I asked my Facebook followers to ask me their couponing questions the other day and the question that was most popular was:
“What is the best store to start couponing at?”
I think that is an excellent question and it actually has multiple answers. Which store I recommend depends on how new you are to couponing.
True Coupon Newbie
If you are a True Coupon Newbie – meaning you have never used a coupon in your life – then I suggest you start couponing at the store you usually shop at. Kroger, Walmart, Target, it doesn’t matter. It helps to be familiar with the store and their policies, so stick with what you know. If you don’t know your regular store’s coupon policies, then you need to go to customer service and find out if they double coupons, on what days they double, and if they have any coupon limits or restrictions. Once you get the hang of using coupons at your regular store, you can move on to other stores you have in your area.
A Beginner Couponer is someone who has used a couple coupons here and there (but usually forgets them at home) and doesn’t really understand how these 50¢ coupons can end up saving you hundreds of dollars. Is that you? Then I recommend couponing at your best local grocery store. I do not recommend starting at stores like Target or Walmart because they do not double coupons. Find out which store near you doubles coupons, if there is more than one then choose the one with the lowest everyday prices.
For my area, it’s Kroger. They double/triple coupons, have awesome sales, and their everyday prices are lower than the other grocery stores in my area. If you don’t know much about your local grocery stores, then it might take a little research. Ask couponing friends in your area which one they like the best to get a good idea of which one to start at.
Couponer in Training
If you use coupons regularly, but aren’t seeing much savings, then you are a Couponer in Training. You’re disciplined and dedicated enough to do it, you just don’t understand the mechanics yet. If that’s you then I suggest dipping your toes into the wonderful world of drugstore couponing. CVS is the easiest to understand, so I recommend starting there. This is what worked for me – seeing I could get items completely free made me instantly ready to learn more. I don’t know why it works, but shopping at CVS just seems to be easier for some people to grasp than trying to get their everyday grocery budget lowered.
Once you start getting all your shampoo, toothpaste, and other toiletries for free, it will give you more wiggle room in your budget to build your stockpile. Once you build a stockpile, your grocery bill starts going down significantly. It’s sort of a cascade effect. Plus, if you start shopping at a drugstore, shopping at a regular grocery store will seem like a walk in the park after that!
Which store did you start couponing at?