So, umm, how exactly DO you coupon???
Learning to Coupon can seem to be a daunting task. But, truth be told, once you have the basics the rest is easy!
It's all about changing your mindset to, "It's ok if I spend a little money while learning to save a lot".
Now, since you have decided to learn how to coupon lets set some basic rules:
1.) Don't expect to have everything overnight! It will take you some time to get going, but once you do your stockpile will grow in leaps and bounds!
2.) If you mess up a deal, it's ok. We all make mistakes, just smile, shake your head and start again.
3.) No matter how you do it, couponing is messy. So just warn your family now and get the fussing over. Make yourself a designated 'mess' space and try to keep the majority of it there. But, remember that you are going to be holding on to about 4 months worth of coupon inserts and loose coupons. You are going to have printed coupons and magazines. You are going to have scrap paper to write on and trash bags. And if your like me, you will have a desk set up that includes your makeup station and kleenex! I spend a majority of my time off work sitting right here and working on my couponing and my website!
4.) It's ok if the store is out of the products you want. One of the nice things about CVS is their 'never ending' rain checks! If they are out of your product, just ask for a raincheck and you can use it anytime in the future! Don't panic if your coupon is going to expire, I promise another will come out in the future and you can do your deal then!
5.) Respect others. Your hobby is not only messy, but it is time consuming as well. If you are going to choose to do multiple transactions at the check-out, be aware of your surroundings. If another customer comes up that does not have coupons, finish that transaction then move out of the way and let them check out. Our passion takes time to collect, time to organize and time to achieve. Don't ever get in a rush if you are a couponer!
Now, if you learned all that..then you are ready to dive into the video next to this and really get started!
Have fun with it..you will see that adding couponing into your life will affect you in ways you would have never imagined!
Let's Answer some common questions about couponing!
1.) Are Coupon Websites Safe:
Most of the larger couponing websites were designed with your safety in mind. These sites are laid out to help the customer find out what is on sale, where to go to collect coupons and how to use the coupons they have collected. If you want to know which of the coupon distributors are safe then you need to be more careful. My suggestion is to use the ones that are well known to begin with. Coupons.com is one of the largest coupon distributors. They also allow sites like this one to add their service to make it easier for the customer to print from. Bricks coupon service is also a service that you will run into that provides individual coupons to be printed from a lot of databases. I have never had problems with them.
After that, look to the makers of your Sunday paper inserts! Smart source, Red Plum and P & G are all dependable safe services to use. Your company or store sites are usually safe to use for coupon services as well.
Just remember, there is no 100% guarantee that you won't get a virus from any online web site. It would be impossible to make that statement as there are some very determined hackers out there that make it a point to prove to the world that they can get through any safety services. So, make sure you have an anti virus software on your computer and stick to the better known sites!
2.) What are 'coupon fairies' and are they legal?
'Coupon fairy' is a slang term for people who distribute coupons or coupon inserts individually without you buying the newspapers. Their services are legal as long as they follow the rules. Though they can not charge you for the coupons themselves, they can charge you for the time it takes for them to gather and cut or 'clip' them and they can charge you for the shipping costs to send them to you.
3.) What is a coupon 'database'?
A coupon database is a page that you can type in the particular coupon that you are looking for and it will search the web for you to tell you where to find it or what insert to cut it out of. A lot of the couponing websites will have a database available for you to use, including this one.
4.) How do companies get paid for the coupons I use?
When you use a coupon at a store, the store will submit that coupon to the manufacturer and will be reimbursed for the face value plus a small amount for their trouble of processing it.
5.) What is the difference between 'Available at' and 'Redeemable at'?
Often you will see Available at or Redeemable at, followed by a company name on the face of a coupon. Available at is simply an advertisement for that company and should be allowed to use at any store that accepts those coupons. Redeemable at means that you can only use that coupon at that store. This will often apply as well if you see a company's name at the top of a coupon instead of the words 'Manufacturer Coupon'.
6.) Can a coupon be used after the expiration date?
All coupons have an expiration date on them unless it stipulates "NO EXPIRATION". A coupon may be used up to and including the date of expiration. Some companies will allow you to use them afterward by a few days but that is a rare occurrence. You should check with your store for their particular policy on this if there is a question.
As a side note: Military families on most bases may use an expired coupon for up to 6 months after the expiration at a lot of companies!
7.) What are 'store coupons'?
A lot of companies have developed coupons that are particular to their stores only. CVS, Walgreens, Kohls, Macys, Harbor Freight and Sears are examples of these. They will offer on their sites or in their ads 'coupons' that will apply only when used at their stores.
8.) What does it mean to 'stack' coupons?
Often at stores you are allowed to use a manufacturer's coupon and a store coupon together. This is called 'stacking'. If you use both coupons on an item that is on sale already, this can add up to a substantial savings!
9.) What are 'catalina coupons'?
Catalina coupons are coupons that come from a machine attached to the register at some stores, like Walgreens. They work like regular manufacturer coupons on the products listed.
10.) What are ECB's ?
ECB is an abbreviation for Extra Care Buck at CVS. These are a type of ' pretend money' earned for particular purchases at the store. They can be used as a form of payment for your future purchase of goods at CVS with a few exceptions like medications or alcohol.
POINTS work essentially the same way at Walgreens and other stores where you build up your total based on purchases then turn them in to help pay for other purchases.
Some department stores like Kohls and Macys also offer a form of 'Buck' or 'Dollar' back to use on future purchases.
I hope these answers helped you to understand the way coupons are used to help people save money! If you have other questions that you would like answered feel free to email them to :