Couponing 101


  • Step 1 in learning how to coupon To save with coupons and I mean really save with coupons , you have to change your thinking about the stuff you normally buy. Instead of making a list for the things you need or want each week, and then buying them regardless of whether they are on sale or you just because you have a coupon, you need to buy what’s on sale, and as much as possible at that time, buy ONLY what’s on sale (and lots of it.) I can’t stress that enough, and I still have friends who do this. Don’t buy something just because you have a coupon for it wait until you know there’s absolutely no chance in the world your going to get it cheaper!

  • Step 2 on learning how to coupon Start getting inserts either by newspapers. Coupon fairys, neighbors, dumpster diving, printing which ever works for you. Then organize your coupons by either keeping them in an accordion folder, clipping and separating them into categories by using baseball sleeves, or using clear insert sleeves and keeping them by full sheet split and stapled by the week.. ETC… However you want to do it this is important

  • Step 3 on learning how to coupon Make sure you sign up for all the reward programs, store cards and cash back apps to maximize your savings! Also don’t forget to print out the store policies on the stores you shop at and keep them in your binder

  • Step 4 on learning how to coupon You can use one manufacturer’s coupon per item. You will know a manufacturer’s coupons because “Manufacturer’s Coupon” will be printed on it. Most stores will allow you to use a manufacturer’s coupon and a store coupon on the same item. This is called stacking coupons. If the coupon value is greater than the item value, in most cases, the store will reduce the value of the coupon to simply make the item free. The Walmart coupon policy states that if the coupon value exceeds the cost, they will offer the excess as cash or to be applied to the entire purchase. In most cases, if there is a Buy One Get One Free sale, you can still use one coupon per item. If you have a Buy One Get One Free coupon, you can combine that coupon with a Buy One Get One Free sale and get both items for free! (This policy can vary from store to store.)

  • Types of Coupons and Where to Look for Them:
    Manufacturer Coupon:
    Manufacturer coupons are issued by manufacturers as an advertisement to entice you to buy their products. The most common place to find a mfg. coupon is in the Sunday coupon inserts. SmartSource, RedPlum and P&G will each have inserts in the Sunday paper throughout the month. New subscribers can sometimes sign up for a discount newspaper subscription

    Catalinas: Catalina coupons are named after Catalina Marketing who brought us the little box that the coupons print out from. Catalinas are coupons that print out at the register that are usually handed to you with your receipt. These coupons can be either store coupons or manufacturer coupons (it depends on the store promotions).

    Store Coupons: These coupons are issued by the store you are shopping at and meant to be used at that specific store. These store coupons are issued in an attempt to “woo” you to their store. Many times store coupons can be stacked with a mfg. coupon for additional coupons so be sure to check the coupon policy at your stores. Another great tip to remember is some stores will actually accept “Competitor Coupons” in an effort to “snag” your business away from their competitors. These store coupons that are issued at one store would actually be redeemable at another store that accepts their competitor coupons.

    Blinkies: These coupons can be found in the little black boxes hanging on the shelf in front of the product they are for. You may notice a little blinking red light (an thus the name “Blinkies”. They can be found in many grocery and retail stores. Be on the lookout as you head up and down the aisles – this is a good way to keep kids busy while you shop too (have them on the “lookout”). These are usually a mfg. coupon.

    Peelies: These coupons are placed right on products like a peel away sticker. If you notice a peelie on a product you are buying, make sure you peel off the coupon because they can be used immediately on your purchase. These are normally a mfg. coupon.

    Hangtags: These coupons are usually on found drinks, jellies, oils, syrups, laundry soaps and anything else that has a “neck” to hang the coupon tag on. Thus the name Hangtags because they “hang” off the product.
    These are digital coupons that you will find online. You will pick the coupons that you want to use and then download them onto your shopper loyalty cards. There are many stores that offer eCoupons such as Kroger and Shoprite and even has a digital coupons page. These coupons are usually considered a mfg. coupon and cannot be stacked Internet Printable: These coupons are found on the Internet from from coupon sites like, SmartSource and RedPlum. Some will be mfg. coupons and some will be store coupons. You are usually allowed to print 2 of each coupon during the month and companies will reset the coupons at the beginning of each month. Coupon Divas has links to the most popular coupon sites with most current coupons available.You can also use the Coupon Database to search for all of the printable coupons we know of that are available on the Internet. This will save you a lot of time searching for them!

    Tearpads: These are exactly what they sound like and can be found in many stores. They are the pads that are found by the products, sometimes on displays, in the front of stores, by the pharmacy, really just about anywhere in the store and you simply “tear” off a coupon that can be used immediately on your purchase of that product.

  • Don’ts of Couponing!!! Do not photo copy printable coupons(Coupon Fraud)•••• Facebook• Manufacturers’ Websites. Do not be rude to others• Do not be a shelf clearer! Do not use expired coupons• Do not steal coupon inserts

  • Do’s of Couponing!!! Coupon Etiquette• Big quantity order through store• Have coupons organized before checkout • Be a coupon fairy / be polite to others• Donate coupons up to 6 months expired to US military  or Coupons to Troops • Ask for a rain-checks when items are out of stock.

  • Understanding Coupon Wording • Expiration Date• Value• Picture – not important• Wording – “save on any xyz”• Fine Print -Limit One Coupon Per Purchase You CANNOT use 2 coupons on one item -You CAN use 1 coupon on 1 item per item (unless being stacked with store coupon) -Limit 1 Coupon Per Transaction = Per Checkout at register -Limit one coupon per person/customer/household. You can only use one of these “like”coupons. -Limit of 4 like coupons in the same transaction.This means you can only purchase and use up to 4 of the same coupon in one transaction. If you plan to purchase more than 4 you will have to make two separate transactions. -X dollars off of X items / multiple items $3.00 off any (2)Clearasil Products -Size Restrictions On the purchase of any (1) Sensitive Shave Gel (EXCLUDES 2.75 oz.) -Size Restriction – On any (1) Listerine Zero Mouthwash 500 mL or larger

  • Steps to Make a Shopping List
    1. Have your coupons organized.

    2. Browse through the Sunday flyers circling items that are on sale and you have a coupon for.

    3. Go to the Coupon Matchup sites to see what good deals are available at the store.

    4. Go to Forums like A Full Cup and Coupon Mom to see what deals other shoppers have found.

    5. Write a detailed list including the $ coupons you want to use, gather coupons, grab your loyalty card and wallet and go shopping.

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