Want to start couponing and saving money, but don’t know where to begin?
In this column each week, I’ll share with you steals and deals from local stores and online and provide you with tools and resources you need to be successful. As a former loan officer turned stay-at-home mom, I know how tough it can be to stretch a paycheck to pay bills, buy groceries, save money and still have fun!
I also love helping others save money, and I blog about how to do just that. I’m constantly on the lookout for the best deals. After all, why pay retail when you don’t have to?
Here are some tips to help you get started.
Collect coupons from the Sunday newspaper (as well as the Paraglide, which is free) and from online sites such as Coupons.com, RedPlum.com and SmartSource.com. Contact manufacturers and request coupons. Note: you may want to collect several newspapers for the inserts, as you can score even more deals with the same coupon.
2. Organize your coupons in a binder, envelope or small expandable folder organizer.
3. Sign up for your stores reward card (such as Food Lion’s MVP card, Harris Teeter e-VIC, the CVS Extra Care Card, etc.)
4. Match up coupons with sales - and if your store allows, combine a store coupon with a manufacturer coupon to save more, and use your reward card to maximize savings.
5. Know a store’s coupon policies. Print it and take it with you; you might need to refer to it if a cashier gives you a hard time about using coupons that you know you can use.
If you are interested in learning more, stay tuned for next week’s column. You also can take advantage of coupon classes at your local community center, school or church, or have a friend who is an avid couponer teach you the ropes (and let you tag along)!