Couponing is an artform — it takes time, energy and strategy. Whether you are brand new or looking to step up your couponing game, there are tactics you can implement to achieve your savings goals. As an innovative marketing company, specializing in connecting savers to relevant and trusted businesses, we know the ins and outs of couponing. The SaveOn team has compiled our best advice to help you become a pro couponer and expert saver.
Before you start clipping coupons, you should consider three things: savings goals, time devotion and couponing supplies.
The first thing you must decide is what your savings goals are. Are you looking to cut your monthly spending in half? Do you want to save $10 a week? Are you only going to make leisurely purchases if you have a coupon? Are you going to create a stockpile or are you just saving on current purchases? No matter what your goal is, setting firm objectives will be the first step to becoming a true couponer.
Next, you should determine how much time per week you want to spend couponing. The amount you regularly save tends to directly correlate with the time you devote to couponing, meaning you spend more time to save more money. It’s easy to get sucked into the fun of couponing and spend more time on it than originally planned. Determine how much time you will coupon each day and week and stick to it. It’s all right to work on a flexible schedule, but be firm with not going over your allotted time each week.
Lastly, you need to get your supplies in order. Most couponers like to have a binder with dividers to store their printed coupons. Three-inch binders are one of the more popular sizes for couponing, and getting baseball cardholder inserts is a great way to store the coupons without having them fall behind each other. Some people prefer plastic bins to coupon binders. This method can easily get disorganized, so we suggest rubber-banding coupons together by expiration day, placing them in alphabetic order by store and clearly labeling them. Another storage option for savers is filing bins or boxes. Again, storing them by date and alphabetic order and labeling in a way that makes sense to you will keep you organized on your upcoming shopping trips. Other supplies you may need for couponing are a printer and paper, scissors, a paper cutter, labels, and dividers.
Learn the Lingo
One of the most confusing things for new couponers is the lingo because there are a lot of abbreviations and terms that coupon sites and blogs tend to use. Here are some of the most important couponing terms to know while you get started:
- Stacking — Using multiple coupons for one item (one manufacturer’s coupon and one store coupon usually)
- BOGO/B1G1 — Buy one get one
- Q — Coupon
- WYB —When you buy
- OOP — Out of Pocket
- Double Coupon — Coupon that the store doubles in value
- $/$$ — Dollars off when you buy X amount of dollars
- $/X — Dollars off when you buy X number of items
Although these seem foreign and can be hard to remember at first, you’ll quickly catch on and find yourself using them all the time.
You’ll hear us say this time and time again — stay organized. Organization is the single most important part of being a successful couponer. If you can’t find a coupon or don’t use it before the expiration date, all your hard work goes to waste. Find an organization method that works for you and stick to it.
Every pro couponer has a variety of sources to get the best savings. Coupons can be found in newspapers, magazines, store flyers, online or via apps. Magazines and Sunday newspapers are known for being full of coupons, and many new savers used to start there for local coupons. Companies often send magazines with their latest coupons in the mail weekly or monthly. In today’s world, many newspapers are folding or moving online, so if your local paper doesn’t offer a ton of local coupons or doesn’t exist anymore, a good place to start is online.
At SaveOn.com we offer thousands of hyperlocal coupons for food and dining, automotive, groceries, retail and fashion, health and beauty, and more. You can easily print or save coupons through your free membership account. Pro couponers subscribe to a number of online couponing sites and download apps to get coupons straight to their phones and emails. You also can subscribe to our magazine to have coupons delivered to your door monthly.
Another way to get coupons is to email or write to manufacturers of your favorite products asking for coupons. These companies are happy to send coupons because it encourages people to buy their products, and you will get great deals that you can sometimes stack with local store coupons.
Finally, signing up for membership/email lists that regularly send coupons is always a good idea. Whether it’s for a single store or a couponing site, you will be able to easily save, organize and use coupons.
At SaveOn, we are focused on giving savers access to reliable, local businesses and big savings so you can live life for less. To ensure you never miss a great deal and to receive more savings tips, sign up for our newsletter below.