Getting Started 101

For those of you that are new to couponing here are some basics to help get you started. As always, email me with ANY questions!

Most Grocery Stores Double Coupons: Check with your local Grocery Store to see if they double and if so, how much.
- Stop Being Brand Specific - If you are out of Peanut Butter then you need to grab the Peanut Butter that is on sale or that you have a coupon for. Be willing to try something out of your comfort zone. You never know - you just might like it!

- Stack Store and Manufacturer Coupons - Some stores like Target and Walgreens encourage you to use both their store coupons and a manufacturer coupon together. Often times this will mean free or close to free products for you!

- Print each stores coupon policy and take it shopping with you! Targets is here, Walmart's is here and Walgreen's is here.
- Find a coupon on eBay: If you find a great deal that uses a paper coupon that you don’t have, look for them on eBay! Just try to find the lowest price and lowest shipping. Last year I got 20 .50c/any McCormick spice for $1.50. I used them to buy the grinders when they went on sale.
      My final cost: 20 grinders for $1.50! These are normally $2.50 each!
- Stockpile it: You may not think you need twenty of anything right now, and you don’t need it right now but you will! Free or close to free items in your pantry means not paying full price when you run out.

- What is a good meat price?: For our family, any meat $2.00/lb or under is a buy it price. Anything $1.50/lb or under is a stock up price!! This means, buy more than one package at that price so you have it later.

- Pair with sales: You will save the most money when you pair a coupon with a sale. Like the above McCormick scenario, I waited until they went on sale $10/10 and got them for free. Sometimes you have to buy an item that isn’t on sale and sometimes coupons expire before a sale.  Using a coupon when you need it is better than not using it at all!

- Don’t pay for treats: I’ve heard so many people say, "Coupons are just for 'junk' or processed food that isn't good for you.” True, a lot of coupons are for things that are not that ‘healthy’. However, most people have some sort of ‘junk’ in their cabinets. If you aren't paying for the ‘junk’ because you used sales and coupons to get it for free or almost free, then you can use the money you would have spent on it to buy fresh, healthy food for your family.

- Start freezing: Investing in a freezer is a great idea. Take what money you are saving each month on groceries using coupons and set it aside for your freezer fund. Your freezer stockpile will more than pay for the freezer in the long run

- Get the paper/Dig through the Recycle bin or ask friends for their coupons: You need the Smart Source (SS) and Red Plum (RP) coupon inserts that come with the paper - get creative in ways to get those coupons.

- Start slow: Maybe this month you will try and cut $20 off your bill. Move up gradually from there. Even if you only save $1 by using one coupon that is $1 you didn't spend – every little bit helps! Be proud of your diligence; you are providing for your family.

Go here to watch a Video that will help explain coupons a little bit more!

Happy Shopping!