you shop at is not on the list, you can check the stores website, or you can go to the store personally and ask someone at the customer service desk for a copy.

  • Target
  • Walmart
  • Wallgreens
  • Rite Aid
  • CVS
  • Dollar Tree

Example Print Out of Target Coupon Policy

Target Coupon Policy Example
Target Coupon Policy Example | Source

Start Out Small

  • The most exciting shopping trip s going to be the very first one, not saying you won't get a rush every time you coupon because every couponer does. Point being, start out your first shopping trip as a small one. A shopping trip that is not to complicated and has easy deals.
  • If the first shopping trip does not succeed the way you had hoped, it could damage the way you feel about using coupons in general, so do not let that happen. Using coupons is a very effective tool to help save you money on every day items and even items you hardly use, but it would be nice to have in the stockpile.

Introduction To Couponing Video

Couponing Videos

If you enjoy watching couponing video's it won't hurt to get as much information as you can. Every couponer organizes their coupons and binders differently, so it would be a good idea to get many different examples of how to organize and choose what works best for you and what you are specifically wanting to do.

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