Coupon Tips and Guidelines



·        First and foremost ya gotta get up on Sunday morning and go get papers...I usually get 4 copies each week.  My stores allow up to 3-4 of like manufacturer's coupons per visit and that is usually enough for me anyway.

·        Secondly, you need to take the "extreme" out of couponing.  Realistically speaking you will likely never see the totals you see on TLC so expecting them will set you up for a disheartening experience.  Expectations of 40-75% off your normal grocery totals is more realistic!

***ORGANIZE ORGANIZE ORGANIZE***  Biggest reason for folks quitting is lack of organization...the more organized you can be, the less time it will take you to plan your shopping trips each week!

·        Just about as important is to sign up for all your stores's savings cards such as CVS, Rite Aid, Harris Teeter, Lowe's Foods, etc.  If your store offers extra savings for adding your email...by all means join the eProgams because they offer even more savings when you shop!  PLUS, sign up for their electronic coupons to be attached to your card, specifically Harris Teeter because these eCoupons will stack with your paper coupons!

·        Search and print online coupons!  You are allowed up to two prints per offer on most internet coupons.  Coupons.com is an excellent place to start!  SmartSource, Cellfire and Coupon Network by Catalina are just to name a few. 

·        SavingStar is a relatively new concept to some of us...you simply go to their website and choose the coupons you'd like to attach to your store savings cards.  When you use your store cards, say at Lowe's Foods, then the amount of your savings is put into a bank...once your bank reaches $5.00 or more, you can choose your payout by bank transfer, Paypal or a giftcard.  This program offers apps for your smartphones and will send updates and new coupons directly to your phone where you can attach them to your savings cards immediately. 

·        Read your favorite store's coupon policies!  Most places will allow you to stack your coupons, but you MUST stay within their guidelines.  For example, Walgreens will allow you to stack one of their store coupons with a manufacturer's coupon for an item.  This is how you can extremely increase your savings!

·        Coupon etiquette is  a very big topic.  If you intend to go into a store simply to "clear the shelves" then you wont be helping to counter the bad stigma coupon users are getting as a result of the ever popular coupon craze.  If you are polite and buy in reasonable quantities, the store employees and managers will welcome you and even tell you about great deals.  Otherwise, they kinda want to lock the doors when they see you coming.  Not to mention the fact you tick off other buyers who want to score the same deals...happens to me all the time.

·        Coupon fraud.  BIG DEAL!  It is a criminal offense to use coupons in a way they are not intended such as photo copying them or using them for items that wont make the registers beep but are not for the intended items.  Also, if it sounds like its too good to be true, it probably is, so dont do it.  You might see coupons out there to print that are fraudulent...many are in the forms of a .pdf file and are for ridiculous amounts.  Always, always get your coupons from a trusted source.  Enough on that...just be careful!

♥ Manda

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