Couponing Basics

A Busy Mom’s Guide to Couponing the Easy Way!

Couponing is not hard. Or rather, it doesn’t have to be. This post should give you some perspective on how easy couponing and saving money can really be!

There’s a trend when introducing couponing to newbies – they all ask, “Isn’t it hard?”

Easy Couponing

First of all, the effort that you see bloggers and couponing pros put into couponing isn’t necessarily the norm. There is such a thing as realistic couponing for the average shopper.

While it may seem that couponers spend an extraordinary amount of time planning, clipping coupons, and shopping, it isn’t really necessary if you just want to save a little money on your grocery bill.

Believe it or not, some people just enjoy easy couponing and take it up as a leisurely hobby that happens to save them money!

Multitask

Do you watch at least one hour of television per week?  If you do, you do not have to spend ANY extra time clipping coupons. I always clip my coupons while watching my favorite show each week – which I would sit and watch with or without couponing.

Couponing is an easy way to multitask. Whether you’re waiting for the laundry, sitting outside your kid’s karate lesson, or killing time at the car wash, you can bring along your weekly ad and clip coupons just about anywhere.

To make it even easier, you don’t even have to clip coupons. Some people prefer to file their coupon inserts away whole and uncut. I actually did this for a while myself. The only downside is that you might miss out on some unadvertised deals and clearance.

Go Digital

You can also go paperless with digital coupons using sites like this, or mobile apps like Flipp or SnipSnap. Find manufacturer’s coupons for brands and products you regularly buy and use them at any store (just be sure to read the fine print first). At checkout, simply pull the coupon up on your phone and scan it at the register, just like a traditional paper coupon.

Some stores even have dedicated online portals and mobile apps for loyalty card members where you can search and digitally clip coupons to save them to your rewards account. When you check out using your loyalty card or phone number, the coupons are automatically applied.

While this isn’t exactly couponing, you can also earn cash back on your purchases — online and in-store — with the Ibotta mobile app. Similarly to the coupon apps, you search for offers in the app and digitally add them to your account. When you go shopping and buy a qualifying item, scan your receipt into the Ibotta app and you’ll get cash back!

Start Small

You don’t have to go to every store and get every deal. Pick your favorite stores where you already regularly shop and stick with those to start.

If you prefer one-stop shopping, Walmart will actually price match local competitors’ sale prices. That means, if another grocery store in town has a cheaper advertised price on an item, Walmart will adjust their price down to match it. Just pay using the Walmart app and submit your receipt for redemption! More information on Walmart price matching here.

The very first coupon I used was for $1.50 off diapers almost 4 years ago. I am just as proud of saving that $1.50 as I am of the hundreds of dollars I now save our family every month. Remember, no matter how much you save, you are saving something!

 

    10 Comments

  1. Thanks for the reminder that ‘every little bit counts’! My husband used to scoff at the fact that I bothered cutting out coupons. I am definitely not one that spends hours on it – I just do a little web searching and check out the Sunday paper.

    However, I had a shopping trip to Albertsons’s where we bought only things on our regular list and only items that we needed anyway. Between the Albertson’s card, store sales and coupons, we saved more than $80! That was all it took to convince my husband that coupons were worth the time!

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  2. Ya know I googled “What does doubling coupons mean” yesterday and it gave me this site! I just started couponing last week and let me tell you, you are amazing :0) I want to thank you for sharing all you know about couponing! My family is going through some financial issues just like everyone else in this country and your blog and all of the posts I don’t feel as bad about having to save. I always felt weird/nervous having to use coupons so I never used them. I’m so happy to hear I’m not alone!

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  3. Stephanie, I think you’ve hit the nail on the head when it comes to new couponers. I work at Publix and when I talk to customers about coupons they are usually a little overwhelmed, if not intimidated. I usually hear that its too hard or that its too much work. Once I explain to them how easy it is and how I do it, they’re much more open to the idea. I share my blog address with them and tell them to check out all the blogs I link to (including this one) that help me out. Yes, it may take some time and planning, but I think saving the extra money is worth it! 🙂
    .-= Meghan´s last blog ..How I plan my shopping =-.

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