Getting Started with Coupons
How to Get Started with Coupons & Saving Lots of Money. (Quick Check list at the bottom)
1. Sign up instore/online for store rewards/club cards in your area such as (CVS, Rite Aid, Duane Reade, Shoprite, Pathmark and so on). You can sign up for member reward cards online by visiting your local stores website, they will send it to you via mail but in the meantime you can print out your member number to use at the store immediately. There are some stores that don't have member cards such as (Target, Walgreens, Walmart and so on).
2. Once you sign up and receive your store's member card, you will be able to save automatically when you check out.
3. Sign up to your local paper. Find out if they offer thursday and sunday delivery only or sunday delivery only to save money, because generally coupons aren't in the papers any other day. Plus if you subscribe to your local newspaper, it's cheaper than buying it for $2 or $3 dollars in the store.
4. Check sites like www.hip2save.com and www.livingrichwithcoupons.com every week for complete lists of coupon match ups for a wide variety of stores.
5. Write a list of the products you want to buy.
6. Find the specific coupons to the items on your list that were specified on the savings sites.
7. Write your list by aisle to keep it easy and have your coupons in the order of which aisles you go to first, so if something isn't in stock, you can easily find the coupon and remove it.
8. If a product that is on sale, isn't in stock, make sure to ask the cashier for a rain check.
9. After you check out, take a few minutes to look over your receipt and make sure every item scanned correctly and all coupons were used and/or doubled. (If there is an issue with your receipt you can fix it right then without having to return later on).
10. Shopping at night can be easier at certain stores, because there are less customers and smaller lines. However keep in mind, many stores stock at night and the products you are looking for, might be blocked by boxes.
If you would like to print coupons online, here are some great sites.
Most coupon sites, allow you to print 2 of the same coupon per computer. Make sure to read the terms and conditions of each site before printing.
There are some sites that allow you to load online coupons onto your store's member reward card such as www.savingstar.com, www.cellfire.com, www.shortcuts.com. Make sure to read the terms and conditions before loading onto your card.
Unfortunately, there are some fake coupons circulating online and if you unknowingly use one, you may get in trouble as it is considered fraud and is illegal. To prevent this from happening, here are some steps you can take.
1. Only print coupons from reputable coupon sites.
2. Visit http://www.couponsinc.com/crc/index.asp and enter the Unique Bar Code on your coupon to see if it's legit.
3. Never take "printed" coupons from someone. Example: A friend/family member offers to print some online coupons and give them to you, though this may be tempting and you probably trust the person, it's not worth it because if that coupon is fake or altered in any way, you will be the one in trouble.
4. However, exchanging coupons from your local paper, seems to be okay to do. But if you see any coupon that is a very high value, make sure to check it out first. Example: $4 dollars of 1 Bag of Chips.
5. Develop of network of fellow couponers, especially professional coupon bloggers and ask them if you are concerned about a specific coupon.
6. Visit http://www.couponinformationcenter.com/ and become familiar with the proper usage of coupons and what to do if you find fake coupons or know someone who is creating and/or using them.
Make sure to stay updated on your local stores Coupon Policies. Printing each coupon policy is very helpful so you can highlight the parts that are of use to you.
All of this may sound like a lot to do and remember but it becomes second nature really fast plus it's all fun to learn and remember.
1. Sign up for store reward cards
2. Sign up for a newspaper subscription
3. Check coupon sites for weekly match ups such as www.livingrichwithcoupons.com
4. Become familiar with store coupon policies.
5. Don't buy coupons/Don't trade printed coupons (to avoid fakes).
6. Remember to get a Rain Check if your store is out of stock of something you wanted to buy.
7. Look into buying a printer to print online coupons.
The Quick Checklist are the most important and helpful couponing tips for those like myself who have a difficult time remembering a bunch of things and usually wind up skimming through and missing important facts lol.