Coupons 101

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How to Coupon

Learning how to coupon can be overwhelming. That’s why I have come up with a Couponing 101 series to help you get started with coupons.

Using coupons can easily save you at least 50% off your grocery and drugstore bill. I know most of you are busy like me and couponing can be time consuming. That doesn’t mean that using coupons is out of the question for busy people though. Just follow along with me at How to Have it All on my journey to balance motherhood, work and saving money.

How to Get Started With Coupons

The first thing to do is to get a familiar with Coupon Terminology. There are many common abbreviations that are used on blogs and on coupons. If you are familiar with what the terms mean, reading this blog will make a lot more sense!

Of course you will need coupons in order to learn how to use coupons! Coupons are found in numerous places including the Sunday Paper, Magazines, Printable Coupons and Tearpads in the store. Check out my post on Where to Find Coupons to learn about the many different places to collect coupons. Of course, you can always use my coupon database to easily search for coupons.

After you have gathered some coupons, take some time to learn All About Coupons. Learn what a coupon is and how they work. Coupons are valuable- consider them money. There are also catalina offers which are for future savings.

There are many ways to organize your coupons. My current method is to clip the ones I know we will use and file them in my coupon binder. The rest of the coupons are kept in the whole insert and filed by date. Some people clip all coupons which is time consuming but helpful. Having all of your coupons available at the store is beneficial since you never know when you will come across an unadvertised deal. Other ways to organize are using the file folders, envelopes and the only cut when you need a coupon method.

How to Handle Coupon Problems

If you have used coupons before you know that there can be problems. Whether it be that the coupon beeps, the cashier is not trained or that a deal does not work as planned. The best thing to do is stay calm!

Some resources for coupon problems:

Coupons That Beep- How to handle coupons that beep and why they beep.

What are Rainchecks- If a product is out of stock, get a raincheck! Sometimes rainchecks are more valuable at a later date.

How to Shop With Kids- Tips for shopping with the little ones.

Tips on Saving More

Coupons can save you a lot of money but there is more to it than handing over a slip of paper. Stores are out to make money and a lot of times they have Deceptive Advertising. Just because it says it’s on sale doesn’t mean that it is a good price. Keeping a Price Book is a good way to track prices and know what a good buy price is. Another way to save is to know what to look for on Shelf Tags.

If you shop at Kroger, you know that every few weeks there is a Mega Event. Other stores like Harris Teeter have special coupon events where they triple coupons or offer super double coupons. Coupon events are a great way to add to your stockpile. If you are new to shopping special coupon events, you will want to check out my post on How to Shop Coupon Events.

Another way to save is to send in for rebates. How to do Rebates- Simple tips for sending in rebates.

Many stores offer store rewards cards or future savings certificates. It  can be cumbersome Keeping Track of Store Rewards. I treat my future savings certificates (CVS Extra Care Bucks or Rite Aid +UPs) as money. Believe me, it is not fun when you loose store rewards!

Of course there are plenty of ways Save Money Without Using Coupons. Don’t get overwhelmed though. Start off by saving money in one area and then work up to saving money in all aspects of your life.

Never miss a good deal or a savings tip! Make sure you subscribe to my free email newsletter, follow me on RSS Feed or facebook!

Have questions about coupons? Feel free to contact me at anytime!

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Renae is a married working mom of two handsome boys. She works as a registered dental hygienist by day and blogs here at How to Have it All by night. She enjoys cooking from scratch, working in her vegetable garden and functional training.

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    • Hi Cheryll,
      I am not sure what site you are referring to. If it was in an ad, probably not. Ads display on this blog based on what your google search terms are. So if you are googling about free coupons, I am sure an ad popped up with info on that. Also, if it seems too good to be true, it most likely is! Let me know if you have further questions.

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