If you are new to the couponing world, there are a number of things you may be wondering about when it comes to where to begin. We have pulled together our top tips in this How To Coupon: The Basics post that is sure to lead you in the right direction. Not only do we want to bring you the best deals for Northern California, we want to help you know how to make the most of those in store.
HOW TO COUPON: THE BASICS
First find the coupons. It seems like this would be obvious, but it needs to be repeated. You cannot coupon without coupons. Finding coupons is the first step toward coupon success.
Here are our recommended places to locate the best coupons:
- Local Newspaper Inserts. Each week various newspapers nationwide will include coupons from Proctor & Gamble, RedPlum & SmartSource. Call your local and statewide newspaper offices to find out which inserts they carry, what day they are released and the cost per newspaper.
- Printable Coupons Found Online. There are multiple sources for printed coupons including Coupons.com, RedPlum, SmartSource and Hopster. If you don’t want to rummage around multiple sites, just head over to our Coupon Database and search for what you are looking for. We also routinely include links to printable in our various store matchups to save you the time of searching.
- Request From Companies Directly. Sign up for store rewards programs and contact manufacturers for the best coupons direct from the company. Look up your favorite brands online and email or snail mail them a request for product coupon. You’ll be surprised at how many you can receive.
Organize Your Coupons. Having a ton of coupons does you no good unless you know what you have and can easily match them to the sale prices. Use one of the popular methods of storage to keep your coupons in order, sorted by category or expiration date and handy for use.
Here are our favorite storage methods:
- Classic Coupon Clutch. Just like grandma used, these simple and inexpensive mini binders or clutches work great for those who are only going to take a few coupons to the store, or for the peson who is only couponing here and there.
- The Binder Method. This is the most popular way of organizing and used by most extreme couponers. Clipping your coupons and using collector card insert pages within a 3 ring binder helps you to keep like coupons together, sort by category, brand and expriation date and flip back and forth easily to find what you need in store.
- File Folder System. Some like to keep their inserts whole and only clip coupons as they plan a shopping trip. Using a small file folder, files and tabs to sort by insert type and release date is great if you are going to be using only store match ups found online. You can grab the insert for the date listed in the matchup and clip the exact coupon easily as needed.
Match Coupons To Sales. This is the most important part of the couponing process. Simply using coupon on a product you want to buy will save you money, but ultimate savings come when you wait for the great sales and match the coupon to the sale price. This is where free and cheap items happen.
Here are the best ways to match coupons to sales:
- Check our site and others for weekly match ups already done for you for the local to you stores. We cover a lot of retail, dollar and grocery store match ups on a regular basis that are sure to fit your needs.
- Look at your local sales flyers and match your coupons to sale prices. Go the old fashioned method by grabbing our local sales ad, a pen and your coupons to match and see what is on sale and what has a great coupon that will make it cheap or free.
- Favado. We can’t say enough about how easy the Favado app makes it to find out the sales at your local stores. Check it out and then print or clip your coupons to match the deals!
Learn the Coupon Lingo: Last but not least we recommend you take a look at our Coupon Lingo page . A lot of our match ups for individual stores will include abbreviations you may not recognize. This list will help you to understand and be able to make the most of your coupons.
This is just a small start to how you can save at the retail and grocery stores on items you need. Make sure to check back here weekly for your favorite store ad matches, or subscribe to our email to receive all the latest deals in your inbox every day.