Saturday, July 16, 2011

Coupons. 
I've become one of those people when it comes to coupons.  I am in no way hoarding things or what not but I do have quite a few coupons and I know how to use them. 
However, I do realize that quite a few people don't know how to coupon. 
I know you know how to clip them, how to save them, how to never look at them again.  It is hard work, this couponing.  So here are some pointers for those of you wondering. 
1) There are different types of coupons.  Mainly there are STORE coupons and there are MANUFACTURER coupons.  The type being determined by who is footing the bill regarding the money that you are saving.  So either the manufacturer is going to foot the bill of the $1.00 you save, or the store.  These two coupons can be used together at most stores.  So say you have a $1.00 off coupon from the newspaper.  Well if that item is on sale at, oh, say Target, you can look on Target's website for a Target coupon for that item.  Wham, bam, thank you ma'am.  That would be the perfect coupon equation...sale +manufacturer coupon +store coupon= darn good deal :) 
2) If you are looking to get into couponing, google "coupon blog" there are a bajillion out there.  Some of my favorites are Money Saving Mom and My Frugal Adventures.  These lead you to the coupons to just print and take to the store. Just look around and surf a little.  You are bound to find some that you really like and that can help you save some money.  A lot of these sites also have tutorials on how to coupon.
3) Have a game plan before you go to the store!  You have to!!!  Especially if you have children.  If you are the one standing over your coupon book in the store trying desperately to find "that one" coupon that you "just know has to be here somewhere" than I'm guessing you don't really like to coupon.  Start at home first.  I go through the sale ad and list everything on sale I need.  From there I look for coupons in my book that I can match with the sales.  If I don't have a coupon I look online.  Then I look for coupons in the same ways for things that weren't on sale but I need.  If say I need toilet paper, but can't find any in a sale flyer, then I will pull out all of my tp coupons and put them with my coupons to use.  That way I know where they all are when I get to the paper aisle and can start comparing prices rather than trying to find a coupon among hundreds of others. I take my coupon book with me but only for one case: clearance.  A lot of times Target will have things marked down that I can pair with a coupon I have.  Other than that I try to have all of my coupons ready to go and with my list before I ever set foot in the store.
4) Don't let coupons lead you to sales. I have had coupons before that have almost gotten me.  Let me explain.  This week Target had a coupon on Keebler cookies (and maybe you want to go snatch this deal).  Well they were 2.39/box.  Target had a coupon for "buy 3 cookies, get 1 free" and being that that's 4 boxes I could have used 2 coupons of "1.00 off 2 boxes Keebler Cookies"  Well that math for that makes the cookies 1.29/box!  That's a pretty good deal, right?  I almost put them in my cart too, except my voice of reason, aka Nick, pulled me in.  Because after all, we don't need cookies.  Let alone 4 boxes of cookies!  So I put them back.  Deals and coupons are only helpful when you are buying things you need and use, not something that you wouldn't normally buy had you not had the coupon.  That is by the way, one of the reasons company's put coupons out there...to try to get you to buy something new.  Don't fall for it! Unless you can get it for free! :) 
So there are a few tips.  Maybe sometime I'll share more with you.  Feel free to share some too!
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