Beginner’s Guide to Couponing | Part 3
This is the final post in a three-part series. Catch up by reading Part 1 and Part 2. This post may contain affiliate links.
You’ve grasped the basics of couponing. You know about the coupon types and where to find them. Now, you’re ready to actually coupon. How do you go about using your coupons and finding deals, you ask? There are two ways.
There is a HUGE couponing community out there, as you may be aware of. Coupon blogs are dedicated to finding deals to just about every major supermarket chain and drugstore and even lesser-known ones.
These blogs do the work for you. They scour countless coupons and store sales and post weekly “match-ups” (a list of on-sale items paired with available coupons) as well as any “hot deals” that pop up.
They show you the deals and where to find the coupons. All you have to do is decide which deals you want to pursue and print or clip the coupons. Easy peasy! Each site has additional resources like coupon databases to help you.
There are many coupon blogs. In my opinion, these are the best:
You can also “google” coupon blog + your state, and you will receive options that focus on your area.
On Your Own
If you decide to use the Coupon Binder Method, then you can also find deals on your own. Take a look at your store’s circular and match up deals with the coupons you have clipped.
Of course, you will be limited to the coupons you have clipped, printed, or are aware of. A huge benefit of using the coupon blogs is they can point you to coupons you would not find on your own.
The world of couponing also has its own language. Learn the lingo so you can easily decipher it when you visit coupon blogs and websites.
- Matchups: the pairing of sale prices with coupons
- Stacking: pairing or combining different types of coupons (i.e., manufacturer coupon + electronic coupon + SavingStar + Ibotta)
- Stockpile (n): your collection of staple items that you scored at rock bottom prices
- Stockpile (v): the act of achieving above
- Q: coupon
- IP or IQ: internet printable or internet coupon
- eCoupon: electronic coupon
- Peelies: coupons found directly on products
- Blinkies: coupons found in “those little machines” in store aisles
- Tear Pads: coupons found on pads on shelves or displays
- OYNO: on your next order
- OOP: out of pocket
- WYB: when you buy
- YMMV: your miles may vary (your situation may vary)
- BOGO or B1G1: buy one get one
- B2G1: buy two get one
- $1/1, $1/2, $2/1, etc.: refers to the value of a coupon and the quantity of the product you will need to buy (one dollar off one, one dollar off two, two dollars off one, etc.)
- EXP: expires
- MFR: manufacturer
- DND: do not double
- MIR: mail in rebate
- MM: money maker
- Catalinas: the coupons that come out of “that little machine” next to the register. Don’t throw these out as the items you buy trigger them, and they can be useful. As you learn to coupon, there will be times you intentionally buy items to generate a Catalina.
At the Register
After putting in the time to clip your coupons and prepare for your shopping trip, you want to make sure your time at the register is successful. Keep the following in mind.
- Arrive organized. If necessary, spend a few minutes to get your coupons together and weed out the ones you’re not going to use BEFORE you get on line.
- Know your coupons and how they work.
- Be sure your coupons match the items you are purchasing.
- Be aware of quantity limits for sale items as well as coupons.
- Keep an eye on the register to make sure every coupon is scanned.
- If a coupon doesn’t scan properly, politely point it out.
- Politely warn the next person in line if you are using a lot of coupons
- Check your receipt.
You will undoubtedly learn more about couponing as you go. Coupon like a pro from day one by keeping these tips in mind.
- Be friendly with customer service.
- When in doubt ask customer service if a coupon is permissible BEFORE you try to use it.
- Follow the rules. Use coupons as specified.
- Be a conscious and courteous couponer.
- Identify your store’s coupon-friendly cashiers (those who are efficient and can “think past” a register beep.
- Be courteous to those behind you.
- Be a confident couponer by knowing your store’s policy and how coupons work.
- Don’t get caught up with pursuing deals just because of the price. Focus on the items you would usually buy.
- Get a raincheck at customer service if a sale item is sold out.
- Donate your expired or unused coupons to military families. Details here.
- Use your new coupon powers for someone else’s good! Couponing is a great way to maximize your donation efforts, especially around the holidays.
- It’s okay to take a break from couponing every once in awhile.
- Pick Another Checkout Lane, Honey
- Living Rich with Coupons
- The Coupon Mom’s Guide to Cutting Your Grocery Bills in Half
Congrats, you’ve made it this far! You’re ready to coupon, my friend. If you haven’t yet, get started by clipping some printable coupons and planning your first shopping trip.
So, do you plan to give couponing a try? Let me know in the comments!
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