As you’re scrolling through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram (whichever your preference is), you come to a halt when you see something like this.
One of your friends or family couponers was at it again. “How do they do that?” You ask yourself. Maybe you have even joined some coupon groups and tried to decipher how they are saving all this money. Then you scope out some deals:
Bought 4 shampoos
Used 4 mq and 2 pq (mq from RP 10/4)
Now, you are left totally confused. Maybe you’ve learned the lingo, (if not click here) but you still don’t have old coupon inserts from two weeks ago. THIS is when so many say, forget it and give up. Don’t give up! Coupon Confidants has you covered. We have created the easiest guide for beginners to start out. Will you get 30 bags of pet food free in the first trip or even first week of couponing? Probably not, but what I can promise you, is you will be saving and we will show you how to start out small so you can become a Coupon Confidants savings master in no time!
#1 Buy an even number of newspapers/coupon inserts EVERY week.
Now, you may be telling yourself, but I won’t be needing that many coupons since I am just starting out. For some, this is one of the hardest things to grasp. You NEED these inserts on hand to be able to match up deals that will come up in a week, heck, even sometimes a month later. This is why it is crucial to have these on hand until they expire. Some weeks, usually holiday weekends, they are no inserts in the paper. To save you time and money, you can always check out our Insert Schedule. This way you are not buying coupon-less papers. (We have great deals on Newspaper subscriptions, click HERE.)
#2 Organizing your coupons.
Now that you have your inserts, you will need to decide how you would like to organize them. We have a very descriptive and helpful article on this demonstrating quite a few methods for you to choose from so I will not go into too much detail here. (Click here to check our different ways to organize your coupons.) This step is very important because if you can’t easily find your coupons, you will become frustrated and possibly give up and that is NOT what we want. We want this to be enjoyable for you as much as it is for us.
#3 Pick ONE store.
Ok let’s refresh, you have your coupons and you have organized them. Right about now you are starting to get excited at all the deals you are seeing now that you are ready to save some money! However, please keep this mind: Many stores have very similar deals and many deals repeat themselves, usually on average about every 6 weeks or so. If you think you are going to be able to get EVERY deal out there from every store, you are going to burn yourself out. Now do not get me wrong, I am all for getting these must-have deals and going to many different stores, but when you are first starting out, it can become VERY overwhelming. I have helped many of my friends, family members, and co-workers start couponing and they are all STILL doing it successfully because of the way I eased them into. If you feel you can handle a couple stores, then by all means, get those awesome deals! 🙂 I just wouldn’t recommend more than two. All these stores have different rules and store polices so it is much easier for you to master one or two first and then move on to others.
#4 Reading a Coupon.
Reading your coupons correctly is crucial as you do not want to misuse them intentionally or accidentally. You can save money by couponing correctly. Learning to read a coupon and studying the anatomy of it, will help your couponing experience go smoothly and quickly in the store. There are many features that all coupons will have and learning to spot them quickly will help you match your coupons with current or upcoming deals at your favorite store. When reading a coupon, you will always go by the wording on the coupon, NOT the photo of the product. Here are two helpful photos showing you the anatomy of a coupon. I have included a printable coupon also so you can familiarize yourself with the layout of those too. **All coupons, from newspaper, printable, store sites, store booklets, etc., are NEVER to be photocopied for any reason what so ever.**
#5 Stacking Coupons.
One of the most popular ways to maximize your savings is by what we call “stacking” coupons. Stacking can be referred to stacking two promotions together or two coupons. When a sale is going on, you will “stack” a coupon you have to go with the sale. Also, stacking coupons, you would use a manufacturer coupon with a store coupon. *Only one manufacturer coupon may be used per item. Here are some examples of correct and incorrect stacking scenarios.
Take a look at the first photo on left. Buying 4 cat foods, you would use 4 Manufacturer coupons and 1 store coupon as store coupon states it is for 4 products, so it attaches to all 4 bags of Cat food. On the right, we see someone trying to use (2) $1/1 Frank’s hot sauce on only (1) bottle. This is incorrect as they are both manufacturer coupons and you can only use 1 MQ per item. There are MANY coupons out there, so if you are not sure, you can always ask in our helpful Facebook group,Confidants Chat group or you can contact us by using the contact us tab right here on our site.
So there you have it, the easiest beginner guide to using coupons! We made this short and sweet to give you the basics so you can start saving money for you and your family in no time. We will be adding an intermediate article next, getting into using Ibotta, SavingStar, Checkout 51, etc. Stay tuned and Happy couponing Confidants! 🙂