This section is designed for those of you who are new to the whole couponing and deal seeking experience.
The point of this site is to SAVE YOUR MONEY!
You have to start somewhere, and this is where:
1. Save any and all coupons you can get your hands on.
This means when at the store, keep your eyes peeled for blinking coupon dispensers. ALWAYS take the coupons, even if you don't need the product or would not necessarily buy it. This is how I have gotten many items for free! When you get your Sunday paper, save the inserts. Go out and get a couple more papers if that particular Sunday's paper is loaded with coupons. The Dollar Tree, or most big dollar stores have the Sunday paper for just a buck! Use a coupon or two and it's paid for! For a preview of what coupons are going to be in your Sunday paper, go here: Sunday Coupon Preview.
2. Sign up for store rewards cards!
Rite Aid's Wellness + and CVS' Extra Care are a MUST! Walgreens does not have a program that requires sign-up. Neither does Target. Many retailers do though. Before you buy from any retailer, check up and see if there is a rewards program.
3. Do your homework!
There may be a great deal on body wash at CVS where you can get them for a quarter each, but don't jump on it, Rite Aid may have the same thing for free or even better after your +up rewards! I plan every shopping trip before I go, that way I am prepared to get the best deal out there. Make a list, clip the coupons, bring the rewards cards and extra bucks and follow the list!
4. Be Not Afraid!
I know there is a stigma attached to using coupons for some people. I don't understand it, but there is one. People are shy or embarrassed to use them. This is further accentuated by temperamental registers that beep upon scanning certain coupons which cause a delay for you and the shoppers behind you. Well I have something to say about that; IT'S YOUR MONEY! If you want to throw it away, then go straight to a store/website and shop your heart out without any coupons or discounts. They'll laugh all the way to the bank. I will try my best to only post deals that WILL NOT CAUSE BEEPING and if I know a coupon may cause beeping, I will mention it. If a coupon is rejected, and you know it should have been accepted, say something, get a manager, call the 1-800 number or at the very least, put the item back. Don't just say "oh well" and take it. I prefer a confrontation free transaction though. There are some people on other sites who seem to be looking for a fight, and that is not me. I am just looking to score some sweet deals. This blog will be written with that mentality.
5. Stay Organized!
This is a must. Coupons expire, rewards expire, extra bucks expire, everything expires! Keep in mind expiration dates. The most important of these are the expiration dates of the Extra Bucks and +Up rewards you will get from CVS and Rite Aid. The rewards are as good as cash and can be used on anything except booze, lotto and gift cards. They print out on the bottom of receipts and have a shelf life of about a month. I have let $15 or more bucks expire and I was mad! Now I have a calendar that I use to warn me of expiring dates. If you are actively shopping at those stores weekly or bi-weekly, you should have no problem using the bucks before they expire.
Keep your coupons organized! I started by using a binder with subject dividers and baseball card pages. I would clip the coupons and sort them based on categories (bath, food, chemicals). Needless to say, that got a little tedious as I got more and more coupons. Now, I have a durable accordion file, sheet protectors and post-its. Here's what i do: My accordion file has 20+ sections and each is named for a week (11/21/10 etc) In each section, I have sheet protectors labeled for which insert is in each protector (Red Plum, Smart Source). If I buy multiple papers, all like inserts go in the same sheet protector. I have found that this process works WAY better than anything else I have tried. Often, when seeking deals here and elsewhere, the coupons listed will have a location id (8/31-ss). That means the coupon listed can be found in the August 31st Smart Source. Organizing by the method I use makes finding that coupon a breeze!
6. Plan on Having Extra Money!
This one is simple. Following the tips on this blog will save you some serious bucks! Go ahead, start planning how you are going to spend your new found fortune!