What’s so great about couponing? Well, that depends. For some people, it’s a fun way to save money. Others find it to be more stressful than it’s worth. But to those who’ve never attempted it before, we say, “Don’t knock it till you try it.” To that point, we’ve written you this guide to couponing for beginners. The fact is, if you take the proper steps to organize your coupon-clipping exploits, you’ll have fun and save money. You’ll find these steps detailed below. Read on to discover the joy of couponing for yourself.
1. Set Aside a Time Block
First, you should set aside a regular time block for this new task you’re adding to your life. Specifically, sorting through coupons should be done once a week. And it will probably take you less than an hour. However, this weekly time block does not include all the initial setup steps we’re about to show you. You’ll need some additional time to prepare for this new habit. But when you get hooked on the practice, you might as well dedicate more than what you’ve initially set, because collecting coupons can be truly addicting. Often, you’ll find that you’re giving yourself a challenge, and once you’ve hurdled you want to pursue more.
2. Decide What Coupons to Look For
Now, make a list of all the places you regularly shop, all the brands you buy the most, and any other establishments you frequently visit (restaurants, the gym, etc). On the other hand, if you don’t have a regular routine of how you spend your money, get that figured out first.
It will be very difficult and time-consuming to decide which coupons you need if you have to look through every coupon for every business in your area. Decide which businesses you want to become a regular customer of or else couponing will be completely unfeasible.
Also read: Is A Passive Income Still A Reality These Days?
3. Choose a Coupon Organization System
By this point in your life, you should already know which type of organizational system works best for you. Apply your ideal system to couponing as well. You can use folders, envelopes, or a binder with baseball card holders. Or, you can lay them in an organized pile in a box or wallet. Furthermore, you could organize them by business or by date. By date is better in our opinion because it makes it easier to discard expired coupons.
With today’s technology, you can also consider downloading an app to organize your digital coupons. This way, you’ll be able to track them efficiently, so no coupon will expire before you can use them. If you’re the old-school type, traditional coupon filing is great. However, if you’re the modern, techie type, a digital coupon organizer may be excellent for you.
In any case, figure out which coupon organization method works best for you. Then, get the supplies you need to get it started.
4. Obtain Coupons
Now, you’re all set up to start looking for coupons. The easiest way to do this is to have the coupons you need (the ones on your list) sent to you directly.
Go through your list of products and businesses and see if these brands provide their own, official coupon programs. For instance, you can have the most recent Kroger weekly ad sent to your mailbox each week by joining their mailing list. Most brands offer some sort of membership club or mail/email/text message list you can sign up for. There’s nothing like businesses like than customers who specifically ask to be advertised to. So sign up for as many of these as you can.
Bonus tip: Don’t use your primary email address for this or it will get cluttered up with advertisements. Set up a separate “junk mail” email address to use solely for coupon newsletters.
Weekly Newspapers/Coupon Mailers
Besides getting coupons direct from the source, there are third-party coupon sources as well. For instance, your local paper usually includes coupons for local businesses. There are also other companies, like PennySaver, who mail out coupon books for free.
Next, there are plenty of websites where you can find coupons to print or to use right from your smartphone screen. We warn you, though, these sites are often very unreliable. That is, you’ll likely find that many of the coupons they list are either expired or otherwise not applicable. Thus, you could waste your time trying 10 coupons only to find that none of them work. That said, give it a try, anyway. To make it easier for you, there are credible and reliable online sites like DontPayFull with an online discount finder tool. You can get amazing discounts on various items like clothing, gadgets, books, auto parts, vacations, and even money transfers.
Just remember to do some research and read some reviews to see which sites tend to be more reliable.
Then, try them for yourself and see if any of them work for you. If they don’t, then forget about them.
Finally, coupon apps are a more trustworthy source of online coupons. For one thing, it’s easy to check the reviews in your app store to discover which apps are legit. Plus, you can set your own preferences. That way, you receive only the most relevant coupons. You can even get notifications of new deals from your favorite brands. And these apps automatically organize your online coupons for you. They’re also handy for looking up coupons on-the-spot for any business you’re using for the first time.
5. Understand Your Favorite Businesses’ Coupon Policies
Different businesses follow different rules about what coupons they accept. Costco, for example, won’t accept manufacturer coupons because of exclusive agreements they’ve made with the brands they sell. In contrast, other businesses accept almost all coupons, even expired or competitor coupons. It’s very important that you find out which businesses have a policy as inclusive as this.
You see, if a business you regularly visit accepts competitor coupons, you can bear this in mind when collecting coupons. That is, any time you see that a competitor offers the best deal, you can collect that coupon or ad, too.
Also read: Comments For New Business
6. Do It
Finally, it’s time to sit down, get out the scissors, and start clipping. During your allotted, weekly time block, go through your pile of coupon sources to search for/clip out good deals. Organize the keepers according to your preferred method and throw the unneeded coupons away. But first, to free up space, remove and dispose of any expired coupons you’re holding onto.
7. Be Careful
Lastly, be careful. That is, make sure that your coupons are helping you and not taking advantage of you. Remember, the only reason that companies offer coupons is to make money, not to lose money. They want you to visit more frequently, buy more products, and spend more money than you normally would. Pay attention to your regular monthly budget to find out whether or not you’re actually saving money.
Also read: Money-Saving Tips for Smart Shoppers
Share This Couponing for Beginners Guide With Your Friends
Try out these tips for yourself to enjoy the fun, money-saving hobby of couponing. Also, if you found this guide helpful, let it help others as well. Please share this couponing for beginners guide with your friends. While we hope these tips will save you money, we also know that money is not the key to happiness. Luckily, we do have plenty of additional advice on improving your relationships, your emotional strength, and your overall enjoyment of life. Check our homepage for our latest posts or search for something specific using the search bar.