Let's explore this saving-crazy phenomenon.
I was first introduced to couponing somewhat by accident,
years before TLC ever broadcasted a single episode of Extreme Couponers.
In Highschool I had a part-time job working at a grocery store.
On my breaks I would usually buy a drink and a bag of pizza flavored goldfish.
One day I grabbed a Powerade that had one of those little sticky coupons attached to it for $0.55 off at time of purchase.
The Powerade was on sale for $1.00 and when I got to the register to check out, my coupon doubled to $1.10 off.
(don't worry we will talk about doubling coupons later)
After taxes my balanced came to something like -$0.03, and instead of paying for my drink, the cashier handed me $0.03!
Yeah! I unexpectedly got paid $0.03 to take home some powerade!
I had seen many people use coupons on their transactions for small savings- but I had never seen that before.
Items coming up for free all because of couponing- or even better- getting paid to shop!
Needless to say, before I went home after my shift,
I loaded up on some more of the money making powerades, earning myself around an extra $0.15.
I didn't think much about it again-
I thought it was some kind of once-in-a-lifetime cosmic mistake!
Until years later when TLC came out with their reality series "Extreme Couponing".
I was amazed and confused!
But most of all, I was impressed!
So I started doing some research...
Now please understand, you wont be seeing me on any upcoming episodes of Extreme Couponing anytime soon.
I am not an "extreme couponer".
but I am a couponer.
Couponing has been good to me.
I find it to be a relaxing hobby.
I like finding coupons and discovering deals, clipping coupons and saving money.
But maybe you feel overwhelmed?
Not too sure where to start?
Well let me try to help you.
Let's start at the very beginning...
Where to find coupons!
There are a few places that I know of...
Now please keep in mind, I am no expert, and I don't know everything there is to know about couponing.
But what I do know, I gladly share with yall.
This is, in my opinion, the best way to find coupons!
You'll find magazine-like booklets in your Sunday newspapers, labeled something like:
SmartSource, RedPlum, P&G etc..
You'll find these all over the internet.
Just search "printable coupons" and a lot of coupon sites should turn up.
Keep your eyes open when you are reading your favorite magazines for coupons!
You can find All You magazines at Walmart each month, this magazine has by far, the most coupons if any magazine I have seen!
If you have kids then you are probably already very familiar with these!
You will find them in the aisles of your local grocery store.
Take a at least one coupon from each one you see,
even if the deal at the time isn't very good because the product might go on sale later and the expiration dates on these blinkie coupon usually lasts a while!
5. Tear Pads:
Another great way to land free coupons while grocery shopping!
Keep your eye out!
You will usually find these on displays in your grocery store- or even your local gas stations!
These are always a pleasant surprise!
(and the same type of coupons I used for my first extreme couponing experience that I already mentioned)
The will be stuck on the product in the store- just remember to point it out to the cashier when you check out!
7. Store Coupon Books:
A lot of stores like walgreens will have their own coupon books!
Just go up to the customer service counter of your favorite store and ask if they have a coupon book.
(You can't be afraid to ask questions when you are a couponer, so get friendly with your customer service workers)
Okay, I use this one a lot!
I google coupon clipping services- and I find different coupon clipping websites.
the coupons are free, you only are paying for the time they took to cut the coupons and for the shipping.
So each coupon will only be about $0.08 a piece- sometimes more, sometimes less...
Yes you are still paying for coupons but not as much as you would if you were buying newspapers.
I buy about 1 newspaper a week (at $2)- if I see a great coupon or I know there is a great deal coming up and I need a certain coupon for it I will order in bulk from coupon clipping services.
So the other week I needed 20 Almay makeup coupons-
Each newspaper has one coupon in it, per type. (So 1 Almay coupon per 1 newspaper)
My choices were: spend $40 on newspaper inserts for 20 Almay coupons or spend about $2 on a coupon clipping service for 20 Almay coupons...
So I buy coupons I need in bulk on clipping sites...
(Klip2save is one I use all the time)
This one goes hand in hand with the coupon clipping services.
You can bet or buy coupons in bulk on ebay...
This is also a good place to find hard to find, or popular coupons at...
Okay you need to open a paypal account if you decide to do this one...
You can search the hashtags for coupons and you'll find people selling and trading coupons..
Usually their prices are even better than a coupon clipping service...
I use instagram, but you can always google coupon trading, or coupon trading forums and find other places where you can purchase or trade coupons at.
This is how I get the majority of my coupons.
Ask your family members and friends to save you their sunday inserts.
I work as a caregiver and a while ago I asked some of my clients and patients I've met if they could save their coupon inserts for me- and they said "sure".
A lot of times if you mail your favorite companies a letter telling them about how you love their product or asking them for coupons- they will send you back free, high value (most of the time) coupons!
Okay so for now, that's a good place to start!
I'll upload some ideas on where to find lots of coupons and coupon inserts after I test them out and research them a bit more.
Coupons are everywhere!
Keep your eyes open.