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!
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.
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.
Peelies on products or inside the package
In-store coupons or in-store circulars
Blinkie or tearpads located near the item in stores
RMN – RetailMeNo Sunday insert
SS – SmartSource Sunday insert
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
Stacking: Using both a manufactures coupon and a store coupon on one item
Start small. Pick one store and learn as much as you can before trying other stores.
Join the store’s 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.
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. etc.
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 discouraged 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.