I've been trying it for a few weeks now and think I'm getting pretty good at it. So as I coupon this summer I'll try to keep everyone up to date on exactly what sales I'm doing and what combinations I'm trying.
I'll start off with a few tips I've picked up in the last couple of weeks.
Tip 1) Don't just think coupons come in the newspaper!! Yes you can get some great coupons out of the Sunday paper but don't forget the Internet! Most stores take printed coupons now so take advantage. I use coupons.com to print some fantastic deals. Search for your products on facebook. A lot of times for just 'liking' a page you can go to a tab that lets you print REALLY good coupons. I'll also google products I like and sometimes their personal website will have a coupon option to print from. There are other sources for Internet coupons, these are just my favorite ways to get them.
Tip 2) Don't use a coupon the week you clip it unless it's a GREAT deal. The coupons don't expire right away so hold onto them looking for the best deal and then jump on it!
Tip 3) 'Like' couponing pages on Facebook. Those women will keep you up to date on the last minute sales and direct you to printable coupons for the products. They will also do a run down of sale fliers for the week and coupon match ups. VERY helpful for a beginner.
Tip 4) Try to always match a coupon with a sale price. Look at your sale fliers and then see if you have coupons for the products.
Tip 5) You can stack a store coupon, manufacturer coupon and a sale price! This is how free products happen!! Target lets you print coupons from their site and they will send you a text with coupons in it and both options can be matched with a coupon you clipped or printed.
Tip 6) Don't expect extreme savings overnight!! I'm trying to master one store's coupon policy before moving onto the next. Right now I'm working on Rite Aid. Now if I see a good deal at Walgreens or Target I'll go after it but I'm concentrating all my energies on Rite Aid. No particular reason except it's right down the street from my work and I like their Wellness Program.
Tip 7) Take advantage of store programs like Rite Aids Wellness Program. You get money back on your next purchase a lot of times and many times there is a survey for $3 off $15 at the bottom of your receipt. I ALWAYS shop with one of these coupons.
Tip 8) Don't buy it unless you have a need for it!! If your family won't use it then it's not a deal!! The only way it's a deal is if it's dirt cheap or free and it's something you could donate. Like I'm stocking up on coupons for coffee because as soon as I see a deal I'm unloading them to donate to St. Anthony's Hospice's local center. They need coffee at their center. You could also obtain free formula with some coupons that could be donated to an emergency women's shelter or pregnancy center. Depends and whatnot could be donated to a senior center. So unless you can use it or donate it to a local cause then it's NOT a deal.
Tip 9) Always keep your coupons with you! You never know when a deal will pop up. My mom leaves hers in the car. This is not the best option when you are in the store and need one.
Tip 10) Organize. Find a binder, coupon binder, big ziploc bag, anything to keep all your coupons together. I have a small expanding file that I keep in my purse and then a big ziploc bag that I keep all the misc. items in. Extra coupons, sales fliers, small pair of scissors, ect.
These are just a few tips to get your started. I'll try to add more as I go along. There are many more tips to be had. So first step is to go find a coupon site and read up on your local store's coupon policy! That probably should have been tip number 1.