Join the Coupon Craze

By
Real Estate Agent with Connie Taylor - Keller Williams Realty

Wanting to Join the Coupon Craze?  I thought I might, but where to start?  I found this article by Ashley Gartland in Homes by Design Magazine very helpful.  Now to put it to the test and start saving some money!

  

You need only watch an episode of Extreme Couponing to recognize that everyone from moms to busy professionals has caught coupon fever—and with good reason. In these lean times, couponing helps shoppers save on groceries and household items and “buy” products without actually paying for them.

In just a few hours a week, you too can start couponing to reduce your household expenses. Whether you want to trim your weekly grocery bill or score free toiletries, couponing can help you shop smarter and stretch your hard-earned dollars further. Here’s how.

Find a mentor. The quickest way to learn to coupon is to study a pro at work. You might call a friend who coupons regularly and tag along on a shopping trip. If you’re the scholarly type, consider signing up for a class at a local college or community center or hitting the Web. There are multiple couponing sites that will provide you with a virtual mentor and scads of how-to advice.

Set up shop. Savvy shoppers get organized long before they start clipping coupons. Arm yourself with basic tools such as scissors and a calculator and then select a filing system that meets your needs. You can store coupons in an accordion file, envelopes, shoeboxes, or a binder outfitted with baseball-card inserts. “With so many different options available, just find the one that works for you,” says Kelly Hancock, author of Saving Savvy. “You are the one who will be using your system, so organize it the way you thinkit makes sense.

Start your search. Between Sunday newspaper inserts and the Web, there’s no shortage of places to find coupons. Hancock recommends gathering extra copies of weekly newspaper inserts and sales fliers from family and friends. You can also join a store’s customer savings program to download coupons directly to your rewards card and find more coupons among the aisles. If you’re loyal to particular brands, you should also visit company websites and Facebook pages, says Kathy Spencer, author of How to Shop for Free. After you sign up for company newsletters or “like” businesses on Facebook, they’ll often send coupons your way.

 

Make a game plan. Experienced couponers know that weekly meal plans are the foundation of successful shopping trips. “You form your shopping list by determining what you are going to eat from what you already have on hand in your pantry and freezer,” says Hancock. “From there, you decide what you are going to purchase from the items that are on sale and items that you have a coupon for.” Don’t know how to make a meal plan or shopping list? The bloggers behind most couponing websites post weekly deal scenarios that outline how to put the week’s coupons to the best use.

 

Shop and store. Once you’ve hit the stores and brought your deeply discounted purchases home, you’ll need to organize them so nothing goes to waste.  Hancock recommends setting up additional storage shelving in unused areas of your home and utilizing under-bed bins to store items with a longer shelf life, such as toiletries. Finally, always rotate the items on your shelves so the products that expire soon are the ones you’ll use first.

 

Pay it forward. As you become a practiced couponer, you’ll discover you don’t need all the items you can snag for free. Most couponers agree you should pick them up anyway and donate them to someone in need. “When you walk into a homeless shelter and donate products or donate to a senior who is really struggling, the feeling is better than the coupon high; it’s euphoric,” says Spencer. “You go from a place where you need help to using couponing to be able to help someone else.”

Learn the Lingo

Don’t know the difference between a peelie and a Catalina? Here’s the basic couponing vocabulary you’ll need to know to embark on the path toward big savings.

 

Blinkie: A manufacturer’s coupon for a product dispensed in store by a coupon machine

 

Catalina: A receipt-like coupon received at the register postpurchase

 

Coupon insert: Coupon circulars such as SmartSource that are inserted into Sunday newspapers

 

Coupon: A note from a store or manufacturer that entitles a shopper to receive a discount on a product

 

Double coupon: A store coupon that lets shoppers double a manufacturer’s coupon up to a certain value, typically $0.50

 

Hangtag: A manufacturer’s coupon displayed on the “neck” of a product

 

Manufacturer’s coupon: A coupon produced by the manufacturer to entice shoppers to buy the product for less

 

Peelie: An adhesive manufacturer’s coupon that peels off a product for immediate use

 

Stacking: Using a store coupon and a manufacturer’s coupon together on one item

 

Tearpad: A pad of manufacturer’s coupons located next to an item

 

Stockpile: A food pantry or stash of food and nonfood items purchased while on sale

 

www.howtoshopforfree.net

www.thekrazycouponlady.com

www.couponmom.com

www.faithfulprovisions.com

 

This information is presented by:

 

Connie Taylor

Keller Williams

ConnieTaylor@KW.com

www.AmarilloDreamHomes.com

 

Information is deemed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed.

 

Comments (1)

John Pusa
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest - Glendale, CA
Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service

Connie - Thank you for sharing list if websites and detailed information about the coupon craze.

Aug 24, 2012 03:24 AM