Have you ever looked at the people who are handing over coupons to the cashier because you hear the deductions happening in real-time? Did you then stare at them wondering how in the world they started couponing?
Well, if you are thinking about trying to gather coupons to start couponing, you’ve come to the right place. This guide will go over everything you need to know to start as a first-timer!
Before you know it, you’ll be saving hundreds, and even thousands, of dollars because of your new couponing skills. So don’t wait! Start reading!
Gather the Essentials
Before you can physically show up at the store with coupons, there are a few other things you need to do. And a few things you’ll need:
- Store flyers
Once you have those things gathered, it’s time to begin finding the coupons!
Set Aside Time to Gather the Right Coupons
Gathering coupons is not as easy as collecting a few pieces of paper and putting them to the side next time you go to the store. Instead, it’s all about spending time gathering the right coupons.
It may seem unnecessary to set aside an hour or two a week to gather coupons and search for deals around you. But in reality, you’ll be saving enough money to make up for that time – meaning you are basically getting paid to save!
If that still doesn’t sell you on the whole “spending time to gather coupons” thing, think of gathering coupons as collecting currency. The more coupons you have, the more you’ll be saving.
Look for Coupons
Next step: Look for the coupons you want to use. You can find these in so many different places! The trick is to utilize all of the different places to make sure you are getting every coupon you possibly can.
Download a Few Apps
With an increasingly digital world at our fingertips, there are many ways to get coupons online. One is by downloading a few different apps. Here are a few to try out:
Each app offers different ways to earn coupons, so it’s important to understand the differences between each before signing up. You want to choose one that you think will benefit you the most.
Look Into Websites
Not only are there apps that can give you coupons, but there are also some websites that offer coupons. However, many of the sites only allow you to print several coupons. Because of that, knowing a few different websites to look at is essential.
Check these out:
- Smart Canucks
- Go Coupons
- Kraft Canada
- Smart Source
Check these out in addition to looking at apps on your phone to find some great coupons to use.
Pickup Store Flyers and Local Newspapers
Depending on where you live and where you think you’ll be couponing, heading to the stores is a great idea to gather coupons. There are usually flyers and store magazines at the front of the store. You can go through all of the coupons after picking this up.
You can also find some coupons in local newspapers. Do some research to find out where you can pick this up or start to get it delivered to your house.
When entering the store to go shopping, you should double-check the bulletins to see if there are any new coupons since you last checked in your flyers.
Understand How to Get Cash Back Rewards
In addition to using physical coupons, there are also ways to save money when shopping that falls under the category of “couponing,” but is not necessarily using coupons.
A few apps that give you cash back rewards are Caddle and Rakuten.
For Caddle, you can upload your receipts after you go shopping to gain cash back points in the app. Once you have $20 in your account, you can redeem for a check.
For Rakuten, you upload your credit and debit cards to the app and automatically start earning cash back at any partner store you shop at. You don’t have to do any extra work since they track it all for you!
And of course, these are just naming a few ways to get cash back. There are many more, too!
Learn About “Overage”
The first thing you may be wondering is what in the world is overage? When you get overage, that basically means that you were savvy enough with your coupons to actually get money back or get credit toward other items, rather than still having to spend money.
So how do you make that happen!? There are a few ways:
- Combine store coupons and manufacturer coupons
- Apply “Catalina” coupons (a coupon that a store offers that says “save $X on your next purchase”)
- Use a coupon on a clearance item
When you do this, instead of still having to pay for the rest of the item, you’ll have leftover money at the end!
Always Buy in Bulk
A lot of coupon offers tend to be something like ‘buy one get one free’ or ‘buy 5 and get 2 free.’
When you buy in bulk, you’ll get double the savings. If you know you are going to use these items and they are non-perishable (like deodorant or toothpaste), this is the perfect time to buy in bulk.
This basically means you buy an item when it is at its cheapest rather than waiting until you actually need it. This takes some planning as well.
Before you buy in bulk, be sure that you have enough storage space in your home so that you don’t end up drowning in toilet paper and toothpaste! Knowing how much space you have determines how much of an extreme couponer you can truly be.
This will also help you save down the road. But before you buy in bulk, make sure your coupons cover most of it and that you understand the budget you have!
Never Look at Just One Store for Deals
At this point in time before becoming a couponer, you may have loyalty to a few different stores for one reason or another.
However, when it comes to couponing the right way, getting rid of all brand loyalty is a must. You have to exhaust all of your options to see which one is the best option for couponing. This is the only way to save the most amount of money.
If one drug store is offering $5 off your entire purchase and another one is offering $1 off, this may be the time to go to the one you don’t usually go to instead.
If this sounds devastating to you since you are a lover of a specific brand, just be sure to keep an eye out for any deals or savings and buy when this happens instead of waiting for the right time (like when you need it).
Join Loyalty Programs
Many different stores offer loyalty programs these days. These programs are basically there to incentivize the customer to keep coming back by offering more and more offers.
The loyalty programs may offer cash back deals. Or they may offer you more savings on individual items. For instance, some grocery shops may put yogurt at the price of $1.99, but being a part of the loyalty program may allow you to purchase it at $1.49 instead.
Over time, those cents will begin to add up.
Other stores not only offer cash back deals, but offer credit cards. By opening credit cards you may be able to save even more money. However, be sure that you are in the right financial situation to open an additional credit card.
Learn About Store’s Coupon Policies
There’s nothing worse than going into a store and trying to use your coupons only to be told you can’t use them at the same time. To avoid this, receiving a copy of your store’s coupon policies is a must.
You can review it to understand what coupons can be used together so that you aren’t wasting time while gathering your coupons. Be sure to do this for each store though, as they are all going to be a little different.
Use These Tips to Start Couponing
It may seem daunting to start couponing. You’ll have tons of tiny papers, a couple of apps, and even more websites to balance.
But once you start doing it, you’ll get the hang of it in no time. You’ll start saving hundreds of dollars, and maybe even getting some back with overage and cash back deals!
The mess you think it is when you start will start to seem like another daily task on your to-do list. Nothing more than something to cross off!
If you are trying to get your finances into shape through couponing, you may still need to take a few more steps to organize your finances. You can contact us for some extra help to get your finances organized! Then, let the couponing begin!