Let's get started part 1:If you're just starting out, you'll realize it's easy to get overwhelmed and want to quit. Fear not!! I will try to put together a series that will help you in your couponing journey, the right way.. I will state now that I am not a fan what so ever of TLC Extreme Couponing. I do not condone shelf clearing, coupon fraud or hoarding. There are plenty of honest ways to save $$$$ and get a stockpile without being greedy or doing something illegal.
The general rule in couponing is "buy 1 paper per person in your household", for me that is 5 papers. I'm fortunate enough to have a free local paper that includes the SS insert every Friday, so I tend to get 5 of those as well = 10 inserts weekly. (I'll explain why later, don't worry)
- Start simple. You can get either a Multi paper discount or a Sunday only subscription from your local paper or talk to a friend or neighbor who doesn't coupon, maybe they can set aside the inserts for you.
- Your local store. Most stores have "store coupons" that you can stack (more on that later) with manufacture coupons which might also be in their weekly ads. You can also find coupons throughout the store; hangtags, blinkies, booklets, tearpads and you might even see some "coupon fairy" coupons.
Have you noticed these near products?
- Mail. Often you can write a company and ask for coupons... YES it's really that easy. Most websites have a "contact us" tab. I normally just give them a few complements and then ask for some coupons.
- Clipping Services. You can usually find clipping services based on coast sides (east and west). You can also check on Ebay for coupons but be very careful. There are lots of shady dealers that sell fraudulent coupons.
Now more on why I get multiply papers....
I started couponing with saving money in mind but knew I needed to put out money in order to save money. I ran into sale that looks like this:
Spend $20 get $5 OYNO
All laundry 3.99 at Albertsons
Snuggle Fabric Softener 3.99 at Albertsons
Buy 3 All laundry & 3 Snuggle
Total before coupons $23.94
Use 3 $1/1 coupons from SS 3/21
Use 3 get FREE snuggle when you buy All
Use 3 doubles
Total OOP: $5.97, and receive a $5.00 Catalina
Total Savings: $18 plus $5 back
When I first started I would run out here or there to get items to stock up on but soon found I didn't need to any longer because I had a pretty nice stockpile going, in turn saving more money because I shopped less. I also buy more fresh veggies, fruits and meat (even organics). Before, most money went to the inner isles.
Would I coupon if I got only 1 paper? NO WAY!! Even if you are a 2 person family you can still benefit from couponing (I'll do another post on that later)