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Couponing Guide

Welcome, if you are new to the whole world of couponing here is the place to start. As a fellow couponer I’ve put together this Coupon Cutting Mom Guide to help you get started in the world of cutting coupons and saving money!

The Basics

What is couponing?

The art of matching coupons with stores sales, rebates, and other offers to get the lowest possible price and to stock up on needed supplies.

Why coupon?

To save money! And you will get to try out products you probably would not have otherwise purchased. For example, with coupons we have gotten FREE toothpaste flavors and brands that we probably would have never otherwise purchased.

Where can you find coupons?

Sunday newspaper coupon inserts – check out this post telling how much I saved with coupons clipped from inserts in one month

Internet printable coupons – sites such as coupons.com Remember it is illegal to photocopy coupons. You can print 2 coupons per computer by hitting the back then refresh button.

In magazines – My favorite one is All You (1-year auto-renewal)"". A subscription to this magazine will pay for itself in the coupons you clip out of it.

Peelies on products or inside the package

In store coupons or in store circulars

Blinkie or tearpads located near the item in stores

Coupon Lingo

Sunday Newspaper Inserts
 
P&G - Procter & Gamble Sunday insert
RP - RedPlum Sunday insert
SS - SmartSource Sunday insert
GM – General Mills
 
The date of the insert can usually be found in small print on the spine.
 
CVS Lingo
 
ECBs: ExtraCare Bucks at CVS, this prints at the bottom of your receipt and you can use it like cash on future purchases
 
Rite Aid Lingo

SCR: Single Check Rebate, Rite Aid monthly rebates program. Go to their website and enter info off your receipt and then get a check each month.
+UP Reward: Rite Aid reward program prints at the bottom of your receipt and can be used like cash on future purchases

Other Lingo

$1/1, $1/2: One dollar off one item, one dollar off two items, etc.
B1G1: Buy one item get one item free
MIR: Mail-in rebate
WYB: When you buy
Catalina: Catalina coupon, prints from a separate machine when your receipt prints usually at grocery stores it can then be used on your next purchase
OYNO: On your next order
OOP: Out of pocket
Stacking: Using both a manufactures coupon and a store coupon on one item
WYB: When you buy
YMMV: Your mileage may vary, meaning some stores might give you a deal but others might not
 

Getting Started

Start small. Pick one store and learn as much as you can before trying other stores.

 Join the stores reward/loyalty card program

Find the stores weekly circular in the Sunday paper or access it online

Find out if they offer a raincheck policy and how it works.

Use these store guides to find out more info

Rite Aid

CVS – coming soon

Walmart – coming soon

Target – coming soon

Collect and organize your coupons

Decide if you are going to clip the coupons out of the inserts or if you are going to file the inserts by date uncut. There are many ways to this and no right or wrong way. Just do what works best for you.

Once you decide if you are going to cut the coupons out or not, you will need to decide on a way to organize them. If you cut them out I recommend filing them in a 3 ring binder and sliding them into the plastic sleeves by category or alphabetically. I leave mine in the inserts and mark the date on the front of the insert and then file them on a stack in my filing cabinet. This way I feel I’m not spending a lot of time cutting coupons I may never use and then trashing them when reach their expiration date. The downside to this method is I don’t take them with me when shopping, so I may see an unadvertised deal or clearance item and know I have a coupon at home. When shopping with kids though it doesn’t work for me to be juggling a big binder and keep my sanity. I do have a small accordion style organizer that I take with me while shopping. In here I keep coupons that I cut or print out that I know I will use. I also have a section for each of the stores I shop at where I keep that weeks shopping list and cut coupons.

More Shopping Tips

Read the weekly post here on Coupon Cutting Mom for the store you are headed to. 

Browse the circular, checking for anything that may be on sale that you need.

Using the two above things make your store list and cut any coupons that you may need.

Take a calculator along. This is one of a couponers best friends.

Keep your eyes peeled for clearance items while shopping. If you also have a coupon this should make for a sweet price on the item.

Don’t be brand loyal. Be open to trying items you might not usually purchase. In my mind this is one the biggest rules, if you are going to make couponing work for you.

If there are 2 sizes calculate which item is the most bang for your buck. The larger one isn’t necessarily the best price per oz. ect.

If it something that you will never use or donate don’t buy it no matter how good the deal may be.

Don’t get discoraged if your brain is in a completed muddle and you make mistakes. Take heart, it will get easier. Remember every coupon used is money saved.

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