Our biggest tip for new couponers: Start Small and start with one store, your favorite store!
It’s easy to become overwhelmed if you try to coupon too many items your first time out the gate! This can ruin your shopping trips and leave you with a negative couponing experience Slow and steady wins the race.
Here are some tips to help you get started with your first big haul!
Pick One Store!
Start with your favorite store that you shop most frequently. Concentrate on just one store in the beginning. Get comfortable with the layout of the store and the coupon policy. Trying to shop at different stores and remember different coupon policies can cause mistakes and frustration, which you want to avoid. Stick with that store you know and love, where you know where things are, who are the helpful employees, when the peak times are and learn the coupon policy.
Start with Small Trips
I always started with smaller trips as a new couponer. I would grab a few things here and a few things there just to “test the waters”. Pick 2-3 items you want to focus on and maybe focus only on that for the week. Don’t go for a huge trip your first time out. The more items you have the more coupons you have, and until you get comfortable you don’t want to confuse yourself. Learn to read the limits on the sale items and what they mean. Learn to read a coupon, make sure you have the right items, and know what is restricted and how many you can use in a transaction. Another great tip, is know what order to hand them to the cashier for the best savings. Start with a few small trips at first and once you build up your confidence, you’ll get more and more comfortable and add on more items as you go along.
You Won’t Get Them All
You won’t be able to take advantage of every deal and that’s perfectly okay because the deal comes back around again. Learn the sales cycles, and check our blog for a list of when items go on sale. Missed the infamous $1 Tide sale? Or the free detergent sale? No worries, it will come back around again. I do not catch every deal and I’m never disappointed because I know it’s coming bak and I’ve been couponing so long I have a nice stockpile.
Don’t Compare Your Hauls to Others
Just because Betty got 50 boxes of cereal for free and you paid $1.00 for 5, doesn’t mean you missed out. Focus on how much money YOU saved? There are tons of breakdowns for sales and stores, different coupons a customer may get in the mail or from the store that aren’t available to all shoppers. Just focus on you and build upon your savings and work your way to a stockpile.
The key here is to educate yourself on the couponing process so that you have a pleasant, successful experience. Then go out and coupon to test the waters. Have patience, expect mistakes, BUT learn from them. Spent more than you planned? Check your receipt to find out why? Come to the group and ask questions. If you have a bad experience, don’t let it stop you from couponing and/or saving. It’s worth it in the long run because of the money you will save and the stockpile you build.