I remember how it all started….. it was innocent enough. Every once in a while I would catch an episode on TV about couponing and think, ”WOW, I wish I could get FREE stuff” and then in the next episode I would think, “Who needs that much stuff???” And even a bit of, “Who has the TIME for all of this?”
I bet some of you have had similar thoughts. Some of you can’t quite make the distinction between couponer and hoarder and perhaps, truthfully, the lines sometimes get blurred, even by the best of us. But I have to tell you…… for me, personally, times have changed.
I admit, some things I have quite a bit of and some stuff I purposely get extra to share with family and friends. And even more, still, I get extras of because it enables me to make more charitable donations than I’ve eve been able to do before.
In my view, couponing is a choice made to ensure you get the most value for your dollar. A choice to live frugally and save money, enabling us to spend your money on other things important to us like credit card repayment, vacations, or a nice dinner out.
How do you get started?
Start by looking in your fridge, cupboards, and pantry and see if you can find coupons for products you use most often. Read the flyers in your area and determine price points and which stores offer price matching and/or points programs which can all help your bottom line. Start by using a few coupons here and there to save a few dollars per trip. Once you do this for a few weeks, you will see how quickly the savings can add up. Build up your coupon supply and your coupon confidence.
When you get the to the store, consider chatting with staff at customer service. Most will share store policies and couponing rules and having this knowledge will do wonders with building your couponing confidence. If you are price matching and couponing, confirm with the cashier how she/he would like you to set up the items (I almost always put the product on top of the flyer I am price matching to, with the corresponding coupon(s) on top.
Shop for your individual situation. Buy what you can afford, and have room to store, and ensure that you can use, or share, the items prior to their expiry. Sales generally go in cycles and, in a few months you will likely still have coupons to use or, by this time, you will know where to get more.
Above all, be courteous and polite. We, as customers, will have our best experiences, as will store staff, if we are all respectful. Work with the cashiers and not against them