Getting Started with Couponing

 

Couponing is a great way to save some family grocery money. To coupon effectively, you don’t have to be an “extreme couponer” like you’ve seen on television, either. Getting started is relatively simple, and doesn’t take a whole lot of effort.

There are several things you need to know to get started:

  1. Where to find coupons. Coupons are everywhere, if you know where to look for them. The most common places to find coupons  are in the weekly newspaper – typically on Sunday. Two major companies – Smart Source and Valassis – put coupons in various newspapers around the country on a weekly basis. Once a month, you may also see a Proctor & Gamble coupon insert. Beyond the paper, you’ll find coupons in magazines, in the stores, on the back of receipts from the store, at a number of online websites, through bulk mailings, and even sometimes on the packaging of a product itself.
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  3. Organizing your coupons is a major key to success. Whether you clip all of the coupons or only the ones you intend to use, you need a filing system. Many shoppers like to organize their grocery coupons by category of food, such as frozen foods or dairy. Other people organize them by the aisle in their local grocery store where the items are typically held. Choose a system that works for you. You’ll also need a coupon container of some sort, whether that’s a binder with clear plastic sleeves, a shoebox, or even a coupon pocketbook. You’ll also need to purge your coupons regularly in order to get rid of those that have expired.
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  5. Match coupons to sales whenever you can. If you have a coupon for 50 cents off a roll of paper towels, that savings will go on top of a sale when those paper towels are half off one week. To maximize your grocery savings, combine different discounts together. Watch for stores that double or even triple coupons, as well, as you’ll double or triple your savings.

Couponing doesn’t have to be a full-time job, and you don’t have to try to save hundreds of dollars each week. Even shaving $15 or $20 off your weekly grocery budget is a good thing.


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