If you’re wondering how to start couponing, you’re not alone. Couponing has been growing in popularity rapidly since the start of the recession, during some years by as much as 63%. Savings from coupons in America now total billions of dollars each year.
We all know couponing is popular, but how do you start couponing? Below is a crash course on couponing that should get you started off on the right foot. From there, like with any hobby, you’ll want to continue learning about couponing so you can build a system of your own. The good news is the better you get at it, the more you’ll save so it’s definitely a hobby that’s worth the time invested. Couponing feels great and saves you money. If only everything we did came with those perks…
How to Start Couponing Online
If you’re reading this article from your phone or computer, chances are you’d love to start couponing by finding coupons online. The problem is that searching for “coupons” online yields a massive number of useless results. Pretty much everyone out there wants you to believe you can get coupons from them. Stick to popular online coupon sources like the following four, which we vetted for our customers years ago. They remain great standbys:
After you’ve poured through these coupons, you’ll certainly be getting a sense of what’s out there for a couponer. Once you find some coupons you think you’ll definitely use, print them out and set them aside for your next shopping trip. These sites are regularly updated with new coupons and are worth visiting regularly.
How to Find Coupons in Newspapers
Couponing traditionalists still love clipping paper coupons from the newspaper inserts. This process actually can be kind of fun, since all the coupons are right there in front of you. Finding ones you can use becomes a sort of game. For those learning how to start couponing, the first thing to know is that there are three major companies that provide the vast majority of newspaper insert coupons. Here they are, along with the frequency with which their coupons are released:
- P&G Brand Saver® – Look for the Procter & Gamble Brand Saver at the beginning of each month. The P&G circular includes brands like Charmin, Gain, Covergirl, Febreze and Duracell.
- RedPlum® – Look for RedPlum inserts every week or every other week. RedPlum will occasionally issue two inserts in the same week. The RedPlum circular includes all kinds of household products from brands like Dove, Degree, Dial, Gillette and Garnier.
- SmartSource® – Watch for SmartSource coupons in the Sunday newspaper every week. SmartSource will occasionally issue two inserts in the same week. The SmartSource circular includes brands like Campbell’s, Colgate, Green Mountain Coffee, Barilla and Hershey.
Many of the sites associated with these major coupon insert companies have tools to help you find the different coupon inserts in your area. Get familiar with the coupon release cycles in your area for these manufacturer coupons. Note that on and around holidays, these inserts will not be issued. You’ll also want to become familiar with the store coupons that each of the grocery stores in your area releases, along with their cycles. A good couponer knows the difference between store coupons and manufacturer coupons.
How to Start Couponing Like a Pro
If you really want to coupon like a pro, you’ll need to learn about things like double coupon days, when stores offer twice the value of a coupon; or stacking coupons, which involves matching store coupons with manufacturer coupons to boost savings on specific items. To brush up on your expertise, check out our post on how to start extreme couponing, or peruse blogs like the ones below:
- TheKrazyCouponLady.com- Started by a pair of stay-at-home moms in Boise, Idaho, The Krazy Coupon Lady is a popular resource. These bloggers even collaborated on a best-selling book!
- Freebies2Deals.com – Owned and operated by a new mom in Utah, Freebies 2 Deals is regularly featured as a source by major media outlets.
Above are just two of the most popular coupon blogs. There are literally thousands of them online. If you hunt around, you can also find coupon bloggers with smaller followings who think like you or buy a lot of the same items. Sometimes you can even find coupon bloggers in your area, who can inform you about deals you might not have noticed at your local grocery store.
Are you learning how to start couponing? What tips have you gathered so far? Share them below and help a fellow couponer out.