Couponing is a fantastic way to stretch your shopping dollar each week. The following guide is a how-to on couponing for beginners. A great place to start if you’re new to saving money with coupons for all the major stores.
Choose your favorite stores
I don’t know about you, but I don’t have the time to run a couponing empire just to save a few dollars. So many stores and coupons, so little time. The best plan of attack for making coupon work for the average mom is to narrow down your focus to just two or three of your favorite, local grocery stores.
Newspapers are a great source of coupons but if you don’t have time to be clipping day and night, you might try other places to look for coupons.
Popular women’s magazines like Woman’s Day, Red Book and Good Housekeeping usually have coupons from well-known brands.
- Grocery stores
Stores themselves can be a good source of coupons. Just check the shelf and also the back of your store receipt for offers and coupons to use next time you shop.
- Brand websites
When purchasing big ticket items it’s worth checking the manufacturer’s website for offers and coupons that could be applied to your purchase.
- Store cards
Get offers and savings direct from your favorite grocery store by signing up to their loyalty card program.
Many stores offer a tab or page on their site devoted to the current store promotions and coupons. For instance http://coupons.target.com
- Search engines
Last but not least, online is the best and quickest way to find coupons. Simply type the product name and ‘coupon’ into your preferred search engine and see what comes up.
Don’t forget, 5 Star Saver is a good place to start looking for the best coupons. We offer a select list of our favorite deals on the website each day.
Collecting your coupons
As I said before, so many coupons, so little time. I don’t waste my time clipping coupons for products I never buy no matter how great the saving. Spending my time on this is not a saving at all. My approach is to only collect coupons for products I regularly buy. All my kids are out of diapers now (thank goodness!), so I never clip coupons for those anymore. I do keep an eye out for savings on snack food, party supplies, cereal, lunchbox treats and other things that I seem to buy by the dozen each week.
Storing your coupons
The key to couponing success if having the right coupon to hand when you need it. Invest in a binder with dividers so you can manage your stash. My favorite way to file is to sort coupons according to the shopping aisle, for example, breakfast cereals, or ice cream – then before you hit the store, flick through your folder to find any offers that you can use for your shopping list (don’t forget to take the list! Link to saving money at the grocery store article)
Don’t forget to throw out any coupons that have expired as they are just confusing and clutter up your system.