Written By Stacey Micklevitz
Messy Marriage Team Member
Couponing takes time, so Get Organized!
Decide how much time you are willing to devote to couponing and stick to it.
Manage your resources by familiarizing yourself with a handful of coupon blogs/sites. There are a PLETHORA of them out there – some are ethical and some are not, so beware. I suggest that you choose at least ONE comprehensive and ONE local couponing site to follow.
The most comprehensive couponing site – without question – is The Coupon Wizards. This site offers everything you need to know about couponing – literally everything beyond what I can tell you in two blog posts. This site offers regularly scheduled online webinars, direct links to printable coupon sites, a searchable coupon database, and even a tab labeled “couponing 101” to help you get established. Coupon Wizards has sister sites as well: Insert Insanity – a provider of complete coupon inserts, and Learning2Coupon, a blog designed to entertain and enlighten couples in their pursuit of coupon deals.
In addition to being informative, educational, entertaining, and resourceful, I know from experience that these sites promote ethical coupon practices. I’ve witnessed times when a coupon deal thought to be legitimate is removed from the wall or blog and replaced with an explanation as to why it should NOT be practiced.
In conjunction to these sites, the local site I follow is fantastic for me because I know the owner of the site lives in my town. If she says there is a deal available at Target, I know I can find it at my local Target!
I strongly recommend that you establish a separate “couponing” email address, sign up for emails from these sites, and set bookmarks on your browser for the sites you use the most.
Manage your supplies by obtaining several copies of the Sunday paper so that you get the weekly coupon inserts (check with friends/family/neighbors to see if they are willing to give you coupon inserts that they don’t use).
Additionally, you may consider purchasing inserts from an insert service such as Insert Insanity. My personal experience is that this is the most reputable company with the most reasonable prices.
You may also print coupons from the following sites (download the printing software and use grayscale (b&w)): coupons.com, smartsource.com, redplum.com, and coupons.target.com. Many manufacturers also offer coupons to be printed directly from their websites. To me, printing coupons is as close as I can get to printing money!
Manage your check-out experience. Always prepare before leaving your house by compiling a shopping list, collecting coupons, and grouping them by trip/store. Your first few trips are bound to be intimidating and a bit confusing, and unfortunately due to training deficiencies, many cashiers fully understand couponing rules less than the newest of couponers. Avoid arguing and confrontation by smiling and offering to step aside to speak with management when necessary.
Check couponing sites often. If you have a Facebook page, you can link up to many sites which are tied to their own Facebook pages. This transfers their deal information to your wall, therefore centralizing information and reducing time spent surfing.
Many coupon provider sites update their coupons regularly, at least monthly. RULES DO APPLY and they DO change!! Stores often update their policies to accommodate couponing trends AND address abuse. Each store has the right to apply rules/limits to couponing. Please play by the rules so that couponing can continue, and remember that copying coupons is FAUDULENT!
I feel it’s only responsible to mention that I am not being reimbursed in any way by The Coupon Wizards for recommending their sites and services, nor am I affiliated with these sites or their parent company in any way. My strong convictions about their team and team leader David, give me confidence that you will be pleased with the information that you can learn to build upon the foundation I’ve given you thus far. Good luck – and most of all, HAVE FUN!!!
Photo credit by tlillis4 (Flickr)