Couponing is a great way to save money on almost anything. But, if you’re new to couponing, it can be overwhelming.

Today we’ll take you through some of the basics of couponing, from understanding how coupons work to finding and using them.

With these tips you can become an expert at couponing in no time!

Couponing 101

Coupons can make or break a shopping trip. Couponers pay attention to promo codes and offers for anything even holiday offers at your favorite stores.

The goal of every coupon shopper is to never pay full price for anything ever again :). Everyone loves getting a discount and a great deal, but to someone on a strict budget these offers and sales can mean the difference in having or not having.

To start, let’s find out where to get them. You can find coupons in: newspapers, magazines, online, in-store. You can even get coupons mailed to you.

Also be sure to see if the store has a loyalty program and if they do what coupons or discounts they offer.

On to the good stuff: how to use them. When using a coupon, you’ll either present it to the cashier at the register in store or if you’re shopping online, you’ll just enter the promo code when you checkout your online cart.

Years ago hoarding products was a big thing, with people who didn’t own a cat buying tons of cat food cause they had a coupon. But the smart couponer buys: what they need, on sale, with a coupon. They buy enough to last until the next sale and coupon comes their way, so they never pay full price.

Once you get going you can save tons with coupons.

Using coupons

Not knowing the ins and outs of couponing can make it seem hard. Once you get organized <— that’s the key, then you can easily save money on almost anything.

Let’s look over the basics for using coupons online and in store:

  1. When: To get the most out of your coupons to save the most money, knowing when to use your coupons is essential. Most coupons have expiration dates, so be sure to use them before they expire. This is one place organization comes in handy.
  2. Plan: Plan your shopping trips according to the sales and coupons that match up.
  3. Be Careful: When you see a “bogo” (Buy 1 Get 1 Free) offer or clearance items make sure to calculate how long a product will last before you buy 100 and they expire well before you can use them. With clearance items you want to make sure you know if they can be returned or exchanged, they generally have different rules.
  4. Organize your coupons: Make sure you organize your coupons BEFORE you head to the store. Standing off in a corner of the store trying to get it all together or holding up the line at the register is never a good look for a couponer. Keep your phone handy for calculating deals as well as to check the store’s policy if you need to.
  5. Know your store’s coupon policy. Knowing the coupon policy come in handy more times than not – most cashiers, believe it or not, don’t know the coupon policy and have never been trained on it.
  6. Use online coupons: Take advantage of your store’s online coupons that you can scan at the register or show to the cashier. These make it even easier than sorting and cutting out paper coupons.
  7. Combine: If you can stack offers and coupons, be sure to check that out and weigh your options. Some store’s have multiple offers and discounts and some or sometimes all can be used with a coupon and/or an app. So, just check out all your options before you go.

Tips and Tricks

Finding friends, online or in person, that loves couponing can help, too. You can share things you find with one another and help and encourage each other and save more in the process.

Facebook groups and other social media sites have avid couponers that love to help newbies, so don’t be afraid to seek them out and get started. We ll have to learn from someone, right?

Don’t forget to utilize your phone or computer and use apps and sites that help you save and earn money, too.

Don’t be hard on yourself if something doesn’t go your way at the register, it happens to all of us from time to time. You’ll get better and experiences like those help you to learn. But, remember above all to be nice to the cashier, sometimes they just weren’t trained.

Couponing is an awesome way to save money for your family, and is fun once you get the hang of it. The above info is just the beginning but, it is a good foundation to get started.