3 easy steps to get started with online couponing
If you are like me, when I first started couponing I felt so overwhelmed! I didn’t know where to start. I have always been the type to look for a great deal and find ways to save money. But it was when I became pregnant with my daughter that I really started to get serious about saving money. I had to figure out how to pay for all these baby items, diapers, formula and daycare with the same budget. I started using coupons as my first step towards saving a lot.
This is the first post of a series of how I began saving money and how you can begin saving too! I want to help you get started on your journey from full price to the best discounted price available! There are so many great sites online for you to get coupons for free. Here are a few to get you started.
3 EASY STEPS
1. Start by going to each of these websites. Bookmark or add each website to your favorites so you can go back often, checking for new coupons. Print out coupons of items that you use regularly.
2. You can use a small accordion file to organize the coupons to start. Organize coupons into categories. I started with categories such as: Beverages, Baking, Snacks, Sides, Frozen, Dairy, Household, Beauty, etc.
3. Make your grocery list and match up whats on the list with what is in your coupons. Then go shopping and begin saving a lot!
I found it was easier to make small changes gradually. Once I mastered one step, I moved on to the next challenge. So with this series I challenge you to take the first step toward living like a princess on any budget!
Getting Started with Printed Coupons
Remember to take BABY STEPS when first starting with coupons. Take it slow, you don’t have to be an extreme couponer right away. Here are few ways to get coupons for free:
- Start by clipping coupons from Sunday paper if you already receive the paper. If not, then ask friends, relatives and/or coworkers to save their newspaper inserts.
- I also get inserts in my mail on Wednesday along with a few ads for local grocery stores.
- You can stop by McDonald’s or Starbuck’s on Sunday afternoon to look for newspaper inserts people have left behind.
- You can start a coupon club, trading your unused coupons with friends.
- Many stores have in-store coupons, if there are plenty, grab a few extras.
Now combine these coupons with the online coupons you printed after reading previous post. Organize them in your coupon file. I’ll go into more detail about organizing your coupons in an upcoming post. For now sort them by categories and file them accordingly.
Now that you have started your coupon collection, I recommend you make it a habit to do weekly menu planning. Once you know what you are going to cook this week you can make a grocery list. Compare your grocery list to your coupons. Eventually you can start looking at grocery store sales ad, planning meals based on sales and matching up deals with coupons. But start small, build up your confidence and knowledge in coupons. It can save you a lot of money when you learn the coupon game!
So who got the Sunday paper? I got mine!! I only got one insert – SmartSource – but it had some good coupons in it! What inserts did you get? What were your favorite coupons?
Album Coupon Organizer
Here is a portable way to easily organize your coupon stash! This is a more accessible format than the traditional coupon index file.
We used a 6 x 6 in. scrapbook photo album. We added 20 extra pages and put removable tabs to separate the coupons. The album allows for quick viewing of your entire inventory, so you won’t miss a deal!
- Acquire a 6 x 6 in. scrapbook photo album that can accept extra pages.
- Clip and organize your coupons into categories such as: frozen foods, breakfast foods, beverages, snacks, side dishes, baby needs, paper goods, etc.
- Label the coupon categories with Post-it® Durable Tabs or a similar product, for easy viewing and retrieving.
- The majority of my coupons are for grocery store items. Under the grocery tab, I organize the coupons in the order of my store’s aisles. For example, the cereal aisle is aisle 1, so my cereal coupons come first in the album.
- Keep your organizer in your purse for easy access.
- Schedule a dedicated time to clip or print coupons weekly.
- Weekly, review the expiration dates to keep your organizer updated and to familiarize yourself with your inventory.
PG = Proctor & Gamble
SS = Smartsource
RP = Red Plum
Peelie = On package coupon
BOGO/B1B1 = Buy One Get One
WYB = When You Buy
RR = Register Rewards
MM = Money Maker
MIR = Mail In Rebate
Printable = Coupon printable online