About Erica Chao & her Blog
Erica is a winner of Top 25 Couponing Moms - 2013
What advice would you give to a mom who wants to start couponing?
Start off slowly. Couponing can seem overwhelming at first, but it definitely gets easier as you learn. Personally I have changed the way I coupon (and organize my coupons) many times in just one short year until I found a way that fit me best. Start by obtaining the coupon policy at your favorite store. Make sure to check to see if they accept competitors coupons.
Just because you have a coupon doesn't mean you need that item. Practice by clipping the coupons for products you use most often. Every week check your local store circular for sales on your favorite products, compare those sale items with the coupons you have available. You will start to notice how often those items actually do go on sale so that you can stock up enough of that item at the best price to have on hand until the next sale comes around.
How much do you save yearly using coupons?
I have not actually sat down to calculate my savings just yet. Just by looking at my CVS receipt alone I can see thousands in savings between purchasing items on sale (including items for which you receive a store cash coupon good towards future purchases) and using coupons to maximize my savings. When I shop at Target (you can double up on coupons by using a store issued and manufacturer's coupon together) I add to those savings by using my Target Visa card to get an additional 5% off my purchase. While most coupons used may only be under a dollar or so, when you start using coupons on the everyday items you buy anyway, those dollar coupons begin to multiply rapidly.
What is the best resource you've found for finding coupons?
I check many of the discount social sites like Groupon and Living Social for Sunday newspaper delivery deals. I currently have about 4 active Sunday only subscriptions delivered to my home just for the coupons. I paid approximately $9 for the entire year (compared to buying 1 Sunday paper on a Sunday for $2).
I also like to look for coupons online which you can print for free. Be sure to check the stores own website for store coupons that you can usually combine with your regular coupons for extra savings.
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