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Save A Beginner's Guide to Couponing

A Beginner's Guide to Couponing

Here's your guide on couponing for beginners. Learn incredible hacks that'll take you from occasional couponer to extreme couponing expert! Start saving today!

A Beginner's Guide to Couponing

Do you love a good deal? Maybe you're already an occasional coupon collector but want to step it up a notch? This beginner's guide to extreme couponing will take you from hobby couponer to coupon-fanatic. You'll never pay full price for household essentials again once you know all the secrets to couponing. 

Grab your matcha tea, iced coffee, or mocktail, and get ready to take notes and dive into this guide on how to coupon for beginners. Soon you'll reach the ingenious level of those TV Extreme Couponers who make it look like a full-time sport!

Organize your coupons

Collecting, cutting, storing, and sorting your coupons are essential to becoming a coupon expert. Grouping your coupons by store, item category, expiry date, or aisle will make you an efficient shopper (and you'll impress the cashier). When you have a good system in place, you'll save time by having the right coupons at the store. 

Find a coupon sorter that works for you - you can even DIY one for further savings. Making your coupon sorter will also allow you to change and add sections as you expand your coupon collection. 

Find great coupon sources

Once you start looking, you'll find coupons everywhere. Sign up for newsletters, join online store subscriptions, and grab in-store mail and newspapers to find coupons to fill that nifty DIY organizer. Here are some great places to find coupons:

Once you find hot deals, you can find, print or buy newspaper duplicates to maximize your savings. 

Plan, plan, and plan

Savvy couponers walk into stores with a plan. And a very detailed shopping list. 

You want to avoid impulse buys and know which stores offer specials to couple with your coupons. This is where meal planning comes in handy, as you can have a list that suits your weekly cooking goals. For busy mornings, plan some delicious budget breakfasts like overnight oats, and keep an eye out for deals that fit your pallet and wallet. (And don't forget the snacks!)

Combine your coupons with sales!

This is a biggie and a great tip to being able to amp up your savings. Become an expert and shop for specific items at their lowest price points. Know when seasonal sales, end-of-the-range sales, and discounted days happen, and head out on the best days to shop. 

Have space for stockpiling

Stockpiling is when you use your coupons to buy items at their lowest price, avoiding paying the full price later. If a killer deal allows you to buy your family's favorite dinner protein at $1 rather than $4, it's best to buy items to last a month or two.

Stockpiling requires space - in your pantry, in your deep freezer, or in a storeroom. Dedicate an area to your bulk buys and aim to keep it tidy. Coupon expert, One Crazy Mom, suggests stockpiling enough for 8 to 10 weeks as stores usually release new coupons on similar deals after that timeframe. 

Learn the lingo

Couponing has a jargon of its own. As you encounter unfamiliar words, you can learn their meanings, but knowing a few beforehand can ensure you get to take advantage of savings when you need to. 

Find a coupon community

Join Facebook groups that can give you even more tips! You'll also become privy to local deals or coupon offerings that you may not have known otherwise. Talking with like-minded, expert couponers will keep you motivated, engaged, and excited about all the savings at your fingertips. 

Understand overage

Overage happens when the value of your coupons exceeds the cost of the product. This occurs when items in the store are on clearance or you have additional coupons for the brand or store. The result is money owed to you from the cashier or excess that covers the rest of your bill. Sounds good, doesn't it?

Stores are unlikely to give you cash back, but the excess pays for other items in your cart, reducing your overall bill. 

Some golden rules from the experts

  • Start one store at a time
  • Research store coupon policies
  • Print as many coupons as you can 
  • Double up your coupons
  • Stay organized
  • Only buy items you need and use
  • Calculate the cost per unit to see if it's worth it (great for bulk items)
  • Do not clear the shelves
  • Beware of fake coupons
  • Keep an eye on expiry dates

Extra coupons? Share the love

If you know you have enough of an item, but you have a coupon spare, why not give it away? You can leave it at the till for the next person or hand it to someone browsing the cereal aisle at the same time as you. Let them in on the deal that's right in front of them. Your little act of kindness may brighten their day.

You can donate extra coupons to shelters, old-aged homes, or a community soup kitchen. If you find coupons for something your family doesn't need, don't trash them; pass them on!

There are many ways to save big!

Many call couponing a full-time job. It takes time, effort, and careful calculations. But once you know the system, the store coupon policies, and the best ways to combine your coupons, it's worth it!

You can also make unconventional adjustments to save on your monthly bill. Save has a range of ideas, including healthy meal prep, learning how to can fresh items, making condiments, and spending less on family entertainment or beauty products. 

We would love to know your couponing for beginners tips. Please share this post, tag us and tell us how you coupon to the extreme! Sign up for the Save direct mail or newsletters to be the first to get notified when an opportunity to save pops up.