· Clip or save EVERY coupon you get. Yes, even those coupons on products that you think you will NEVER buy! That product you think you might never could go on sale and be FREE with the coupon. Or even better if the product goes on sale at CVS or Walgreens where you earn Extra Care Bucks or Register Rewards. If you have a coupon for a product that results in rewards back, you could get MORE back in rewards than you actually paid for it, resulting in a profit! (For example, if a $2.00 product at CVS is offering $2.00 in ECBs back when you buy it and you have a $1 coupon, you will only pay $1.00 for the product and still get $2.00 in ECB rewards back. This is $2.00 you can spend on anything in the store! And you’re only out $1.00 for it!)
· Get multiple copies of the Sunday paper. You can get copies at the Dollar Tree for $1 (paper boxes and other stores are $1.50 – $2.50) One coupon out of the newspaper can easily pay for the whole paper! To stockpile items at the best price possible you need to have multiple coupons available when they go on sale. If you can get cereal for $1.00/box after coupon this week at the grocery store and you only have 1 coupon – you’ll only be able to get one box! Then next week when that box is gone, you will have to pay $4.00 for a box of cereal. If you have 4 coupons for that cereal, you can buy 4 boxes at $1.00 each (which means you’re getting FOUR boxes for what one box usually costs!) and that will last you until sales and coupons for cereal come around again.
· DON’T BUY SOMETHING JUST BECAUSE YOU HAVE A COUPON FOR IT. I put this in all caps because it is a common newbie mistake. Buying somthing that is not on sale with a coupon is usually not a good deal. (There are some exceptions). But as a general rule, wait for the sales to come around to get the best deal.
· Get organized! Clip all your coupons and put them in a binder. Or file them buy whole inserts in a file box. Or whatever method makes sense to you. Just start out organized so you will stay organized. Organization in couponing saves you time.
· Make your list and sort your coupons for what you want before you go to the store. I like to make my list on an envelope and then put the matching coupons inside. But I always take my binder with me in case I come across something on clearance, store special or unadvertised sale. That way, if I have a coupon on it, I have it with me. And I know exactly where it is because I’m organized (see above)
· “Stack” your coupons to get even better deals. Stores that issue “Store Coupons” will allow you to use them in conjunction with available manufacturer coupons. (This is the only time that TWO coupons can be used on ONE product.) Target, CVS, Walgreens, Winn-Dixie and Publix are some of the stores that issue store coupons and allow them to be stacked with manufacter coupons. For example, if I wanted to purchase a $3.00 product at Publix and I had a $1.00 manufacturer coupon and a 50c Publix STORE coupon, I can use both on that product and get the product for $1.50.
· Using coupons on BOGO (Buy one get one free) items. If Winn-Dixie has Tombstone Pizzas BOGO $5.99 that means you get two for $5.99. If you have a coupon for $1 off a Tombstone pizza of course you would use it! But what if you had TWO $1 off a Tombstone pizza coupons (see above about getting multiple papers…) Did you know you can use BOTH coupons? I know you are getting one pizza for free, BUT you can still use both coupons! So your 2 pizzas for $5.99 just became 2 pizzas for ONLY $3.99!
I hope these tips help you get started!