Couponing 101 – How to Get Started
We’ve all seen those Couponing shows and have thought how cool would it be to get a bunch of shopping carts full of merchandise for FREE. Can it be done? Absolutely. Should I expect to do that my first day Couponing? Probably not.
The reason I say probably not is because it would most likely be too overwhelming for a first time and if anything doesn’t go as planned it may frustrate you so that you don’t try again. The most successful couponers pick one store at a time to learn and build up their stockpiles over time.
Here are some tips to get started Couponing
- Pick your Favorite Store to Start – You don’t need to be an expert overnight. Pick your favorite store (or 2 favorite stores – 1 drugstore and 1 grocery store). If you already shop there you’re probably familiar with the store and have some idea about their policies and reward programs. Print out the store coupon policy and read it. Keep that policy with you when you shop in case a question comes up.
- Join the How to Shop for Free Facebook Group for Your Store – Facebook Groups are a great resource to ask questions, post shopping brags, and view deals. How to Shop for Free Admins are very active in the groups and monitor them closely. There is also a great group of couponers in each group always willing to step up and help by answering questions and offering advice. You will find the groups to be very friendly and very active. HERE is a complete list of our Facebook Groups. Make sure you join the groups for the stores you currently shop at. Maybe join the groups for the stores you’d like to shop at and “test the waters”.
- Create a Wish List for Your Shopping Trip – The reason I call this a wish list is because you are just starting and may not have all the coupons required to do the best deals right away. That’s ok because deals come along all the time. You don’t need to get every deal every time. You can find the best deals each week in your store specific forum at HowtoShopforFree.net. Let us do the work for you.
- Gather Your Coupons – Now that you have your list created gather your coupons. The Coupon Database at HowtoShopforFree.net will tell you which coupon insert you will find the coupon in or provide you with the link to the printable coupon. Keep in mind that you can generally get two prints of each printable coupon per device.
- Finalize Your Shopping List – Now that you have your coupons, finalize your list based on the coupons that you have available. Each week How to Shop for Free provides a Printable Shopping List for each store. If you prefer, a handwritten list works just as well. Include the price of the items, coupons used and any rewards points expected. This will help you verify the accuracy of the order while you are still at the register. I always know what my total will be before I get to the register. It definitely helps to make it a stress free trip.
These are the basics to getting started. We will be covering topics like “Where do I get coupons?” And “How should I organize my coupons?” In future editions of “Couponing 101” so keep an eye out for these hot topics. If there is a topic you would like to see featured please let us know!