Couponing 101

Let’s face it, times are rough. Saving some extra money here or there is a great way to be able to provide for your family without much effort. Like many things, couponing can be taken to the extreme, and can save you a ton of money. This post, however, isn’t going to teach you the tricks of becoming an “Extreme Couponer,” but will show you some beginner steps to save some money while buying the same things you would, normally.

(Online Deals)

1. EBATES: This one always seemed “too good to be true,” but it’s actually very easy if you’re an online shopper. You set up an EBATES account, and enter the store’s website through EBATES. The deals depend on the retailer, however, many times you get money off the purchase price, plus EBATES will send you a check as well for a certain percentage worth of your purchase. It is a free service, so you are not out any money to check it out.

2. RetailMeNot.comIf you’re a regular online shopper, you know that your email inbox quickly becomes a breeding ground for coupon codes to various locations. Users will go online to Retail Me Not, and upload the coupon code (and description) so that you also have access to deals, without signing up for ongoing emails. Retail Me Not has an easy search engine that you type in the website, and if a deal pops up, you’re halfway there! Input the coupon code, and if it works, then it’s your lucky day!

(In Person Deals)

We highly recommend using a filing system, similar to this, to organize your paper coupons.

1. Coupons.comCoupons.com has free electronic coupons can you can virtually “clip,” and then print out the coupons once you are done browsing. Many times, they offer manufacturers coupons, which can sometimes be doubled with store coupons for double the savings amount.

2. Electronic Coupons with Savings Cards: Grocery stores like Safeway (Or Vons, for Southern California residents, ) Albertsons, Kroger (and many, many more) offer special, digital-only coupons that can be loaded on to your savings card. This saves you paper, and “clipping time.”

3. Printable Store Coupons: Whatever grocery store you shop at regularly, check the website. You may find some coupons on the website that you can print, and take into the store with you.

4. Newspaper Inserts: Newspapers are stuffed with coupons, just waiting to be clipped. Clip the coupons that you can find yourself actually using, and check expiration dates. You may not need it this week, but could use it in the near future.

5. Mailers: We’ve all seen them, as our mailboxes get flooded with mailer coupons weekly. Browse through those mailers and check out the deals. Once again, you may score some good manufacture’s coupons to double with store coupons.

While the idea of couponing may be daunting to you, once you get into the routine of checking the sale prices as you’re making your weekly meal plans, it becomes relatively pain-free and not very time consuming at all.

Stay tuned for the next segment in this series: Couponing 102. We’ll get a bit more in-depth and really stretch the value of your dollar in an easy way.
What is your favorite website for online deals? Tell us in the comment section below and we may pick your comment to be featured in upcoming coupon posts.

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Megan

Megan lives in Michigan with her husband, daughter, and son. Her days are spent hanging out and doing family projects on her real-life farm, and spending time on the Great Lakes. She loves swimming, celebrity gossip, University of Michigan and Denver Broncos football, trashy reality TV, and writing. In addition to being a Mommy and self-proclaimed urban-farmer, she owns a photography business located in Southeast Michigan, Memoirs Photography.

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