Welcome and Congrats on taking your first step to saving money!
In the beginning coupons (aka: Q) can seem very overwhelming, but don't worry that is what this website is created for to help you sort through all of the mumbo-jumbo and to get you on your way to saving hundreds to thousands of dollars on one of your largest monthly expense, your grocery bill.
There are techniques and strategies to using coupons and to saving the big bucks. But I'm here to guide you through this process.
1. Clip, Surf, Tear, & Peel: Coupons (Qs) can be found in a variety of locations. The two most common are Sunday's paper and online. But don't forget ther are several other sources such as magazines, blinkies (you've probably seen these in store ailes near the products. The spit out Qs when you pull one out), peelies (on the product themselves), store Qs, and tearpads. Be on the lookout for Qs whenever you are out and about.
2. Change in Habits: Using coupons does require a major change in your shopping habits. And no- not having to give up your favorite items. It's just requires you to have a new way of thinking and a new approach to shopping. At first your shopping list will consist of both need items and stockpile items. As the weeks and months progress and your need lists diminishes, then your stockpile list will increase, which will also increase your savings. In the beginning you'll save around 40-50% on your grocery bill, which is fantastic! In a few months your savings will continue to go up. Around months 2-4 you'll begin saving between 50-60% on average. Don't stress during these months. Again as your need lists goes down the pickier you can be with the items you shop for. Somewhere around 6-9 months you can easily have your grocery bill down by 75-95%.
Stockpile Shopping vs Need Shopping.
- Stockpile Shopping is buying as many of the items at rock bottom prices as you will need to last you for at least two-four months worth. At first I would aime to buy at least enough to last you one to two months, again as your need lists goes down you can then afford to buy more of the stockpile items.
- Need Shopping is buying items on an as need basis (i.e. When you run out of cereal you run out and buy some more, regardless of price). Most of you are currently in that mode, even if you have already been trying your hand at coupons, it's what most of us have been taught to do, and what the manufactures and stores depend on to make money.
3. Organization is Key: This is the key to success with coupons. If you don't have them organized in some fashion, which I will talk about tips for organization momentarily, you'll lose coupons, or they'll expire on you before you have a chance to use them. I personally recommend investing in a CouponClutch.com. It is well designed and can assist you getting all your coupons organized. I also recommend a small coupon holder where you have store coupons you are getting ready to use on a shopping excursion.
4. Qs are Money Too: You need to change your outlook on Qs, you need to see them as money, dollar bills, and treat them as such. These are the lost treasure you have been looking for, seriously. This is free money, in essence, so don't turn your chin up at them. If someone handed you a dollar bill or two, you'd take it wouldn't you, I would. Free money, heck ya!
5. The Strategy: In order to turn your Q into a major saver, you want to use your Qs along with store sales, and store Qs:
Q + Store Q + Store Sale = Mega Savings
Q + Store Sale = Good Savings
Q + Store Q = Good Savings
Many stores offer their own personal Store Qs, Publix (down south) is one such store. Plus stores will either offer discounts/sales &/or double or triple coupons, which makes the savings that much better. When you are able to match a Q with a Store Q and a Store Sale, then you've hit the mother load. :)