Finance & Insurance

Do you Coupon? Here’s how to get started.

Maybe you’re interesting in the sport of extreme couponing, or maybe you’re just interested in saving some money. Either way, we’ve compiled some great money-saving couponing tips to get your started.

1. Get organized. Buy a mini folder with dividers that fits in your purse. You can divide by category (home, food, baby) or by expiration date by month or week. But, you need to have your clipped coupons accessible at all times.

2. Download the app. Many stores have apps that offer exclusive coupon deals. Or, better yet, download the AnyCodes app from PromosPro. If you turn your location on, it reads your location to let you know what coupons are available in your area, or do a quick search for what you need. The store can just scan your coupon right on your phone.

3. Get weekend subscriptions to several papers. The inserts will prove worth it. Always ask friends and family to save their inserts and start your collection. For some people, the clipping is actually relaxing. It provides a sense of routine and and low stimulation activity that keeps you focused on something non-stressful.

4. Self checkouts sometimes allow more than one coupon. For example, if you use the self checkout at BJs (who offers huge coupons, plus manufacturer coupons), you can use two of the SAME coupon before it cuts you off. It used to allow more, but got wise.

Top Couponing Mistakes (by ABC News)

1. Not reading the fine print. It’s true that some stores restrict coupons, but know the store coupon policies and the fine print on the coupon itself. You can sometime argue a store into accepting your coupon, but only i f you know the policy and can make a case for your coupon.

2. Not taking advantage of “stacking.” Don’t assume one coupon is enough! Manufacturers and stores often offer coupons at the same time. More than one discount can be really satisfying!

3. Thinking the sale is the lowest price. Not so. You can still use a coupon. Think of the sale price as a first step in negotiations with the consumer. Little known fact: sale items are more likely to have a coupon because manufacturers are looking to get aggressive to get the item off the shelf.

4. Buying more doesn’t mean saving more. Many coupons say you must buy 2-4 of the item. If you are to use more than one coupon, you’ll have to double it. Suddenly, you find yourself with six bottles of dish detergent. It’s probably not worth it.

5. Using coupons for products you don’t need. If you don’t eat Dorritos, don’t clip the coupon. Coupons on healthy food are rarer than on junk food. You don’t want to inadvertently create an unhealthy lifestyle just because you have coupons.