While it is true that couponing takes time, effort and fair amount of work, to be a successful couponer, does not mean you have to devote every waking moment to it. If you haven’t read the first part of this post click here: Successful #Couponing: Part 1
- Plan out your couponing shopping trip – to the penny if you can. Use coupon matching sites to help you know what the best deals are. The more you plan it out, the smoother it will go in the store, so be as detailed as you can listing product name (and variety if necessary), size/ct., retail price, sale price, coupon value, and price you expect to pay.
- Look at your calendar and shop accordingly. After major holidays you can find items that might have holiday specific packaging, which will be marked down with the rest of the holiday items.
- Understand the coupons and sale prices usually coincide for free or near free pricing only twice a year. So if you CAN, buy enough to last your household six months.
- Never go into a store that accepts coupons without your coupon binder. You never know when a store may be putting an item on sale – due to overstock, or package damage – that was not advertised.
- When you have time, walk the outer perimeter of the store instead of the inside aisles. These endcaps often have items marked at clearance pricing.
- Expand your store horizons – shop for cleaning products at home improvement stores, or hair products at a pharmacy.
- While you are a customer – like everyone else – your transaction may be a little more involved than others. So be polite and patient to both the other people in line and the cashier.
- Never take more than a few coupons that are available in a store – peelies, tear pads, hangtags, booklets, recipe cards, etc. It is rude and will ultimately result in stores not putting them out as frequently or requiring you to ask for them at customer service.
- Be the coupon fairy sometimes – if you have more coupons for an item than you plan to use or they are expiring soon, place them on the shelf next to the product. It’s a nice way to share the wealth, and make sure that a coupon doesn’t go to waste.
- Rotate your products regularly. If you have a large amount of something, write the expiration date on the part of the label that will be visible while stacked on the shelf with a big marker, this will make it easier to see which to use first.
- Do not get a large amount of an item that your family would never ever use – even if it’s free – unless you truly and honestly plan to donate it. For example – don’t get 30 bags of cat treats, just because they are free, if you don’t have a cat! Also consider the life of a product. If you have worked out a deal to get 20 pounds of strawberries for free or close to it, you need to be sure you have a means to use them all or freeze them.
- Store items properly – cool dry place for most items, and freeze all of the freezable items.