Where Are The Coupons?:
First, you need to figure out where you will be getting your coupons! I have a friend who picks up twenty newspapers for me each week. Luckily, there is a vendor who sells our Sunday paper for just $1 each near her home. You might look around your area and see if someone there offers papers at a discount too!
There are also many online sites that you can use to print coupons. More and more companies are signing on to Facebook now and I'm seeing a lot of coupons for print by "liking" their pages! Also, if you have a favorite product be sure to visit their website because you can often find coupons to print there as well.
Here are some of my favorite places to find online coupons:
Get Matched Up:
Now that you have your coupons you'll want to make sure that you maximize how much you save when you use them! There are SO many sites and blogs now that list what is on sale in your area stores. Just do a google search for "coupon matchups" and you'll get a huge listing.
I personally use Southern Savers because this site lists most of the stores available where we live.
You can browse the sales ads by store, clicking which products you intend to buy and once you are finished at the very bottom of the list you can click to print your shopping list for that particular store. Once I have all of my lists I go to my coupons and pull out the ones that match each list and place those in envelopes with my list. I typically end up visiting between two and six stores each week to find my deals. Just make sure that you aren't driving way out of the way or you'll end up using your savings in gas lol!
Sales Cycles & Stocking Up:
Make sure that you read the section on Southern Savers about sales cycles and how to buy enough of the things that you use often to get you from cycle to cycle!
One of the most effective ways that I've found to save the maximum amount of money is to stack coupons. Some of the stores that I shop will allow me to use a store coupon in conjunction with a manufacturer coupon, this double dip of savings has netted me many free or almost free products! Some stores will allow you to use competitor's store coupons too, so check those store policies!
Buy One Get One Free (BOGO):
That is one of my favorite phrases :) Remember, many stores will allow you to use a coupon on both products in a Buy One Get One scenario! So, if you have two $1 coupons on rice and the store has a BOGO free sale for $2, you could use both coupons & that rice would be free!
Does Your Store Double (or Triple)?:
The supermarkets that I shop most regularly will double coupons up to 50 cents. So, those lower discount coupons are really much more valuable than they may seem! Check your store policies to find out if they will allow you to double!
Buy Smaller Sizes:
Read your coupons and if smaller or even trial sizes aren't excluded consider purchasing those sizes instead!
Something else to consider when you begin couponing is how you intend to organize your coupons! I began with the Accordion File Method, but soon learned that I liked things a bit more organized, so now I place all of my coupons into binders which I can bring along with me to shop. That way if I see a must have item at a great price I have my coupons right there with me and can purchase it!
Southern Savers has a great section on getting organized with videos!
I hope this information helps get you started on your couponing journey! I invite you to leave a comment and even links to your favorite couponing sites!