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In our current economy it is important to utilize saving skills in every area possible. With rising costs in all stores, who wants to pay full price when they don’t have to? This is where couponing comes in.

Couponing can seem daunting but it is not difficult and is very easy to master. It takes some thinking, organizing and planning in order to get the best deal possible.

Here are some tips to avoid paying full price:

Step 1 – Study others that coupon:

Watch at least one episode of “Extreme Couponing” on TLC. This will open your eyes to what it truly takes to coupon. Note: I have never done extreme couponing to that level but it gives you a general idea of what it takes to successfully coupon.

View attached “Extreme Couponing” sneak peak below:

Step 2 – Hunting and Gathering:

Gather coupons from multiple places:

  • Weekly newspapers
  • Local recycling bins
  • Join couponing groups to trade and get rid of them.

Step 3 – Clip and Organize:

Clip the coupons for the items that you would normally purchase. Tip: Many stores have stopped doubling coupons (meaning a 50 cent coupon would double to a dollar automatically). I personally only clip the 1 dollar and above coupons.

However, saving 50 cents is better than nothing so if you are going to purchase that item anyway you may as well clip it and use it.

When it comes to organizing your coupons each person has their own way of mastering this. There are coupon organizers that look like accordions and they are helpful. However, if you are going to clip multiple coupons for multiple items I suggest going with a binder of some sort with a space for each like coupon. This way they can easily be seen and found when needed.

Step 4 – Collect and Check Circulars:

In the same weekly paper that you get the coupons out of there are ads called circulars. Examples are: Meijer, Kroger and Marsh. Take note of what items are on sale and match them to the coupons that you find to get the best savings.

Step 5 – Shop and Save: 

When going to the grocery store you want to make a plan and also allow extra time to shop. Couponing takes extra time but it is worth it when you get to the register.

While shopping make sure that you are checking your prices and that you are purchasing the item brand and size that matches what the coupons states. Example: If the coupon states, “Purell Hand Sanitizer 20 oz. or less” than that is what you have to purchase.

If you have ten coupons that make an item free, “donate to others in need”(Beginner).

Step 6 – Checking out:

While at the check out you really have to pay attention. While the items are scanning I always check to make sure that they are ringing up correctly. When I hand the coupons to the cahier I personally hand them over one at a time to make sure that they are being deducted correctly. I didn’t do all of this planning for nothing!

Couponing takes time and energy but I always think that the money that I am saving on groceries can go toward other items that I may actually want. As stated on the Extreme Couponing Show, “ Free always tastes better”(Extreme).

Feel free to comment about any other couponing tips that you may have!

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