With a new year, typically comes new resolves. Does yours includes changing your spending habits, namely through learning to coupon, or learning to coupon smarter? If so, here are a few tips to become a better couponer in the New Year.
- Go slow. Start small. No one wakes up one morning, decides to become a triathlete, then just DOES one. There comes a great deal of training first, including working up to the big goal. Couponing is the same way. Start by finding and using coupons for items you use the most -like 3-5 to start, for the brands you typically buy. Then, as you feel more comfortable, add a few more items or brands. Also, if you live close to multiple stores, pick one to start with.
- Have a plan in place. With over a zillion coupon bloggers available today, you can easily find “match-ups” for your favorite stores to see which items are on sale for the week and have coupons available for those deals. So, decide which store(s) you wish to shop, and get the weekly match-ups from your favorite blogger. More importantly, have a plan (i.e. shopping list) for when you walk in to the store, AND STICK TO IT! Impulse buys can ruin a great trip. (But rest assured, even the most seasoned shopper has fallen for this blunder!)
- Would you normally buy this? Just because something is cheap and a “smokin’ hot deal” with a coupon doesn’t mean you should run out and buy it. It’s super-easy to get caught up in the thrill of saving money, and to experience that coupon high; but, once the high wears off, you may be left with buyer’s remorse, if you bought something you can’t really utilize or enjoy!
- Find and then organize your coupons. There are numerous ways to organize your coupons, and for a newbie, I would recommend you keep it simple. However, as you get more comfortable in the world of couponing, step up your organization and storage, finding a system that works for you. For inspiration, check out different styles of coupon organization here.
- But before you can organize your coupons, you must first find your coupons. Coupons are plentiful these days, if you just know where to look. Of course, there’s the Sunday newspaper inserts, and also heaps of printable coupon sites. But have you ever considered going directly to the source? That’s right, ask the company for coupons! You’d be surprised how many manufactures are happy to send you coupons for their products. Also, keep tabs on your favorite deal/frugal/coupon bloggers — we frequently giveaway high value coupons we get sent to us!
All in all, if learning to coupon or just stepping up your couponing game are on your grand to-do list for 2013, these tips should help you get going. Happy saving!