Getting started can be intimiding, but who doesn't want to save money?!? Couponing is a game and there is strategy involved, but that's where I come in. I'm here to help you learn the best way to play your coupons and the best times to get the stuff you already want/need for cheap or for free! Who can beat that?
First thing you need to get started is COUPONS!! Where to find them?
1- The Sunday Paper- You want to buy the paper that has the most coupons in your area. How will you know which paper has the most coupons? Trial and error or perhaps the sales person at your store, will let you take a peek. All coupons are regional, so different places get different value amounts and different inserts. The inserts are the packets of coupons: Red Plum, Smart Source, and P&G are the most common. Sometimes the inserts will even vary if you had your paper delivered or if you bought it at the store. I typically purchase 1 paper at the store (walgreens is cheapest in my area for 99 cents) and I also have 1 paper delivered to my home. If the paper is especially good, I will get 2 at the store, if it is poor or has no coupons, then I skip my store bought paper for that week.
2- IP's- otherwise known as Internet Prinables. These are GREAT and are often higher value than those that come in the paper. Most couponing blogs have links to coupons on coupons.com, smartsource.com, or redplum.com. The tips to printing coupons at home is to use black ink (save that color baby!), select coupons you know you will use or those that are of high value, and remember there's usually a limit of 2 prints per computer.
3- Peelies- Peelies are coupons that are on products at the store, you can literally peel them off!
4- Tear Pads- Tear pads are found in stores. Pretty self explanatory, they are coupons that you tear off a .... wait for it.... pad!
5- Blinkies- Blinkies coupons that are found in stores. The coupon comes out of a machines that blinks and spits out the coupon(s).
6- Product Websites- Sometimes visiting your favorite things website can result in free samples and great coupons. If you have a minute at the computer, it never hurts to check it out, especially on facebook. You can also try emailing your favorite companies and requesting coupons. It can't hurt & can often lead to some surprise mail! (I love getting samples and freebies in the mail, so I'm a sucker for this!)
Now that you know where to go, what are you supposed to do?
Well, you need to gather as many coupons as possible and remember this is a game, you have to know when you play your coupons and when to hold them. Having a good 'stock' of coupons is important, because when stores have items at rock bottom prices, you are going to want to go buy those items using your coupons (making them even cheaper!) and stock up until the next big sale. Sales often rotate in 6-12 week cycles, but some items are seasonal, so get your coupons and start researching your areas prices.