Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Couponing 101

Are you new to the coupon world? Or maybe just on the outskirt of it looking in trying to determine if you want to dip your toes in this pool of crazy? Let me help you out by shoving you into the deep end.

The very first thing you will want to do is setup a separate email address for couponing. You can setup an account through Gmail for free. The reason you want to do this is because online coupons require you to give them your email address...and who really wants to sort through a ton of extra spam everyday in their regular email address? I've had enough of learning how to make my erection last longer and offers to pay the taxes on someone's Nigerian bank account for a return of a million dollars.

Avoid the common mistakes of first time couponers:

-Just because you have a coupon, it does NOT mean you have to use it. Match your coupons up with promotions or sales to utilize your maximum savings potential. A coupon used on a full price item is like a fart in the wind.

-Concentrate on one or two stores. Many first time couponers will get wrapped up in all the different savings they could have in all the different stores, but by the time you run around to Winn Dixie, Publix, CVS, Walgreens, and Target your day is wasted and you've spent more time than the savings is worth. I like to focus on Publix, Target, and CVS.

-One Sunday paper is NOT enough. You will want to get a minimum of 2 Sunday papers (I get 4) You can often find Groupons or Living Socials where they have deals for a 52-week subscription to the Sunday edition. This is your time to stock up on your paper delivery! The reason you want multiples of coupons is for Buy One Get One promotions where you will be able to use two.

-For Online Coupons, only print the ones you will use! I like to wait until I need them for printing online coupons in order to save ink and paper, however sometimes the coupons reach a print limit, so if I see a coupon I know I will definitely use, I will print it right away. Great sites to get printable coupons:

-Get ORGANIZED! Before you head to the store make sure you plan your list and the quantities of each item you are going to buy! 

-Get to know your store policies. Most stores will accept 2 coupons per item. One Manufacturer coupon and one store coupon. You can easily identify a store coupon for Publix by the LU # on the bottom right. Publix will also accept competitor coupons for the store coupons. This varies by location but will often include Sweetbay, Winn Dixie, and Target. 

Example of Multiple Coupon Use:

Publix has Dial Soap on BOGO at $4.50 each
You use (2) manufacturer coupons at $1.00 off one
You use (2) store coupons at $1.00 off one
Leaving your out of pocket cost as $0.50 for two bottles of Dial Soap!

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