Couponing is quite difficult when you first start out.Â There are so many ways to do things and so many rules to follow.Â Each store has their own policies and ways that they do things.Â Â I want to share with you a few things that I learned at first which helped me to get started.Â Â Some of you may already know these things, but if so, feel free to comment and share some of YOUR tips and tricks of couponing.
*Donât get frustrated with couponing. It takes time to get adjusted on how things work.Â Some people are just better than others at it.Â Â Â Start slow.Â It will get frustrating, but donât give up.Â Â Some people are more extreme than others.Â Remember that couponing takes time.Â Â Keep trying.Â Some shopping trips will be better than others.Â Remember, even if you save .50 cents, youâre STILL doing good.Â Itâs better than not saving anything at all!
*If you print out coupons, make sure they are from a legit site. Iâve come to find out that a lot of stores donât accept printed coupons anymore due to possible fake coupons.Â Â Even if you didnât know that a coupon was fake, you could face jail time and a huge fine.Â Â Get to know your resources.Â Â Coupons.com, RedPlum.com, Smartsource.com, & CouponNetwork.com are just a few of the sites we know are 100% legit.Â If you print a coupon directly form the manufacturers website, those are legit as well.Â Or you could always check out Savingstar.com and just load your coupons onto your store loyalty card, and rack up the savings on there.Â Some people save up all of their savings til the end of the year, then cash out for Christmas.
*ALWAYS carry the coupon policies with you in your coupon binder. Every store has their own unique policies.Â Youâre always going to run into that one cashier who âDoesnât Knowâ their own store policies.Â Â Keep that Coupon Policy up to date.Â Â I try to check at least once a month with the stores I shop at to make sure that I have my printed policy up to date.
*Be friendly to the cashier. A lot of cashiers are frustrated with âCouponersâ because of all the coupons we use, and the amount of people who use coupons now.Â Just stick to your guns, but make sure that you arenât rude.Â Â From what Iâve seen personally, couponers are known to be rude, ruining it for those of us who arenât.Â Â Try not to get too frustrated.Â And NEVER be afraid to speak with a manager if you are treated poorly. (Donât forget to remember the names of the people you dealt with)Â Just because we use coupons and shop for good deals does NOT mean we deserve to be treated rudely by our cashiers.Â Â We too, are paying customers.Â Â Â Just remember, treat others as youâd want to be treated.Â Â Â Sometimes itâs best to bite your tongue.
*Before you go shopping, itâs always best (IF you can) to make a list. You donât want to get a bunch of unnecessary items and spend more money than you planned to. Â Â If you donât have the ads, go online to the particular store you plan on shopping at, and browse through their deals.Â Write down a list.Â It makes shopping a little quicker if you put the coupons you plan on using together. Â That way youâre not digging everywhere looking for that specific coupon.
*Target, Walgreens, and CVS accept both a STORE coupon and a MANUFACTURERS coupon for one item. (These stores are National- if youâd like add to this list of stores that accept both coupons) Â This is a plus!Â It makes for a great deal in the end.Â Â For example, you can print off Targetâs coupons online, and then use a coupon you clipped from your inserts to sweeten the deal.Â Â Walgreens has their in store âIVCâ booklets when you first walk in, next to the ads.Â Â Â Â CVS has their âCoupon Machineâ that is close to the door when you walk in, just scan your CVS card.Â (Remember to scan the card twice to make sure it gave you all of your available coupons).
*Just because a store doubles a coupon, does not mean that itâs a better deal. Iâve noticed at some stores you have to be very careful as to the prices of items.Â Â Iâve seen people get excited because they have a .50 cent off coupon of Dawn Dish Soap, so they go to a place that doubles, yet the smallest bottle of Dawn is priced double what youâd pay somewhere that doesnât double, which ends up giving you the same store price in the end.Â Â You just want to be aware of prices and normal things that you buy.Â Â ( I hope that makes sense to you.Â But either way, be weary of prices!)
*Both Walmart AND Target price match. Price Matching (AKA: AD Matching) is very helpful if youâre trying to avoid going to 4 different stores, BUT it can be a bit of work.Â Â I know that Target requires you to have the ad on you, and Walmart claims they do not (I had an issue last week with Walmart and not having my ad with me).Â Itâs just better if you take your ads with you.Â If you can, mark the pages.Â Â Â What I do is, I put items that Iâll be price matching on one side of my cart, and regular items on the other side.Â When I get to the register, I start off with all of my price matching items, letting the cashier know that these items are to be price matched, I pull out the ad, and start telling the cashier what Iâve got and showing them the ad when necessary.Â Â This has made price matching a bit easier for me.
*Check your coupons for size/weight restrictions. If you donât plan on spending your money on an item, yet you can get the travel size or smaller sizes for free, then why not go for it?Â Â My stockpiles have several smaller amounts of items, but it adds up.Â The less money out of your pocket, the better!
*ALWAYS follow the rules. Donât lie when price matching an item.Â Â Youâre only going to ruin it for yourself and everyone else.Â Itâs also considered stealing.Â Â Â Â When youâre price matching an ad, and it shows the price AFTER coupon, that is NOT the price you ask for.Â Â The price you ask for is BEFORE coupon.Â Â If you have coupons, you CAN use them on Price Matched items.Â Â Â Iâve seen/heard of people price matching the price after coupons, and thatâs just wrong.Â Â We all want good deals, but donât sink low to get them.
*Get to know your cashiers. I try to stick with the same cashiers whenever I go to a specific store.Â They know me, they are friendly, they know their jobs, and they just make life all that much easier.Â Iâve also noticed that going to the same cashiers gets me in and out of the store quicker.
We all have our own ways of doing things.Â These are just some tips/tricks/ideas to make your couponing experience easier.