New to Couponing?

New to couponing? Ready to save a ton of money? I'm here to help you. Below is some basic coupon info & please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions, I'm glad to help. I know it all seems a little overwhelming at first, but I'll try to make it easier for you.  Remember, every $ saved adds up! Let's get started!

Where to Find Coupons

  • The easiest place to get coupons is the Sunday newspaper. If you live in a small town, your local paper may not have coupons or not have all available inserts. If you can get a larger city's newspaper, you will usually get more coupons. Not all papers have the same inserts, coupons or the same $ amount on the coupons, they vary across the country.
  • Ask your friends, neighbors & family for their coupon inserts. Most people just throw the inserts away & are glad to save them for you.
  • Coupon swaps at your local library or other club are a great place to get coupons. People meet & trade coupons they don't need for ones they will use.  Put a basket out at work or church for people to put in the coupons they don't need & they can take ones they want.
  • Print online coupons. There are several sites offering printable coupons. Most will allow you to print each coupon twice per computer.  You can NOT photocopy printed coupons! Not all stores accept printed coupons, but most do. I often post links for printable coupons & there are links on the side of  my blog for sites with printable coupons.
  • Look for Blinkies at the grocery stores. Blinkies are the little machines that spit out coupons in the aisles at the grocery store. These are ususally red or black with a red blinking light on them.
  • Many products have coupons on the package, these are called peelies.
  • There are many sites that "sell" coupons, such as My Coupon Hunter & Manufacturers Coupons. It is not legal to sell coupons, but sites can charge for their time to clip them for you & usually just charge a few cents a coupon.. Ebay also has a great selection of coupons.
What To Do With All Those Coupons

Now that you have coupons, what do you do with all of them? For starters, I only cut & print out coupons that I know I will use. I write the date on the coupon inserts & file them all in an accordian file. WHen I need a coupon for a sale, the match-ups will have the coupon listed with the date & insert name.  This allows you to just cut out the coupon you need, saving you a lot of time. However, lots of people cut out all the coupons & keep them. Just do whatever you're most comfortable with.

If you need to find a coupon for a particular item there are online coupon databases (such as We Use Coupons) where you can type in the brand name & it will list all available coupons. If there is a coupon available in an insert, it will list the insert & the date.

There are several ways to store your coupons. You can use a binder, an accordian file, an envelope, a box, whatever works for you. I store my clipped coupons in a zippered binder with ballcard pages. The pages are labeled by category (dairy, bread, meats, snacks, etc) & are in the order of the aisles at my local grocery store. This allows me to easily look through my coupons, see what I have & I know right where to find a particular coupon.

How to Save Money With Coupons

To get the best deals & save the most money you want to use your coupons when an item is on sale. When you can get an item for very cheap, or even FREE, buy as many as you will use before it goes bad, or as many as you have room for. This prevents you from paying full prince for it a  month or two when you need it.  This is called stockpiling.

Every week I will list links to coupon matchups to the sales at many stores. These will tell you the best deals at each store, what coupons to use, & what price the items will be.  Use these to your advantage.

Some stores double coupons up to a certain $ amount. This is a great way to amximaize your coupon savings.  Manufacturers coupons will double (the UPC # will start with a 5), but store coupons will not double (UPC # Usually starts with a 1 or 0). Occasionally some stores will have triple coupons sales! They will normally triple coupons up to 50¢. That means every 50¢ coupon you have will take $1.50 off!

If you don't need an item, but can get it free, think about if you can donate it. Food banks, homeless shelters, domestic violence shelters can always use toiletries, food & cleaning supplies. If you know of a family that recently  lost their home in a fire or flood, make up a large basket of toiletries for them. Many people donate clothes, but not toiletries, & they are greatly appreciated.

Coupon Terms & Abbreviations

  • AC-After Coupons

  •  BC-Before Coupons

  •  HTH-Hope that Helps

  •  MQ-Manufacturers Coupon

  •  OOP-Out of Pocket Expense

  • Q or CPN-Coupon

  • YMMV-Your Mileage May Vary (A deal may work for someone else, but may not for you.)

  • TMF-Try Me Free offer

  • FAR-Free After Rebate

  • CAT-Catalina coupon (Manufacturer coupons that print out from a little machine at the register, triggered by what you buy.)

  •  B1G1F, B2G1F-”Buy one get one Free”, “Buy two get one Free”

  • BOGO - Buy one get one

  • TEAR PAD- A pad of refund forms or coupons hanging on a shelf at the store.

  • BLINKIE-A machine that spits out coupons.

  • UPC-Universal product code (those black straight lines with numbers under them)

  • POP-Proof of purchase (like a product label or UPC)

  • DCRT-Dated cash register receipt

  • GC-Gift Card

  • P&G-Proctor and Gamble

  • SP-Stockpile

  • SS-Smart Source coupon insert

  • PG-Proctor and Gamble coupon insert

  • RP- Red Plum coupon insert

  • Peelies-sticker like coupons found on products

  • ECB-Extra Care Bucks (CVS money)

  • RR- Register Reward (Walgreens money)

  • SCR - Single Check Rebate - Rite Aids rebate program
  • MIR - mail in rebate