Welcome Canyon Springs Ward Couponers.
This is the overview of your coupon class.
This is the overview of your coupon class.
Budget and Bank account-Debit or Envelope-cash system
- Decide what your budget is and stick to it. It is O.K. to stay below the mark, but you want to be realistic so you are not going over.
- Decide if a debit or cash system works better for you. Open a "grocery" account with a debit card only to be used for groceries. Trach your spendings on a spreadsheet.
- Maybe the "envelope" cash system works better for you so you can see what you have left.
There are coupons for everyone!
- So many people tell me "there aren't coupons for the items I buy." Don't be brand loyal, if you can get a new hair product for $.50 or FREE try it out. You might find you like it better and you can get it for a better price.
- Even if you are single or just a couple at home right now, you still need shampoo, razors, soap, etc. You can still stock up maybe 4 items until the next sale comes around so you NEVER have to pay full price.
- Where to get coupons?-Newspapers (how many papers are best for your family?), printables, peelies, tear pads, mailers.
- Most weeks you will get a Smart Source and a Red Plum.
- Coupon Jargon-SS=Smart Source RP=Red Plum P&G =Proctor and Gamble.
- Clip ALL coupons. Why? (you might be able to make $$ on a product you wouldn't normally buy, which will help you get the things you do need for FREE.)
- How to organize your coupons-coupon folder, binder, etc.
Preparation to shop
- Start researching blogs. I recommend picking your favorite 2 and sticking to them. Most of them say the same thing. I use www.hip2save.com and www.athriftymom.com.
- Make up a scenario sheet for each store you plan to visit, paper clip all coupons to them, store coupons and manufacturer coupons. You want them all in one place.
- I recommend picking 2 stores a week, you can't get ALL the deals every week.
- You can use 1 manufacturer coupon per ITEM. If you have 5 Dove shampoo's you can use 5 Dove shampoo manufacturer coupons.
- What this means is that at most stores you are allowed to use 1 manufacturers coupon and 1 "store" coupon together for 1 item. This is called "stacking." This is most popular at Target and Walgreens, but there are other stores who allow it. Remember you are only allowed 1 Manufacturer coupon per item.
- A couponer NEVER wants to pay FULL price for anything. Sales go on a cycle. I usually stock up 4-6 items that are on sale and I can get cheap or free. I am normally able to find another sale on that item before we are all out.
- Stockpile, but don't be ridiculous. Part of couponing is being curteous and buying what you think you will need in between sales. It does not mean stocking up on 100 bodywash just because they have them in stock and you have enough coupons to do so. Don't be greedy.
Buy the smallest size the coupon will allow (often you will get items for free).
- One deal available recently was B1G1 Herbal Essence products. Many people were getting a travel size shampoo and then with their coupon they would get a full size styling product for FREE.
- I used to buy the biggest laundry detergent, toilet paper, paper towels, etc. Now I buy smaller because I can often get them for cheaper or free.
Get A Rain Check
- If a store is out of something most of them will give you a rain check. This is great at grocery stores. You have to remember if an item is printing a register reward or offering a rebate, you must get the item within the designated dates of the sales/rebates in order for it to be a good deal.
B1G1 paired with a B1G1 coupon
- This is the BEST deal! At most stores when they are doing a B1G1 sales you can pair it with a B1G1 coupon to get both for FREE. Please check your stores policies to make sure they allow this. I don't want you to be disappointed if you do all your shopping and then are told no at the register. I have never been turned down on this at my stores, but have read comments on blogs that others have.
- Most coupons have numbers on them that will "work" for another item of the same brand. For example if you have a coupon for Oreo Cakesters and you want Oreo cookies, you try it and the coupon runs through. GREAT!! NOoooo, not great. We want to be honest and use the coupon for exactly what it states on the front, otherwise stores will not be reimbursed for that item and it is stealing. Don't try and "get away with it."
Coupon-printer-download it to your computer
- The first time you go to print coupons from a site you will be asked to download "coupon printer" to your computer. It was fairly easy for me, pretty straight forward. I have not had any problems such as viruses or heard of anything happening to anyone's computer because they have coupon printer on it. However, I am not a computer tech so always download at your own risk.
Coupon Fraud-copying printables
- You are allowed 2 printables per computer. If you have 2 computers hooked up to one printer you will be able to print 2 from each computer for a total of 4 and so on. Photocopying printable coupons is fraudulent. It is illegal. Please do not copy printable coupons and try to use them. You could get into a lot of trouble and stores will not be reimbursed. If people continue to do this I am afraid we are not going to be able to use them at some stores.
Curtousy when couponing
- Technically if there is no limit at a store you can take as many as you want. When I am teaching friends to coupon I teach, "no clearing the shelves." What I mean by that is that if there are 60 items left I think it is O.K. to take your 4-6 items (sometimes I have taken 10 like in the Target oatmeal deal), but please don't take all 60. If there are 5 on the shelf when you get there and you have 5 coupons you had planned on using I think it's ok, but please use your judgement and be considerate of others who also need the deal that week.
- No yelling at cashiers when they don't want to do a deal or think they can't. If you know the deal is 100% legit, smile and ask for their supervisor. You don't want them to remember you as the crazy, yelling coupon lady. Most times if you are nice they will remember that next time and maybe you will even give them a quick learning experience on how coupons work at their store. You might even make a friend that will make couponing easier for you each time you go into that store. NO deal is worth ruining your day or the cashiers, or embarrassing yourself and others around you.
- I have NEVER had an emergency/food storage in my life. The only reason was because I never had money leftover in my grocery budget after I got my monthly items. Couponing has allowed me to get 6-12 cans per month from the church cannery. I have now been able to build that amount into my budget. I also only used to have enough to get food and household items for a one month time period. I now have cut my budget by a few hundred dollars and have built an impressive stockpile of canned goods, cereals, boxed mixes, household items, cleaning items and hygiene items. This is how couponing changes your life. We are better prepared for an emergency or disaster and are paying almost half the price!
Walgreens scenarios and rules
(This section is mostly for my reference while teaching. To read the full section on using Register Rewards go here.) It does require some time reading, but she does such an awesome job teaching us. Here is another helpful site regarding Walgreens shopping.
- What is a Register Reward?
- How to separate transactions and why?
- One RR per item usually-pay attention to how it is written in the ad.
- Filler items and why?
- Have to pay tax, register will beep if you are down into the tax amount.
- Sales run from Sunday-Saturday
Rite-Aid rules and tips found here.
(Again below more for my presentation)
- Single Check Rebates Sign up here.
- California sales run from Friday-Wednesday.
- Read rebate deals VERY carefully as to the dates they are good for and how many you are limited to. Usually one item per household.
- Incentive deals such as P&G Visa card deal, Fall and Winter Gift of Savings.
I don't shop at CVS. Not because I don't like it, but because my store is not really well stocked by the time I can make it there. Other people love CVS and their stores are well stocked. To read more about their program go here.
Don't get overwhelmed.
- The coupon world is a plethora of information, deals and savings. There is ALWAYS another deal around the corner. Don't overwhelm yourself.
- BE PREPARED!! Never walk up to a cashier with your basket fumbling through coupons, papers, etc. Have everything neat and tidy for each store you plan on visiting. Clip your coupons to your list, keep them in a little ziploc, a coupon folder, whatever you decide works best for you. But, please don't put the people behind you through watching you fumble through your stuff and get stressed out because you are not ready.
- Start small with a few coupon transactions a week just to get the feel of it. Figure out which drugstore works best for you.
- Don't be nervous, if you have researched the deal and it is legitimate, nicely stand your ground.
- Know that a store might be out of what you plan to get, your scenario might get messed up. Have a back up plan and don't be disappointed if it doesn't work out that day. That product will come around again on a great deal.
- Practice, practice, practice. You will make mistakes, I still do. You might be sweating, you might have a headache when you leave after 2 hours the first time in ONE store. Don't GIVE UP!! Keep trying and pretty soon you will get it and you will LOVE it! Just for the record I have been supercouponing for a year in March. I have not had a headache walking out, been drenched in sweat, had my heart racing at the register from nerves or walked out disappointed for months now. It does get better. The initial trying it out phase it hard, but keep at it, I promise you that soon you will be an expert if that is your goal.