Couponing Basics

Being a stay at home mom I have to be creative when it comes to spending money on the things our family needs and also those extras that make life just a little more exciting! I am by no means an “extreme couponer”, but having just learned a few key tips, I have been able to save my family a lot of money. Here are the very basics…

scissors_clipping_coupons_hg_wht1. Double coupons

Until recently, the store I spent most of my money doubled every manufacturer’s coupon up to $1.00. If you can find a store near you that runs this promotion on a regular basis, it basically doubles all of savings for the same amount of time and effort from you.

2. Get organized

I thought my little coupon folder that I could hold in my hand was organized until I got some tips from a friend who was saving quadruple what I was. She used a 2 inch binder with baseball card holders. Each slot has a different coupon and each category has it’s own section. So, for example, when you are in the shampoo isle, you can flip to your “soaps” section and see at a glance what coupons you have for which shampoos. Then you can easily see which deal will be the best that day without thumbing through a stack of paper.

3. Cut multiple coupons and stockpile

Whether you buy multiple papers, search for multiple coupons online or have friends collect them for you, buying multiples that are on sale and that can be discounted further with a coupon can save you money in the future. If, for example, you eat a lot of Cheerios in your home, cut out 3-5 Cheerios coupons and wait for them to go on sale. Then stock up on Cheerios when you can buy them for a fraction of the cost. This is called stockpiling. When you realize how much money you can save by doing this, you make the space to store all the good deals you find!

4. Search Couponing Websites that do the work for you

There are loads of great couponing websites that do the matchups for you. That means you can select the stores you shop at and see what they have on sale that match the coupons you should have if you have been consistently organizing them. I prefer couponmom.com and stockpilingmoms.com, but there are plenty others that can help you get started.

5. Try different brands

If you are really going to save, you have to be willing to buy different brands. We love Hellman’s mayonnaise and refuse to buy any other brand. That means that I might spend $2.00 more on a jar of mayonnaise any given week because I did not cut out the coupon for the other brand or watch their sales. I am not married to most brands, though, and therefore I can save a lot more depending on the sales each week.

When  I was faithfully following all of these tips and being diligent about staying on top of my coupons I was saving close to $200 month on groceries alone. Unfortunately right now I have had to reduce the amount of time I spend couponing, but I can attest to the fact that spending time on couponing can significantly reduce the amount you spend.

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