Learn How to Use Coupons to Save Money!
Hello, and welcome to Savings Aplenty! I am so happy that you have found me and are interested in couponing and/or saving money! Using coupons may seem absolutely confusing to the beginner and I am here to assure you that it is actually quite simple! Below I have compiled step-by-step instructions on how to get started couponing for beginners. This is also a great place to start for those avid couponers that are trying to get back into the swing of things! If you have any further questions after reading this guide, please post in the comments below or feel free to email me at: savingsaplenty14 at gmail dot com (replace at with @ and dot with . and remove the spaces)
Step 1: Decide how you want to coupon. Do you want to be able to get products for cheap or free on a whim when you are already at the store? Then you might want to always have your coupons on hand with the binder method. Or do you want to just save money on the products that you typically use? Then you might just want to use the clip and go method.
If you want to always have coupons on hand in case you are out and about and find an awesome deal, you will most likely benefit from the Binder Method:
This is where you get a binder and some clear sheet holders (baseball card holders work the best), clip ALL of the coupons you receive from the paper or elsewhere and put all of them in your binder by category. Then you will take that binder with you whenever you shop. It is best to get some filing tabs for your binder so that you can organize your coupons by category for easy finding. Here is an example of what a coupon binder should look like:
If carrying around a big binder full of coupons is not your cup of tea, you can also get little photo albums from Dollar Tree and stick them in a cute purse or even something like this.
If you would rather just clip the coupons that you actually need before you shop, you will want to try the File Method:
This is when you keep all of your coupon inserts from the paper or sheets that you have printed intact and file away the entire sheets in a file cabinet or some other type of storage container. Make sure to label them by the date of the paper they came in so you can find them easily. Then when you are going through the weekly sale ads, you can match the good deals up with coupons that are available by perusing the Coupon Database. The database will tell you what coupons are available for certain products. Just type in the name of a product that’s on sale in the search bar. Then you can either print those coupons or find them in your filing cabinet, clip them and shop away! You can carry your clipped coupons in something as simple as a Ziploc baggy or something a little more chic like this super cute coupon organizer.
Step 2: After you have decided what method you would like to use to organize your coupons, you need to know where to get coupons, right? Well the main place to find all of the best coupons are in the inserts in your local Sunday paper. Your paper will normally contain a Proctor & Gamble insert, Smart Source insert and Red Plum insert. There also may be some coupons in the Parade section. You can find out what coupons you will be receiving in your paper ahead of time HERE.
The other way to get coupons is by printing them for free from reputable sources. You can find links to all of these at the top of the Savings Aplenty homepage under the “printable coupons” tab or HERE. These are links to free printable manufacturer coupons, but you can also get printable coupons from certain stores such as Target, CVS and many others. Just go to those stores websites to check out what they have to offer. You can also look at brand’s Facebook pages for special offers. Plus, don’t forget to subscribe to the Savings Aplenty daily e-mail in order to get notified of all the newest and hottest coupons that are available. You can also find Daily Coupon Lists HERE.
You can also send an e-mail directly to your favorite manufacturers, tell them how much you love their product or would like to try their product and ask if they could please send you some coupons. It actually works!
Step 3: Make sure to follow and like Savings Aplenty on Facebook (select to get notifications to see the most deals) and join the Savings Aplenty Couponing & Deals Chat Group to look for coupon deals at all of your favorite stores. I will post the best deals as well as coupons that can be used in order to score you the best deals on your favorite products! You can also search for deals yourself by browsing your favorite stores’ weekly ads and using the Coupon Database to match coupons with the sales. Or if you are a binder carrier, you can just head on over the store and browse the isles for some awesome deals. Make sure to check the clearance section!
What is extreme couponing?
I know most of us have seen the controversial TLC show called Extreme Couponing. Let me tell you, the way they coupon on that show IS extreme and some of the people have actually gotten in trouble for couponing fraud! That is a whole other story to discuss though ;) So how on Earth do they get such awesome deals? Is it real? I will say that most of the couponing on that show is embellished for tv, but a lot of the deals they get are in fact real! When you take a coupon and use it on a full priced product, you are saving a little bit, which is great, but there is an even better way to use that coupon! Wait until that product goes on sale, THEN use that coupon and BAM hot savings! Plus, a lot of stores offer their own coupons (as mentioned in step 2) and you can actually use one of their coupons + a coupon issued by the manufacturer on a sale item and end up with a super cheap price, free, or even earn money on the item (if the store you are shopping at allows it)!
Here is an example:
Let’s say you are able to find a box of cereal at Target on sale for $2
There is currently a coupon available in your newspaper for $1 off that brand of cereal
There is also a printable Target store coupon for $1 off that brand of cereal
Target allows you to use both of these coupon together so it makes the cereal FREE!
Sounds pretty awesome right?! Just make sure to read the stores coupon policies before you shop so that you know what kind of coupons they accept. You can find these on their websites or can ask a manager at the store for a copy. Always print these out and carry them with you in your binder or purse for reference in case a cashier gives you a problem.
So to break it down:
1. You can either clip all of your coupons right away and take them with you each time you shop in case you find some awesome deals or you can find the deals ahead of time by browsing the ads or following Savings Aplenty and clip them before you shop.
2. Collect coupons from your newspaper, reputable online coupon printing sites, (found under the printable coupons tab on Savings Aplenty), HERE or from the stores websites. You can also directly ask the manufacturers to send you some coupons. You can find current coupons on your favorite products available with the Coupon Database.
3. Wait for a sale to use your coupons to save even more money. If the store allows you to, you can use a store coupon with a manufacturer coupon in order to save even more money!
That’s it! Hopefully I didn’t make you even more confused! If you have any further questions please post a comment below, or you can click on the envelope at the top of the page to send me an e-mail.
FIND MORE HELPFUL RESOURCES FOR BEGINNERS HERE: