1) Stay Organized
Overall organization is critical to maintaining sanity and realizing long term value. There is nothing worse in couponing than going into a store unorganized. Have your list, your coupons, and know your sale. Leave the rest in the car. A little prep work in needed before you hit the stores. You can see how to organize your coupons Here.
2) Know the Code
There is a secret formula. A sale + a MFR (manufacturer) coupon + a store/competitor coupon = freebies, moneymakers, and cheap items. When possible combine these THREE things. In addition to the secret formula, you need to know the acronyms (see my side bar for examples.)
3) Be Flexible
Break from brand loyalties, there are a lot of great coupons out there if you are willing to try new things.
4) Learn to Stockpile
When there is an amazing sale combined with a large coupon you must stockpile. Know your store sales, how frequently things go on sale and then save enough until the next sale. This might mean you need several copies of a coupon…getting multiple copies of newspapers is a good idea.
5) Reward Cards Are Your Friend
Many stores offer great incentives only for those who are reward card holders. Sometimes it is best to get reward cards of stores not even in your area because some stores will take those competitors’ coupons.
6) Understand the Fine Print
Make sure you read the details so you truly understand what is on sale and what items for the coupon will work. Most manufacturers display the most expensive item on face of the coupon. Consumers look at the picture and select that item. If you read the fine print there might be a cheaper item for which you could get the discount (one example is a trial size item.)
7) Don’t Reinvent the Wheel
Frugal Coupon Mom has done the work for you. Don’t get stressed trying to plan your shopping list. Use this resource and other resources like it to see what is on sale each week and what is matched to a coupon. If you do not have the coupon, don’t buy the item unless your family is in need (sales are good, but they are even better with coupons.) Look at my shopping lists then create your own list.
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