Couponing can seem intimidating, especially if you’re new to the concept, or have only seen the most extreme examples of couponers on TV.
Couponing doesn’t have to be scary (we think that scary should be reserved for snakes and spiders) — the most important things to remember are to start slow, and go step-by-step. You can even save with just one deal to start, instead of trying to get a discount on everything in your shopping basket.
We’ll turn you into a zero-saver to a hero-saver in no time.
1) Collect your deals
The first thing you need to do is get your hands on coupons… a lot of coupons. One of the fastest ways to get your hands on a lot of coupons & deals is by using the web and also some offline sources, like the paper. We know how frustrated you might be feeling about some of the online sites (we’ve been there too)… convenient, yes, but you might be tired of sorting through expired deals or those that don’t work. Fortunately, there’s us, officialcouponcode.com. We add only official deals, update the site every hour, and remove expired deals every day. We basically created a site that we would actually want to use.
There are also several other places to find coupons, including the Sunday paper, mailers, store flyers, and magazines. You can also find printed coupons in the aisles of your favorite grocery store, and many retailers now give out catalinas (those coupons that print up with your receipt!) Another great way to get deals is to sign up for email updates from your favorite stores and brands, but we know that your inbox might already be swelling.
2) Separate your coupons
The next step is to separate your store coupons from your manufacturer coupons. Most manufacturer coupons will say “Manufacturer’s Coupon” across the top, and all of them will have redemption instructions for retailers. These can be used at any store that accepts coupons. While manufacturer brings brands like Tide to mind, you can also find manufacturers deals for software (think Turbotax!) or other items.
Store coupons are issued by a specific retailer or shop, and will usually have the shop’s name on them (like Kohl’s, JCPenney, Lowe’s, Home Depot, Safeway, etc.). They could be for a specific brand or product, or they could be for a specific amount off of a purchase, and they probably won’t have redemption instructions. These coupons can only be redeemed at the specific retailer that issues them (unless you take it to a store that accepts competitor coupons, or price matches .)
3) Stack ‘em
The reason for separating manufacturer coupons with store coupons is that you can use one of each, together, on the same product! Pretty cool, right? It normally isn’t possible to use two manufacturer’s coupons on the same product, and it’s generally the same for store coupons, but there are definitely some exceptions to that rule. However, if you have manufacturer’s coupon for $2 off of Huggies and a store coupon for 20% off of Huggies, you can use them both on the same package of diapers, and hooray, you’ve done it – gotten two deals on the same item.
Some online retailers like Kohl’s even allow you to stack coupons online. This isn’t the same as stacking manufacturer coupons and store coupons – it’s for combining multiple coupons that can apply to what’s in your shopping cart, or for things like a sitewide discount and shipping offer. It never hurts to try stacking online – worst case, you’ll just have to pick one coupon to use for that particular order.
4) Sort your deals
If you’re going to get serious about couponing, it’s a good idea to organize all your possible savings. (You were thinking about rolling up your sleeves and getting ready for battle, weren’t you?) A coupon binder can help you organize printable paper coupons, but a regular old binder with plastic cover sheets can work just as well. To organize online coupons and deals, try creating a spreadsheet. Or if you’re a fan of Good Will Hunting, you could always try a drawing on a whiteboard or window, but don’t use permanent marker ‘cause we know you’ll want to keep adding the awesome deals you’ve found.
5) Shop! (Wahoo!)
Now comes the fun part: the actual shopping. And if you’re reading this, we know you must love shopping… Try to organize your list based on the coupons you have, and make every effort to combine your coupons with existing sales. (You can find out about sales on our site, too – it’s not just coupons). If you don’t need an item right away, and you know that it regularly goes on sale, wait it out. It’s also a good idea to stock up on things you use regularly when they are on sale. Combining a store sale with a store coupon and a manufacturer’s coupon is the perfect storm, and can result in you getting items for mere pennies, or for free! And then you can spend your savings on the things you want, instead of the things you need…
– Team Official Coupon Code