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Couponing: How to get started

I couponed a little in the past but it always seemed overwhelming and honestly, sort of scary!  I started by only using coupons I found on products in the store and using store coupons that were emailed to me.  By doing that, I saved a little here and there, but I had no idea much potential I had to save so much more!

First and foremost, it is important to understand what coupons the stores you shop at will and will not take. Most stores will accept manufacturer coupons (coupons provided by the product company either in print or on their websites) and store coupons (provided in their store ads, weekly/monthly coupon books, or on their website.)  Most stores will provide their coupon policy on their website.

A great starting point is the Sunday newspaper.  Here you will find the weekly store ads, store coupons, and even a variety of manufacturer coupons.  Look through the store ads and try to coordinate manufacturer coupons to use together with the store sales and store coupons. You can look ahead of time to see what coupons to expect in the newspaper by visiting Sunday Coupon Preview.

Another source of coupons is the internet.  Many company websites will have a special offers or promotions link, where you can find coupons that you can use at most stores.  You can also visit reputable coupon printing websites such as coupons.com or even redplum.com.  These websites often add new coupons weekly but be quick to print – the ‘good’ coupons always go fast and reach their print limit!

Now that you know of a few places to obtain coupons, you probably wonder how to organize them and figure out a system so you can keep track of what you have.  Personally, I keep the ones I am likely to use in a little index card sorter and carry them in my purse.  It snaps shut and has tabs so that I can organize by type of product.  If you have a lot of coupons, a coupon binder works well.  You can order special coupon sleeves which are similar to those that hold baseball cards.


A few things to remember:

  1. Check store coupon policies
  2. Look at the expiration date so you don’t miss out using it in time
  3. Try to combine coupons with sales
  4. Don’t get discouraged! A few cents here and there will add up quickly!!!
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