Thursday, April 7, 2011

New to couponing and don't know where to start!

Maybe you saw someone checking out at the store that saved a ton with coupons, you overheard someone talking about it or you saw those crazy people on "Extreme Couponing" on TLC and now you want to get in on the money saving action too. Well you've come to the right place! 

Here are just a few steps to get you started. For more in depth detail click on the How to Get Started tab at the top of the page or attend one of HOC's free classes(sign up here).

First things first:

  1. You CANNOT be brand loyal. When using coupons and to maximize savings you have to be willing to buy different brands because they are at the best price.
  2. Set a budget NOW! For the first month or two set your budget to what you normally spend. This will allow you to begin stockpiling. After you have built a small (1-2 month supply) of products you use regularly slowly start to cut your budget in $5-$10 increments. I would also suggest keeping this money in cash in an envelope system to help keep you accountable to stay within your budget.
  3. Buy ONLY what you need FIRST! Alway, Always, Always buy what your family needs right now FIRST before you even think about stockpiling. Start by compiling a list of what you need now(items you've run out of or are running low on), make a menu using products you have on hand and stretch it as far as you can go.Once you have your list of needs and your menu planned look at the grocery store sale ads from your paper or online and find the best deals on anything you need to complete your menu and fill your needs list.
  4. Stockpile AFTER your needs are fulfilled. After you have shopped for your needs take any money you have left over from your budget and stockpile on any products that are on sale at a good price. Only use what you have left from your budget! I would also suggest not spending every last penny of that budget money because it never fails that you've forgotten something that you need!
  5. You're budget will not but cut in half immediately and you won't be getting $1,000's of dollars worth of products for pennies the first time you shop, so don't get discouraged.

Tune in tomorrow for how to get those coupons and how to organize them. 


  1. I went to the store today with a stack of coupons and only wound up using 7 of them. It turned out the generic was cheaper than the name brand with the coupon. I always want to be a big couponer but haven't gotten there yet.

  2. Love to hear what else you have to say, especially about getting the coupons and how YOU organize them. It seems everyone has a 'system'. Mine works for me, but I'm always willing to change if I find one that seems it would suit me better. i want to know how to save over 85% every time you shop. I can save 40-60% regularly, but I can't get those HUGE numbers and I know friends that do.

  3. Revjen, coupons work best when an item is on sale AND you have a coupon. Also, some stores offer double coupons. About once month, Harris Teeter here offers super doubles where they will double any coupon with a face value of us to $1.98. Bi-Lo sometimes does that, too. There are a lot of web sites and blogs which tell you what deals are out there. Sometimes it takes a bit of pre-planning before you f=go to the store, but it it worth it when you see those numbers coming off of your total. 8^)

  4. Kelly, what system do you use?

    I have a binder with zipper closure. I have baseball card sheet protectors in the binder. When I cut coupons, they are put into the binder in categories. Baby, Bathroom, Cereal, Cleaning Supplies, etc....

    Before going to the store, I look to see what deals are posted online, pull out or print those coupons, and put them in an envelope. When I get to the store, I get those items first. Then I look to see if I notice any other sales that go with any coupons that I have and make great deals.