Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Tips for Getting Started

I know many of you are seasoned coupon shoppers, but for those who are new to the wonderful world of couponing, I wanted to give some tips that might help you.

In no particular order:
1. Don't expect to be able to get every deal every week. It will take too much time and gas driving all over town for one item. It will burn you out and isn't worth it. Just pick the ones that are best for you and let the rest go (after all, there will always be more deals!)

2. Your first few months of couponing you should be stocking up on items that are 4 and 5 star deals. Everyone needs toilet paper, paper towels, laundry detergent, toothpaste, cereal, etc. If your budget only allows for a certain amount, pick one item that is a killer deal and stock up for 4-6 months (if possible). Little by little, your pantry (or garage) shelves will be full of items that you got dirt cheap. I can be very picky about what cereal I buy because I have tons!

I have enough Tide (among other things) to last me probably a year (at least). I haven't bought dishwasher soap for about a year. I am low on toilet paper so that is one deal I am stocking up on this week. When you use this system when coupon shopping, you will see your efforts pay off for a long time (rather than just buying one and running out quickly. When you have to pay full price for that item you will be kicking yourself for not buying more). Eventually your regular grocery shopping bill will shrink down to milk (although there are sometimes deals on milk too), eggs, bread, and fresh produce. Keep that as your ultimate goal.

3. Get multiple newspapers! Even though there are great printables, you can only print 2. This week I was able to get 6 4-packs of kid's yogurt for 0.19 each. The sale price was $2.19 each. I saved $12 with these 6 coupons alone (I get 6 Sunday papers). 1 paper is not enough! When you consider that the entire month is only $13.50, I practically made my money back with one item. If you already get the paper you know what I mean. It saves you lots! See the Idaho Press Tribune Deal here. If you are a Statesman reader, be patient with me, I am working on a getting a great deal for you too! And you Eastern Idahoans, a deal may be coming your way too. My sis is over that way too and I am going to look into a great deal for you too.

4. Don't get discouraged. I have to admit when I get to the store on the first day of the sale and items are already out, I am a bummed. The nice thing is you can get a raincheck for any quantity on most items. There are a few that say "while supplies last" and these items are not eligible for rainchecks. I went to Albies the other morning to get my 8 boxes of pasta and the ones I wanted were out already. First thing you can do is ask the grocery manager if they have some in back (many times they do!). Secondly, ask when they will get more in. Lastly, ask for a raincheck. They are good for 30 days. They will most likely have doublers again within the next 30 days so you can get your deals later.

Ok, I am rambling on.....Let me know if you have any questions or tips you think I should share. I love sharing these deals with you and appreciate your positive feedback.


PS-For more tips read my "How to Become a Deal Diva" at the top right of the page.

1 comment:

lux,luci,bridget said...

Hey... you're doing such a great job on this blog! Thank you for sharing the deals! i can't wait to go and get my favorite mouthwash @ Walgreens for .25 a bottle! I missed that one! :)