Monday, April 7, 2014

How do I use coupons? Where do I begin? How can I save money using coupons?

How do you use coupons to save so much money? Where do I begin? How can I save money using coupons? Let’s face it, unless we have been taught how to use coupon, for “coupon moms in training” it can be frustrating.

The first thing I recommend is find someone who knows what they’re doing when it comes to using coupons. Ask questions about all the couponing terms you hear that you don’t understand. If possible, find someone local and sit down with them. Join a couponing group, but not just a coupon swap, an actual group or class. Even if you have to pay $10 to attend a coupon class it’s going to be an investment that pays off.

Need some online couponing support? Join Saving Pennies Nickels Dimes and Quarters on Facebook.

Second, don’t believe shows where people get $1,000 worth of groceries for 5¢ are real. Listen to what most of those people say when they do their shopping trip for the show. “That’s the biggest haul I’ve ever made!” or “I’ve never saved that much before!” or “I planned for weeks for that shopping trip!”

Many “extreme couponers” have made watching sales and matching coupons their full-time job. They may get dozens of inserts or get coupons from clipping services. Most spend as many as 40 (or more) hours each week going through store ads to match coupons to sales. Remember, YOU may not have time to do that.

Do NOT be intimidated! On average, once you get into a routine with matching coupons to sales you will probably realistically save anywhere from 25% to 40% but it's possible, once you really get going, to save 60% to 75% with sales and couponing matching.

Once you have the basic terminology down it is best to begin with one store where you feel comfortable. In my opinion, Walgreens is the best place to begin.  Why? Here are a few reasons to start with Walgreens as your first coupon adventure.

Follow Rachael’s Frugal Living to get updates on daily, weekly and unadvertised sales and coupon match-ups that will help you save money.

You can also follow Rachael’s Food News and Recipes to get the latest news on food and recipes. Rachael specializes in frugal and family-friendly recipes that do not require a lot of ingredients.

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