Whether you are new to couponing or a seasoned couponer, there are always questions that seem to arise when couponing.
Here are some of the top questions I get asked most often. Check back often for new tips and couponing questions:
Do you have to buy multiple items to get the sale price for example when you have 2/$3, 2/$4, 10/$10 or any other variation?
Answer: In most cases no. Most of the time stores advertise their deals in multiples because they would love it if you bought 2, 3, 4, or even 10 items instead of just 1. Unless you see verbage that specifies a number of items you must buy then you should assume that you are only required to buy 1 to get the price. So if you have a 2/$3 sale that means the item is really on sale 1/$1.50 and you need only buy one to snag the item for this price. If you have a 10/$10 sale then you should know that this item is really on sale 1/$1 and you only have to buy 1 to get it for the $1 price. Since the bottom line of couponing is to maximize savings it is so important to understand when you do and don’t have to buy multiple items.
“How Do You Organize Your Coupon Inserts?”
Answer:I file my coupon inserts from the newspapers each week in a file folder and label them by date (which can be found on the side of the insert). When a deal references an insert like this: $1/1 All Laundry Detergent, 3/25/12 SS Insert, then I go to my folder labeled 3/25/12, pull out the SS Insert (Smart Source Insert) and clip that coupon.
“How Do You Organize Your Printable Coupons?”
Answer:I use the binder method. My binder is labeled with specific categories. You can buy a cheap binder (at Staples or Office Max, even Walmart) and baseball card inserts to begin. There are places where you can buy the entire binder all put together for you (Raining Hot Coupons) but chances are you’re here to save money so a DIY is usually cheaper. A great place for you to print out the categories for your coupon binder is at the Krazy Coupon Lady site where you can grab her free printable coupon binder category inserts. If you are new to couponing this is a great starter list for you. I clip all personal care product coupons and put them in my coupon binder since these are usually the products I find for cheap or free when I am out and about and happen upon a clearance deal. The other coupons you’ll want to have available in your binder are coupons for products you know you are going to use. Always shop with your binder when you can.
“What are some stockpiling tips you have for newbies?”
Answer: You would be surprised at how easy it is to build up your stockpile over the course of a three – six month period. Go slow. If you miss a store one week or a hot deal, that same deal is bound to come around in another few weeks or few months. Most sales cycle (every few months or so) so stockpile enough of those items to last until the next sale comes around. As you get used to couponing, you will begin to see the pattern and will be able to shop accordingly.
Make sure you have some shelving or a designated area (closet,extra room, etc.) for your stockpile. I am not in agreement with the extreme couponers whose stockpiles migrate throughout their households. One designated area is sufficient. If it is growing to other areas of your house you may need to have a stockpile downgrade or consider donating excess items to a local shelter or food pantry. It’s not that having a large quantity is bad, it just means in the long run it is harder to manage not to mention things start to expire and go bad if you have a hard time keeping track of them, and too much product can be overwhelming. Keep things simple. I have gone for weeks living off the stockpile and skipped the deals for weeks at a time. If your shelves are full, you may find yourself taking a couponing break. Its okay and sometimes necessary.
Remember expiration dates. Even deodorants and non perishables can have expiration dates so make sure you don’t stockpile more then you can use up before the products expire. The three month rule is a great standard to stockpile by. There are some areas where this does not apply like with diapers, wipes, toilet paper, and paper towels which you can never have enough of. We go through these items like water in my household.
“What do all those couponing abbreviations mean?”
$1/1- A Dollar off 1 item $2/2- Two Dollars off two items B1G1 Free- Buy one item get one item free B1G1 50%- Buy one item get one item Fifty Percent off Beep-The register will beep when an action is required: cashier must input a price or in some cases it will beep to indicate an error. Blinkies- Coupon Dispenser found right in front of the products at the store(will have a small blinking light) Catalina- Referred to as a “checkout coupon,” prints from the Catalina machine located at the register CRT- Cash Register Tape, most often associated with CVS: this is the coupon that prints at the end of your receipt DND- Do Not Double ECB- Extra Care Buck, associated with CVS Rewards Program ETS- Excludes Trial/Travel Sizes EXP- Expiration Date/Expires GM Insert- General Mills Insert IVC- Instant Value Coupon, associated with Walgreens, coupons found in the Walgreens weekly ad (able to be stacked) MIR- Mail In Rebate NLA- No Longer Available OOP- Out Of Pocket OYNO- On Your Next Order P&G Insert- Proctor & Gamble Insert Q- Coupon R- Regional (You’ll see this R in the coupon database or in a coupon matchup after the insert date if the coupon was regional) RP Insert- Red Plum Insert SCR- Single Check Rebate, Associated with Rite Aid, This is a monthly rebate program they offer SS Insert- Smart Source Insert Stacking- Combining a Manufacturer coupon with a store coupon towards an item Tearpad: Look in your store for tearpads while you are shopping which are manufacturer coupons found near products. Can be used anywhere.
+Up Reward- Associated with Rite Aid and is part of their rewards Program WYB- When You Buy (You’ll see this a lot in coupon matchups) YMMV- Your Mileage May Vary (this means you may or may not be able to get the deal at that store)
“What does the fine print one coupon per purchase mean?”
Answer:You will find that a lot of cashiers are confused most by this terminology. The one coupon per purchase fine print simply means you can use one of that coupon towards an item and not 2 of the same coupon towards that item. Ex: I have (2) coupons for $1/1 Suave Shampoo and I want to buy 1 bottle of Shampoo. I could not use both of those same $1/1 Suave Shampoo coupons towards the same bottle. I could only use one of those coupons to comply with the “one coupon per purchase rule.” Now if I used the (2) $1/1 Suave Shampoo coupons to buy (2) bottles of Suave shampoo I am now making 2 purchases and are using one coupon per purchase.
Welcome to the site! I'm Heather the coupon crazed blogger behind Savings 4 Mom. I started this blog initially as a a place to share my favorite deals, freebies, and saving tips with my family and friends and have found that this has become its own coupon and blogging therapy for me. I'm a stay at home Mom to some pretty cool "little friends." I love life and live it to its fullest. I hug trees(I know I'm silly) and smile alot (despite a pretty tough few years in my life, we've all been there) and feel truly blessed to be here sharing my favorite deals with all of you wonderful readers. Remember that practical couponing is your friend, clip, save $$...repeat, clip, save $$....repeat, shop with a friend (its more fun) its okay to skip a deal and its okay if a coupon expires and above all its best to keep it simple. Your time is just as precious as your savings. :)