Here's how to Coupon:
1. Don't ever pay someone to teach you, knowledge like this should be FREE.
2. Learn your favorite stores coupon policies! It is a MUST!
My favorite stores to shop at are Giant Eagle, Kroger, K-Mart, and CVS.
3. Print Out Your Stores Policy, Sometimes the employees don't even know corporates policy. Be polite about it, Let them talk first, then pull out your copy, and ask.. Why does this say something else, with a smile.
4. Save every single coupon from the Paper/Mailer/Tear/Blinkie you've ever come across, because more than likely somewhere will have a great sale. The key to using coupons is having a great selection of coupons to use. It's like a collection..
5. Print Internet coupons, like Coupons.com, Smartsource.com, Redplum.com, are all creditable, legit sites to download their coupon printers and print from home. But remember just because theres alot of coupons, doesn't mean you HAVE to waste ink on every single one, Just print things you actually use/purchase/or something you buy anyways that's cheaper than your "main brand", it's OK to switch brands. You can also check out Sunday Coupon Previews! When there is a high value coupon, I will buy a handful of Sunday papers. So always know whats coming up.
6. Get organized, I use a zippered binder, with baseball card sleeves I bought from Dollar Tree. You don't have to waste $20.00+ dollars on a "Special" coupon binder. I bring the binder incase there's a managers special markdown on something I hadn't planned on buying while planning my shopping trip. I also have a special plastic mini file folder that fits in my purse that I keep those free product coupons I've won from Facebook Company Promotions, and Giveaways. You could be missing out on some great opportunities from your already favorite brands by not liking them on facebook.
7. When planning a shopping trip, Check Sales ads, usually your favorite store releases their weekly sales ad days before you will even get it in the mail, or in store, so always go online, and check that out, then see what's on sale, and look for coupons to match, or go online, and look for printables.
8. Organizing a shopping trip; I like to do it by the store, Use a regular Envelop, Write on the outside with pencil ( so I can erase later, for my next trip) What coupons you are using, and the qty so you know how many to pick up( some coupons have a limit on how many you can use, and some stores have policies, so know your policies), and try to keep things thats in the same Aisle/next to each other, that way it's easier to shop. I make an envelop for each store. I also calculate on the outside of the envelop how much that shopping trip should be.
9. Have fun with it, Don't go for completely *Free*, more reasonable, Go for 25% off what you normally spend, on the things you normally buy, say Toilet paper, Health & beauty products, Etc. I like to make a game out of what I can get for the regular price of one.
10. Always respect, and read your coupons, Use them for the items you are purchasing. Couponing is a privilege my friend!
Here are the List of Stores I love to shop at, and what each offers here in Columbus, Ohio (Check the policy at your store):
Giant Eagle; Offers a Giant Eagle Advantage Card, & Doubles up to a 1.00, meaning if the coupon is .75, it WILL double to 1.50, If you have a .99 cent coupon.. 1.98 ( Coupons usually with bar codes that start with a 5 usually double)! Which is a rarity but they do happen! Also there is a 12 coupon per item limit, But who really buys more than 12 of the same items in ONE transaction? They also only take two printed internet coupons per transaction. Here is Giant Eagles Coupon Policy. Another reason I love GE, You earn fuelperks to use at GetGo when you shop in the store, and foodperks when you use their GetGo to buy gas. Giant Eagle does Catalina deals all the time, Catalinas are the extra coupons that print at the end of your transaction, sometimes giving you money off for your next purchase. Ge, Does weekly, monthly, and extra fuel perk offers. You can also save electronic coupons to your Giant Eagle Advantage card online to use at the store(Called e-offers), but if you use the one on your card, you can't use a paper manufacture coupon together.
K-Mart: K-mart has a Shop Your Way rewards card that gives you free items in the sales paper, they are in coupon form, and the only catch is you have to spend atleast $25.00+, But thats easy to do when you use coupons.. They go by the price before coupons. They also double certain days of the week too! Go ask your local Kmart what days they do, Mine does it Wednesdays and Saturdays. Here is Kmarts Policy. The good thing about Kmart is, you can go in, and ask all these questions at the customer service desk while signing up for the Kmart Shop Your Way Rewards Card. I just started shopping more at Kmart since another big company rubbed me the wrong way, way too many times, So Hello Kmart, You have my business now. =) Always be on the look out for the special promotions they are running too. For Example, they just did buy $50.00 worth, get a $5.00 gift card ( I banked on that promo , thank you Kmart ) You also earn points for your purchases, and can redeem them online.
CVS; Offers a Rewards Card, A Beauty Club, They are always running promotions, and have a coupon center inside you can scan you rewards card at daily/weekly for special CVS coupons to be stacked with manufacture coupons. I usually save free item coupons I've won from websites/facebook to be redeemed at CVS, because for every $50.00 you spend on health & beauty for the Beauty Club, you get free $5.00 Extra Care bucks, It adds up fast. If you need help signing up for any rewards cards in store, just ask an employee, they are there to help you. Here is CVS's coupon policy.
Target; Offers 5% Red Card Savings on certain items if you have the card (You don't have to get the credit card one, you can get one that is linked to your checking account to still get the same savings.) Also, Target you are allowed to stack a Manufacture coupon with a Target Store Coupon. There are also Mobile Target Coupons you can get sent to your cell phone, along with a new % off app program that target is doing called Cartwheel. Really, the savings at this store lately has been crazy! Sometimes the mobile coupons are $1.00 off any Fresh Veggie, or Fruit. That makes it free sometimes!! Depending on what you get. Don't forget to bring in your own reuseable bag, and that's another 5 cents off. Here is Targets coupon policy( They also price match.)
Remember if you don't understand something, ask the stores customer service, a good customer service can, and will always help their customers out. Don't be afraid to ask.
Whatever store you do shop at, you can always find the coupon policy, print it, learn it, and plan your own score. See what rewards are offered, what sales promotions are going on, etc, and create your own mini score. Any % off is a great achievement!
If ordering something online~ Search Save1.com first. And then E-Bates.com to see if the store/item you are purchasing can offer you extra cash back, or shoppers points. It is seriously unreal all the extra offers you could be missing. You can also do a search at RetailMeNot.com for the store to see if there are any cash off, or free shipping promotional codes available. I like the concept behind Save1.com the most, if you do a purchase through them, you literally are Saving One meal for someone that needs it.
My PNC Bank Card/Points releases different offers for extra/double point rewards, it's always changing, Check your banks credit card/point rewards to see if they offer anything like that too. I usually save mine up for the year, then buy gas, and retail gift cards.