Want to save some money? Couponing experts offer tips to help get you started.
In honor of National Coupon Month, we asked three couponing experts to offer advice to help you maximize your savings.
Werstler, the founder of CouponingInBirdland.com, says it’s easy to get overwhelmed, so start slowly.
Find an organization system that works for you.
“I use the three-ring binder method, but some leave the inserts uncut, and others use a recipe card-type box.” Werstler’s binder has clear pages with pockets designed for baseball cards. “I organize mine by how the store is organized. Some do it alphabetically, some by expiration date.”
Check the newspapers.
Start out buying 4 to 6 newspapers (for coupon inserts) on Sunday, then increase to 10 once you are comfortable.
Pick one store to start.
“Do your weekly shopping at your regular store, then add one stop at your new couponing store.” Werstler says to learn the store’s coupon policy, cash in on the weekly deals, then when experienced, add a second store.
Use store-specific websites.
“I think it simplifies it for those just starting out — sites like iheartwags for Walgreens or totallytarget or my site for Giant Eagle.”
Get on Facebook.
“Like” your favorite website on Facebook so you’ll know right away when a new deal is posted. “Then act quickly,” Werstler warns. “Some deals are gone in an hour.”
Philpott started a Savings Club and coupon sharing program at the DeHoff Library Branch. She runs a coupon clipping and sharing program at the library every Wednesday, but reminds shoppers to check other places for coupons as well.
Look for printables.
Search sites such as Radarfrogcom, Smartsource.com, and Coupons.com.
Check your groceries.
Look for coupons on the back of store receipts, on tear pads in the grocery store and on boxes of products.
Sign up for birthday coupons.
“This is a great way to get a birthday surprise. Get the BK Birthday club, the KMart Birthday Club. Red Robin gives a birthday gift, and Ruby Tuesday has the “So Connected” program that gets you a free burger on your birthday.”
Seasoned couponers know about the coupon-packed All You Magazine, but there are extra deals at their website. “They have a daily free sample calendar. Each day offers you a free sample of a product.”
Join store savings clubs.
“Gabriel Brothers just started one. Sign up at the store and get points each time you buy. After a certain amount of points, they send you a coupon for $5 off your next purchase.”
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Perez, deals expert from couponsherpa.com, says smart shoppers jump on board the social media train.
Follow brands on Facebook and Twitter.
Get exclusive coupons and codes and advance information on upcoming promotions. “At the Fandango movie ticket site, they had a deal if you retweet their message, they send you a $3 off code to use when you buy your next movie tickets.”
Friends get flashes.
“I heard about a flash sale on the Limited. It was a five-hour sale, 50 percent off dresses. I had seen the new lineup and a dress I really liked, so I was able to score that deal.”
Texts are next.
“Some store are offering to text coupons to customers — taking advantage of the ways people communicate these days. You can go to the store’s site and opt in for texts.”
Check your magazines.
“I get the Yoga Journal and got a $10 off coupon for Sports Authority. In Glamour, I got a coupon for New York and Company — $10 for any pants.”