Sustainable Couponing: How To and Tips
How to Coupon:
Find coupons from any source, and watch for deals. Okay it’s not really that easy…
Couponing takes lots of planning and anyone who says it is easy, is lying. You can get to a point where it is not as hard, but it will always take lots of work. Getting the coupons is the easy part.
Using the coupons in the best way takes lots of ground work. You have to know the coupon policy of the place you are shopping and the coupons you are using. Most of the time you will have to go to more than one store to get the best deals too.
What I do:
- I start by looking up all of the coupons for things that I would use.
- Print, cut or load to my card
- Search sales ads to see if there are any advertised sales for anything I have coupons for.
- Keep in mind not all sales are published, so I joined groups that share this information for local stores.
- Look for Price Match Options
- When you print coupons you can get 2 coupons per computer. If you have more than one computer, you can use each computer to get them. Some phones can link to printers and get more from there. I have not figured out how to do that yet. Also you can often get 2 coupons from each source. (EX: 2 from Coupons.com, 2 from Target, and 2 from the brand website.) I print as many as I would use or can. I often give away extras or leave extras in the store for other people.
- Many stores let you stack coupons too. Like you can use a CVS coupon with a manufacture’s coupon, on the same item. You need to look up the stores policy and keep in mind they often change. Printed coupons are counted as manufacture’s, and so are the ones you can load to your Kroger card
- Always check the clearance and reduced price sections. Not all stores let you use coupons on these, but some do. Manger specials are great too.
- Since I don’t use most of the big brands, I will trade coupons for ones I will use. Sometimes I even just give them away or act as a coupon fairy.
Have Good Coupon Etiquette
- Follow the rules, when you don’t it messes things up for everyone. Sometimes we all make mistakes, and if you learn you broke the rules, try to be more careful.
- Don’t empty the shelves. Everyone hates to go to the store and find everything gone. Sometimes you have to buy more than you normally would, to get the best deal. That is okay, just don’t go crazy.
- You don’t have to have a hoard. When you learn about couponing, you will see these crazy hoards. This is not necessary, because most of the deals come around often. If you have a big family go ahead and get a little extra, but you will learn how often deals come around.
- Donate your extras to charity. When you coupon you may end up with more than you can use. Lots of charities are in need of these things. Soaps, feminine hygiene, toothbrushes are always in need. If you end up with more food than your family can eat, food banks always need more. This goes for pet food too. Also some kennels will take your extra pet food coupons.
- You can also give extras to friends and family. I trade items with people too.
- It is illegal to resell things you get from couponing.
Tips for getting more coupons from companies you love:
Be sure to look up my page Sustainable Couponing: The Companies. I link straight to the companies and many of them offer other savings. I link to these as well in many cases.
- Follow them on social media
- Join their newsletters and mailing lists.
- Contact them for more information. Also be straight forward, ask if they have coupons. If they do, they will tell you where to find them, and sometimes even send you free samples.
- Look and see if they have a “snail mail” coupon list. I get coupons from my favorite stores mailed to me, as well as loaded to my card, and printables.
- Look for samples offered by them. Coupons are often included with them.
- Look in the stores you shop at. Sometimes they have “blinkies” to give out coupons, and coupon books.
Organizing is key when couponing. I have lost out on so many good deals because I could not find the coupon I needed. There are lots of systems, but find one that works for you!
- Coupon Binders are the most popular method with my friends. Get a 3 ring binder and fill it with card collector Card Sleeves. We organize the coupons by type or product and carry our binders every time we go to the store.
- Coupon Clutches are pretty popular too. Using and accordion file to organize by type. I made a cute crochet and card stock one a while back that has pockets to keep money in too.
- You can buy a variety of organizers or make them yourself. The important thing is to find a method that works for you!