1. You don’t need to go from store to store for every deal. When people begin using coupons sometimes they get really caught up. The deals are everywhere. Each stores policy is just a little different so it takes times to learn the absolute best methods for saving at each individual store. Also the stores know what coupons are in the paper so often you will see the same items on sale at multiple locations. Pick one, get good at it and then move onto the next one.
2. Print the store coupon policy and stick it in your binder. “I saw it online” isn’t always the best option to defend the coupons you want to use. Print the current store policy and keep it with you. Be sure to check about every six months or so- sometimes the policies are updated.
3. No yelling at the cashier or manager. In using coupons, as in life, “you get more flies with honey.” Nothing good comes out of yelling at your cashier. In fact the last thing on earth you want is the word to go around your local store that you are difficult to work with. Not to mention you represent people who coupon. It makes me so angry when I see a person using coupons act like a jerk in a store. It makes us all look bad.
4. Getting Organized Takes Time. Most people go through atleast two different ways of organizing their coupons, if not more. Don’t give up if what you try first doesn’t work. Check out Ways to Organize Your Coupons to see some options.
5. Only Print the coupons you need. Some people get very excited when they first start using coupons and print EVERYTHING. Only print coupons for items that if they went on sale you would grab them. Or items you know you will use.
6. No Photocopying Coupons– Photocopying coupons is illegal. And the store who takes the photocopied coupon will not get reimbursed for it. So stick to printing and keep everything on the up and up.
7. Make sure to print a list of the coupons connected to your card so you aren’t surprised at check-out. Online coupons are AWESOME, but if you have any connected to a store card, you don’t want to be surprised at check-out. Make a list of what is on your card so you remember. Also be sure to check if your store will let you use a paper coupon AND a digital coupon on the same item.
8. Get rid of brand loyalty. The less brand loyal you are the easier it is to save with coupons. Take this opportunity to try new items (some of them free) and see if your laundry detergent is really that much better than the competitor’s brand. Or your shampoo. Or your razor blades.
9. Don’t trust coupon buying sites. Why might you ask, since they are so convenient and everywhere on the web? Because companies are cracking down on them. If your local paper gives you the option you may be able to have multiple copies delivered at a significant discount. There are places online to buy the whole insert and those are much safer than buying individual coupons.
10. No you aren’t going to get everything for free. I know many people started using coupons during TLC’s “Extreme Couponing.” And then were so upset when they went to the store and couldn’t get everything they needed free. I always tell people that “Extreme Couponing” is to couponing as “The Bachelorette” is to dating. It’s not realistic. Saving 50% on your groceries, cutting your grocery bill in half, is much more realistic and completely possible. It is also an amazing accomplishment to be proud of!