So, your ready to learn how to coupon. Your tired of being the one who pays full price when everyone else seems to be getting a better deal. Your ready to be one of 'those people' who brag about all of the money they've saved at the grocery store. You're ready to officially call yourself a couponer.
It's time to break it down on the money front, folks. I've yet to find someone who doesn't like to save money, and couponing is a great way to keep your hard earned cash in your pocket. Sounds good, right? I'll teach you the ins and outs of getting the best deal and the most for your money.
First, however, I'm going to fill you in on a few things before we get down to the "How To" nitty gritty.
1. You're not going to save money like the people on the "Extreme" t.v. shows. Few people actually walk out of the grocery store paying less than ten bucks for three hundred dollars worth of food. Realistically, as an average couponer you can expect to save 30-50% with a little diligence and determination. Not too shabby, if you ask me!
2. It will take time to build a stock pile. You're not going to be able to stock up on all of your favorite foods the first time you hit the store. Common foods go on sale about every three months or so. That being said, if you're using a handful of coupons for the items you like when they go on sale, it will take you a good 6 months to see some actual volume.
3. Coupons don't just come in the Sunday newspaper. I always assumed that the newspaper was the way to go when it comes to getting the best coupons out there. Often, the web, magazines and snail mail offer more valuable coupons than Sunday's best. They key is to use a variety of resources when collecting your coupons.
4. Couponing takes time, patience and planning. When I started using coupons, I was cutting random coupons out of the paper and printing loads of them from the internet with no plan of when I would use them. Next thing I knew, the coupons had expired before I made it to the store and I'd wasted my time (and printer ink!) because I failed to plan ahead. Organizing your coupons and knowing when to use them is the key to saving money like the best of them. Taking stock of what's in my coupon inventory and planning my shopping list usually takes me a good couple of hours. Be prepared to invest quality time into your couponing adventure.
5. It's worth it! Don't give up when the going gets tough, or should I say frustrating. Sometimes, that high value coupon were about to print is no longer available. Sometimes, when you get to the store, you find that your best deal of the day is not in stock. And, if you're a bit absent minded at times like me, there's going to be that tragic moment when you get all the way to the store and realize you left your coupons at home. Things like these are inevitably going to happen at some point, so remember not to get discouraged.
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