24/7 MOMS Frugal Editor
Don’t Pile ‘Em – File Them! Organization will make or break your potential as a successful (and happy) couponer. Once a week, sort your purse, glove compartment, home “in-box”, coupon file and all of the other places coupons “ live” in your routine. A fresh glance at your coupon inventory and a quick organizing shuffle can unearth all sorts of goodies. Better yet, the more often you review your coupon file, the more quickly you can match what you have with a sale.
“Soon-to-Be Expired” Coupon Wisdom: Don’t let a coupon’s expiration date pressure you into buying the product. If you’ve been couponing for any amount of time, you’ve seen that most coupons repeat – with the exception of “hot” coupons that you know won’t be available again. Like a “Super Stockpiling” price, determining this difference comes with experience.
On the other hand, don’t be too hasty about clearing out the coupons you’re not going to use before the end of the month. After all of the years I’ve been couponing, I can tell you that a sale just might begin at the eleventh hour, the day before the coupon expires. Just today, I was sorting coupons to send overseas, where expired coupons can be used up to 6 months after their printed expiration date. I was able to match some coupons that expire today, with a sale that started today. As long as the last-minute trip to the grocery store reasonably fits into your plans, you could score like I did, and bring home the goods at half-price!
Network – It Multiplies Your Savings: I can’t stress enough how worthwhile it is to begin a coupon club in your area. If you don’t have the time to host an in-person group, start with a Facebook coupon club. Our “Whidbey Coupon Club” Facebook group is a goldmine of ideas, connections, coupon exchanges and “good deal alerts”. It’s a great place for people who are new to couponing to get their questions answered. Although I started the Facebook group, I don’t have a whole lot to do, other than publicizing that the group exists. The members themselves pitch in and help one another. It’s made friendships, inspired great couponing experiences, and saved all of us a whole lot of money.
Know What (and how) the Locals Are Saving Money: If you don’t have a coupon club, or even if you do, the other best place to connect is with your local money-saving websites. These potpourris of valuable information are – well, invaluable. They’ll not only tell you where the best deal for your money is, many of them will show how they score the deals. Look to these websites for tutorials on basic skills, specific store “how-to’s”, and all sorts of “on the spot shopper” updates. Use your search engine or ask the couponers you meet about their favorite websites.
Go Out and Get Those Coupons!: Coupon clubs, whether virtual or in-person can collect more coupons for the members. Senior Centers, churches, schools, community groups, restaurants, and your neighborhood are great places for collection efforts. Offer to provide the collection box and flyers. On your flyer and box, clearly describe what you’re looking for and information on joining the coupon club. Regularly make a route to collect the donated coupons. That’s the fun part for me, as I’ve made friends I look forward to seeing every week. Be sure to thank those who are hosting the boxes. Perhaps you can bring them coupons they need!
What words of couponing wisdom do you have to share?