It’s no secret that couponing is a fantastic strategy to save money, no matter what you’re shopping for. But if you don’t know where to start, don’t worry, because Piggy is here to show you the best couponing tips and tricks for beginners. Follow these steps on how to start couponing for beginners and you’ll be well on your way to saving money in no time!
1. Create a Dedicated Time to Search for Coupons.
The number one tip to couponing for beginners is to find time to do it! Of course, if you want to find the best coupons to save you as much money as possible, you need to spend some time searching for the best deals. Create a dedicated “couponing” time block in your calendar to ensure you always seat aside time for your coupon finding missions. Depending on how much time you have, you can either schedule a weekly or monthly couponing session.
Some people may naturally find that searching for coupons is a fun activity in and of itself. Finding coupons can be like going on a scavenger hunt adventure; when you’re couponing, you don’t know what treasures you will come across! If you need a bit of extra motivation, you can reward yourself with a cup of your favorite drink or a small dessert once you finish your coupon finding session, or just put on your favorite music in the background and dig in.
2. Know Where to Find Coupons
Now that you have scheduled time in your calendar to find coupons, it is time to get down to business. There are many places where you can find coupons for beginners; you can search in local newspapers, local coupon apps or deals sites, or browse in-store coupon walls, store flyers, manufacturers’ websites, and subscribe to store newsletters. Of course, having too many places to check can be overwhelming, so the search for where to find coupons may make you lose motivation to start couponing. Trying to wade through a wealth of information may or may not be useful for a couponing beginner like you. To combat the couponing fatigue, adopt some of the following procedures when you’re just getting started to hone in on your best coupon sources.
3. List Out The Stores You Shop at Most Often.
Prioritizing your early couponing efforts at the stores you’re spending the most shopping at will maximize your opportunities for saving money. Your favorite stores should be first on your list of stores for couponing. Once you have your list of top stores, check their in-store flyers regularly. Most stores release a flyer once a week, which means you can easily use them to guide your grocery shopping each week. Integrating couponing into your weekly grocery trips is a great way to start couponing for beginners.
4. Chooses 1-2 Deal Sites or Coupon Apps You Like Most.
If you’re a couponing beginner, you probably don’t even realize how many surprisingly good deals and coupons there are that you could be taking advantage of. Luckily, there are plenty of deal websites and coupon apps (like Piggy!) that have done the hard work for you, so all you have to do is bookmark them and check back regularly to find the best coupons with ease. You can use a general deal site to kick start your couponing, like Piggy or Groupon, or you can use a niche site, like Tiger Direct, if you buy electronics or gadgets frequently. Just try to limit yourself to a maximum of two sites to check regularly, so you don’t overwhelm yourself.
5. Look at Manufacturers’ Websites for Your Favorite Brands.
If you find yourself regularly purchasing from a handful of brands, you may want to check out their sites directly to search for coupons. Manufacturers often release coupons you can use in conjunction with store-level coupons. By combining a manufacturer’s coupon with a store coupon, you can make your already sweet deal even better, which of course means saving more money through your couponing efforts.
6. Learn How to Read Coupons.
Yep, that’s right, you need to learn how to read coupons to be a successful couponer! After searching through deal sites and couponing apps, you should now have a handful of coupons for products and services you may want to purchase in the future. However, just because you have found coupons doesn’t necessarily mean you can use them whenever and wherever you want.
Enter fine print, the little sentences that most of us neglect, which are super important in helping you decide when and where you can use the coupons. Learning how to start couponing for beginners means you have to train your eyes and your mind to read and comprehend what the heck the fine print actually means. Here’s the most important components of a coupon often hidden in the fine print:
What the Expiration Date is
This one is pretty straightforward, but you’ll want to make sure that you use the coupons before they expire. Although there are some random stores, like Bed, Bath & Beyond, that don’t even mind the expiration date, the majority will opt to not help you to save money if the expiration date has already passed.
Where the Coupon Can be Used
Manufacturer coupons can often be combined with coupons directly from your chosen retailer. However, not all coupons you’ll come across in your research can be used everywhere. Make sure you check the specific details of each coupon to see which retailers will accept it. Or, better yet, use the Piggy Chrome Extension to automatically apply available coupons at checkout when you shop at over 5,000 participating stores!
How Many Products Your Need to Purchase
Sometimes, a coupon isn’t just as simple as “Buy one get one $1 off”. It can be “buy two get one 50% off”, “buy three and get one free”, or “buy 4 and get each for $3.99”. Make sure you understand how many products you have to purchase before your order will be eligible for the coupon, otherwise you’ll be more than disappointed when it doesn’t work at checkout!
7. Organize Your Coupons
After you sort through all the available coupons, you’ll want to arrange your coupons in an organized way right off the bat so you don’t create more work for yourself later. The last thing you want to do is waste your time applying coupon after coupon to your online shopping order, or worse, stand in front of a cashier flipping through a dozen or more coupons while a long line of customers is waiting (not so patiently) behind you.
The easiest way to start your couponing for beginners off on the right foot is to use a binder and some labels to organize your coupons by product category. Here are a few ways you can organize your coupons to save time later:
- Based on shopping lists like kitchen supplies, snacks, dairies, etc.
- Based on brands
- Alphabetically based on item names
- Based on expiration dates, with the ones about to expire at the top of the stack
At the end of the day, you may find organizing your coupons to be quite a chore, but that’s why using Piggy is truly the ultimate way to save money with coupons without wasting any time.
Get Started with These Couponing Basics For Beginners!
There you have it, the best couponing tips and tricks for beginners. Give these couponing basics for beginners a try during your next shopping spree and you will surely save money! And if you don’t want to do the extra digging to find coupons for different items, then make sure you take advantage of the best coupon finder around.
Author Bio: Bella Wanana is a freelance writer. She is also the owner of bellawanana.com, a personal finance and lifestyle blog. She loves sharing with her readers the best tips and tricks on personal finance and how to live a balanced but fulfilling life. She has been featured on sites like MSN.com, Yahoo Finance, GOBankingRates, Reader’s Digest, The Financial Diet, and Ladders, Inc.