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Wednesday, July 6, 2016

How To Start Couponing

A LOT of family, friends and facebook fans ask me the simple question:
"How Do I Start Couponing?"

We've all used coupons in our life at one point in time.
Maybe you've set the practice aside due to a super full life that is being multi-tasked already.
Maybe you use them regularly but you'd like to step up to stockpiling.
It's kind of like your first day at the gym. You can't bench 300 the first time.
Perhaps your finances need a change or you've even been thrown into a desperate situation.
Everyone's life goes through cycles.

Spending money for your family, very simply put, must be put into NEEDS vs WANTS categories. You really need to remember those 2 very simple words when spending money PERIOD! We need to wash our hair, we need to eat and drink, we need to buy toilet paper, etc. We may WANT a specific name brand we are used to. If the price of the item doesn't fit into your budget, then you need to be creative now! Network with friends, family & neighbors for the coupons when they come out. Call the company and request coupons. Print coupons and/or check into mobile coupons and eCoupons. Watch the pricing cycle for the item and when it hits the low, pull the coupons out and stock up! If you can switch to new name brands to save money for your family your options will be wide open! Sometimes you don't have a choice. Like my Aunt, she can only use Scott Toilet paper with her Septic system. There you don't have a choice but to scour for those coupons however you can, and watch like a hawk for sales. Know how much your family uses. And use your resources, such as my facebook page, to make your searches simpler and less time consuming for you. I don't go out and buy 30 of everything my family uses with coupons in one week. It's piece by piece. Take advantage of opportunities when they come up. Start noticing the price you are paying. And scope your items at other stores and compare pricing. Makes mental notes, keep a written notebook, make spread sheets, whatever works best for you. But really start noticing the pricing of your items.

DON'T try to take on every store within a 20 mile radius your first week of couponing or you will go nutso! No joking! Keep your eyes open, but pick 1 or 2 stores and get them downpat. I don't hit every store every week myself. I do make sure that I have coupons so if something hits FREE I can get as many as I can. I'm not talking the dirty shelf clearing, but get as many as I can for my family.
With food items and medications, READ Expiration Dates.
Know your family usage.
Start with getting a short term supply at a cheap price,
 while you wait for a lower price yet, then get a bit to hold you along again.
Then if it goes FREE your game needs to be ON! 
If you must pay full price on items for a little bit only buy ONE! 
or Try a new cheaper name namebrand. 
You never know what just may be your next favorite. 
There are items I have gotten because it's a deal and WOW I am in love with the stuff. 
Like Purex Crystals or Tide Stain Release and Aussie Shampoo. 
But we take whatever is FREE in our home that we can score. 
We don't have a choice. 
So I make sure I am on game when it's a favorite that hits cheap or FREE. 

The point I am trying to make here is that to start couponing, you have to start thinking different.
 WANTS vs NEEDS must always be in your head.
 You need to open yourself up to new products. 
Companies put coupons out BECAUSE there is a new product. 
Use the Coupon Matchups Online to save yourself time. 
Scan them for what's FREE, not for a product name. 
For some people changing the mindset on product loyalty if difficult. Just keep in mind your family's end goal here. Don't try to coupon to the hilt at every store across town the fist week. You will not like it, LOL!  Start with a couple stores and get it down pat for yourself for 2-3 weeks first! Get things as inexpensive as you can to hold you a little while til it goes FREE! Everything doesn't go on sale FREE every week. I wish it did. Know your family's usage of items and read the expiration dates. If the ketchup expires in 6 months and it goes free, get enough to last your family the 6 months. As each week goes by, you will find new items that are FREE or CHEAP that week and can keep adding into your stockpile and it will grow. It takes time! And you will get your organization of your coupon filing methods and what time of day works best for you to focus on finding your deals, and how the different stores do all their deals.
It will come together.
Your family is worth it :)