How do I start couponing?
I’d recommend starting with where you feel most comfortable. If you never see yourself clipping newspaper coupons and walking around with a coupon organizer, start by clipping digital coupons. If you’re a sit-and-enjoy-coffee-on-a-Sunday-morning person, maybe you could see yourself with a paper and cutting coupons during that time like I do. If you don’t get a paper, try using coupons.com to print coupons at home. Do you never pay attention to what things cost? Start trying to become aware of the price of things you buy most often, so you can recognize a deal when you see one. It’s really personal preference which tactics are right for you.
How do you keep your coupons organized?
Personally I use a wallet-style coupon organizer, similar to this one. I’ve never been a binder person. My husband bought me this organizer a few years ago and I still use it to this day. I’ve also given it as gifts. It looks like a wallet and I won’t go shopping without it. Every Sunday before I put new coupons in, I look through every pocket. Expired coupons get thrown out or donated to the military (military members can use coupons up to 6 months after their expired date.) Coupons within a few days of expiration are brought to the far front of the organizer as a reminder to use them before they are expired.
I’m confused by coupon abbreviations. What do they mean?
Below are some of the common abbreviations I use or see used:
BOGO Or B1G1 – Buy One Get One (Free)
ECB Or ECBs – Extra Care Bucks (CVS)
GM – General Mills Coupon Insert
MFG Or MFR – Manufacturer
MIR – Mail In Rebate
MM – Money Maker (the store paid you to shop there! Woot woot!)
OOP – Out Of Pocket (Cash Paid)
PG Or P&G – Procter And Gamble (Monthly Sunday Paper Coupon Flyer)
RR Or RRs – Register Rewards (Walgreens)
SS – Smart Source (Sunday Paper Coupon Flyer)
WYB – When You Buy
When can I stack coupons?
Typically stores will allow you to combine a sale price with one store coupon and one manufacturer coupon. The top of the coupon would state whether it is a store coupon or manufacturer coupon. Note: I used to believe that coupons that printed at the register after a transaction were all store coupons. That is not true, so look at the fine print on coupons to see if they are store or manufacturer. Typically stacking sale prices with a store coupon and manufacturer coupon results in the best deal or a “money maker.”
What are price adjustments?
Many stores offer one-time price adjustment if the item appears in the store’s ad at a cheaper price than what you recently paid. Typically the window is 7-14 days. If the store offers a price adjustment, you can simply bring your receipt to the store the will refund the difference. Or, if you are doing online shopping, try the Paribus app which tracks select stores for you and will reimburse you if an item you purchased reduces in price soon after you purchase it. Provide peace of mind that your online orders will always be at the lowest possible price.
What is price matching?
Some stores offer competitive price matching on products to ensure if you shop with them you receive the best price possible. You will see stores advertise this a lot around Black Friday, but typically stores offer it year –round. For example let’s say you were shopping at Target, and Walmart is offering a better price on an item in their current circular. You can go to the Target Help Desk and request a price match by showing them the current advertisement. This can save time by not having to hop around from store to store searching for the best deal.
Walmart offers an app called Savings Catcher that actually price matches for you and I love it. I don’t do a lot of shopping at Walmart, but when I do, I always use the Savings Catcher app. Shop at Walmart, check out, and upload a copy of your receipt to the app. The app will automatically search competitive stores and if an item you purchase is at a lower price elsewhere (either regular price or sale price) Walmart will credit you back the difference. The credit will appear in your app that you can use on your next purchase.