I receive many questions from readers and sometimes, the questions are those I figure others wonder about as well. I recently received the following email and thought I’d answer her question here on the site. Here was her question:
“Hey! I am a wife, mother of two, and currently pregnant with my third. I graduated in May with a degree in elementary education, but have not gotten a job yet. Because money is so tight, I decided to start trying to coupon. I have become obsessed with it or I guess the idea of it, but need help!
I have different sites pulled up on my computer, newspapers sitting in front of me, and different store weekly ads. I have been starring at them, looking stuff up, and trying to figure things out. Only, I am not getting anywhere. There’s so many numbers, coupons, stores, and everything. I seem to be looking hard but not getting anywhere. I don’t know if that makes any sense. I just don’t know what to look at or do first.
Any tips to help out?”
When you are new to using coupons, it can be overwhelming. There are so many terms, deals and coupons – where do you start? How do you get the deals? I’ve got 3 simple tips to help you out!
1. Keep it simple with one store.
When you are new to doing this, there is no way you can try to figure it all out or you will quickly burn out. Start with just one store and learn that store’s policies, how to redeem coupons and how the process actually works. This is a great way for you to learn the process without overwhelming yourself.
For those of you new to this, I recommend you try to find just 5 coupon deals at your local store each week. Then, once you feel comfortable doing that, try to add more. You will eventually work yourself up to knowing how to put together that store’s shopping list with the coupons and in-store specials to maximize your savings.
2. Let someone else do the work for you.
It can be difficult to figure out the deals at your favorite store. Just make sure you are following your favorite coupon/deal/money saving site (which has to be Penny Pinchin’ Mom of course ;-0 ). Good, quality sites put together store deals and show you the store price, the coupon(s) to use and what you can expect to pay. They do the work for you! There is no reason for you to sit down and try to put together your own deals when there are sites doing all of that for you already. That in and of itself can save you a lot of stress and headaches.
3. Don’t try to get every deal.
When people are new to couponing, they are so excited they don’t want to miss a deal. Even the most frugal shopper doesn’t snag every single deal out there. You need to pace yourself, even when you are an expert. Tell yourself it is OK if you miss a deal. Never try to run to every single store. Saving money is about being smart with your shopping and if you have to go to 6 stores to save and extra $10, is it worth it? No, it’s not.