Successful couponing is not about having 90 tubes of toothpaste or 80 bags of dog food. Successful couponing is about having an adequate supply of the items your family uses on a regular basis, so that you will not run out and have to pay full retail for that product. It is also about stretching your budget, and being able to buy high quality items for less than the price of generic. Here are some more tips on how to be a successful couponer.
Clipping and Collecting
- You can either clip each coupon and put them into a filing system or you can save whole pages/inserts, it is a preference issue, as well as a storage system.
- You need to decide how many papers you want to get based on what you expect each to have in them.
- When shopping you should always scan the shelves for coupon booklets, blinkies, peelies, hangtags, recipe cards and tear pads. You can usually find useful coupons all over the store if you keep your eyes open. If you have small children with you, give the task to look for coupons on the shelf – it will keep them busy and engaged.
- Choose a binder with clear “baseball card organizer sheets” or an accordion filer.
- Divide your coupons into categories. Choose categories that are right for you, as well as make sense to you. Suggested categories: Frozen Foods, Fresh Meats, Beverages, Cooking/Baking, Cereal, Snacks, Perishables, Non-Perishables, Medications, Personal Care (can be broken up into Dental, His and Hers), Cleaning Products, Paper Goods, Non-food Misc., Pet Food
- You must attend to your coupons weekly, at the very least. You also want to purge your coupons at least twice a month – checking for expiration dates, as well as to ensure that use a coupon before it expires. But keep in mind that you do not have to use a coupon just because, it just means you look for a deal on that item.
Understanding Policies and Procedures
- Carry a printed copy of your most commonly frequented stores’ policies in your binder. And check to see if things have changed at least once every few months.
- If a checker performs the transaction in a way that conflicts with the written policy, refer to it. Be polite and ask for clarification, from a manager if necessary. While each store might have their own practices, they should at least honor the corporate policy.
- Do your best to read fine print – on both manufacturer’s and store coupons. Some coupons list specific limitations on using multiple coupons in a singular transaction, others have limitations on scents/flavors or sizes.