Orlando, Washington, Charlotte, New York, and Atlanta.
You probably know a lot about these cities, individually. But with that single sentence, you’re most likely wondering “Why the grouping?”
The simple answer: Couponing!
In a CNBC article, it showed that these five cities are the top when it comes to frugal living. And frugal it is, what with each person saving more than $200. New Yorkers who used coupons top the list in amount saved, at a whopping $476!
This shows just how they’re worth every second you download or cut them out.
And this how to coupon for beginners guide we’ve come up with will show you how it’s done. Time to get all those pennies and dollars saved!
1. How to Coupon for Beginners Starts with Knowing Where to Start
First things first: Know where you can get those coupons.
You don’t have to look hard and long, seeing as there are just so many sites you can obtain them from. After all, the value of distributed consumer packed goods coupons total to a $470 billion in the U.S. alone!
Just do a quick Google search using the keyword “coupons” and you’ll get 141 million results in less than a second. That’s how popular these money-savers are, and how easy you’ll find them to access.
Going traditional is a great way to start though. Start with your newspapers and magazines. These are some of the best sources of coupons. Especially the papers with the most extensive circulation or coverage.
From here, you can go around and ask your non-coupon-using family and friends for their copies of the papers and mags. So long as they’ll just put these up for recycling after reading, they’ll be more than happy for you to put them to better use.
And there’s the World Wide Web of course. Just check out these Enfamil coupons Walmart accepts. With that $5 discount for a price of less than $5, that makes it almost free. Who wouldn’t want to take advantage of that?
Here’s a how to coupon for beginners reminder though:
If the store you want to use the coupons for don’t have at least five products you’re looking for, save the coupons for next time. It’ll be just a bother, not to mention waste of time, effort, and gas if you can only get a couple of products in one go.
2. Start Organizing
All those cut outs can quickly turn into a disastrous mess. So, before you start cutting them into itsy bitsy pieces, get yourself an organizing kit. It can be envelopes, folders, or binders.
The important thing is, organize them depending on how you usually work things out. For instance, it’s a good idea to color code them based on their use.
Check out this more in-depth how to coupon for beginners tip on color-coding:
- Use a green folder or binder for discount coupons on vegetables and other produce
- Red for meat and poultry
- White for household cleaning solutions, detergents, dishwashers, etc.
- Yellow for tools and DIY supplies
These are just examples, but feel free to use them or base your own strategies on them. They’ll all boil down to helping you save time and energy once you’re at the store.
3. Compare Discount Rates
Just because you’ll already get discounts from them doesn’t mean they’ll all give you the same amount of savings. You still have to do a bit of research to figure out which coupons offer the biggest money-saving deal.
So, take the time to compare the deals each coupon offers. Also, make sure to check out the stores themselves carrying the products you want to get.
This way, you can find out if the store has its own promotion. And if it has a better deal, then you can save up the coupon for your next hugely-discounted shopping expedition.
4. Matchmaking Time
Here’s a must-remember how to coupon for beginners trick: Learn the art and science of coupon matchups!
Sometimes, there are items you can use multiple coupons on. By matching these up, you’re on your way to getting even more savings. A few examples of stores that allow this coupon matchmaking technique are Walmart, While Foods, Walgreens, Target, and Rite Aid among many others.
Since you’re most likely doing your shopping in one go, it’s best you plan for the matchups a few days before. It takes time to determine which coupons match with what, but the huge savings you’ll get is definitely worth the time.
5. Focus on Your Needs
Coupons are definitely some of the most ingenious money-saving inventions for consumers. However, incorrect use can lead to you spending more than your initial goal.
As a newcomer to the world of couponing, a problem you most likely will encounter is sorting through all the rubble of coupons you may not need. Especially those that will make you spend more despite your goal of actually pinching pennies.
So, a how to coupon for beginners you should never forget is to prioritize clipping for items you have the greatest need for. And it starts with figuring out what exactly you need right away.
Perhaps you need children’s milk, such as Enfamil, for your kids. Or maybe you’re low on household supplies, like detergents, bath soaps, dishwashing liquids, etc. Whichever the case is, it’s a good idea to check your pantry and supply storage to find out what you’re lacking or low on supply in.
And from there, focus your coupon search on just these items.
6. Make a List
Making a “To-Do List” is crucial to productivity. It lets you organize and prioritize your tasks. Following this list then results not just in timely completion of your tasks, but better output too.
The same applies to couponing. When you create a list of items you need based on your needs’ urgency, you’ll have an easier time finding coupons and getting those that give you the greatest savings.
In addition, you can use the same list when you do the shopping itself, as it lets you avoid the pitfalls of the aisles. Not having a list puts you at risk of forgetting your main goal, not to mention the possibility of impulse buying.
So, before you head out to your next extreme couponing adventure, don’t forget this list. It can make a huge difference in your expedition’s success, as well as your wallet’s thickness.
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