What advice would you give to a mom who wants to start couponing?
When starting out, there are a few key points to remember: educate, familiarize, organize, practice, start small, and set a realistic goal. The first step is simple, just be sure to read up on everything you can about coupons that way when you are ready to head out shopping you don’t run into any issues at the register. The next part is familiarizing. Perhaps head to the store with someone who regularly uses coupons and watch what they do. Even if you don’t know someone, purposely get behind someone in line who has coupons with them and observe. You can learn simple do’s and dont’s at the register by doing this. The next part is organizing. Once you have educated yourself and familiarized yourself with using coupons you need to have some sort of organized way to sort and store your coupons. I personally use the coupon binder system but there are several other options out there. Just choose a method that works for you and try to stick to being organized. With new coupons being released every Sunday in newspapers and every day on the web, you can easily get behind. I suggest designating at least 1 day a week where you can cut, sort, and organize your coupons. The next part I’d say is to practice. Remember that old saying “practice makes perfect” well it definitely applies when using coupons. Just remember everyone has to start from somewhere and even if the first few times you really feel like you don’t know what you are doing, then just continue to try and continue to use coupons. Eventually it will become as easy as changing a baby’s diaper. The biggest key point when starting out (in my opinion) is to start small. I have personally witnessed first time couponers attempt transactions that are way over their head simply because they are new to the couponing world and didn’t anticipate errors. Start at easy stores such as Walmart or your local grocery store and work your way up to stores like Walgreens, CVS, Target, and Rite Aid. Start with smaller transactions and try to save as much as you can with those before attempting a basket full of items. It’s easier to spot mistakes that could cost you tons of money if you are attempting smaller transactions. Last, (but not least) set realistic goals for you and your family. This includes setting a budget and setting a goal of how much you would like to save on your shopping trips. My personal goal is 50% or more but yours may be at least 30% and that is ok. Everyone’s budget is different and therefore everyone’s goal is different. Just do what is best for you and your family. I promise there will be moments where you will outdo yourself and perhaps even see that “100% savings” on your receipt but remember that it won’t happen all the time and saving any money is better than not.