Learn How to Coupon Like a Pro

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Answered by: Marin, An Expert in the Couponing Basics Category
Ever turned on the television to see someone using coupons to get hundreds of dollars worth of free groceries? Or, perhaps you've been behind someone in the checkout line with a stack of coupons, watching their total get lower and lower, wondering how they are getting so much for so little. You may think that it takes a special talent to manage such a feat, but the good news is that anyone can learn how to coupon, and it's actually not as difficult as you may think.

If you are totally new to couponing, then your first step will be to build up a stash of coupons to use. One of the best places to find coupons is in your local newspaper. Typically, coupon inserts are found in the Sunday paper. The cost of a weekly paper is well worth it when you take into account the hundreds of dollars worth of coupons that they often contain. However, if you don't want to spend money on a paper, you can always check with friends and family members who may have extra coupons that they don't want. Another great place to find tons of extra coupons is online. A quick internet search will reveal several legitimate coupon sites that you can use to print coupons directly from your computer. Remember to also check store websites. Many of them offer printable store coupons and some now offer digital coupons that can be loaded directly to your store loyalty card.

Once you have good stash of coupons, you are ready to begin! Since we all have to eat, your local grocery store is a great place to start learning how to coupon. Check out a copy of your local grocery's most recent circular and begin looking for sales. You may want to grab a pen and paper to jot down the best deals that you spot. Next, begin searching through your coupons to find the ones that match up with the sale items that you've found. By using coupons on items that are already at a lower price than usual, you can be sure that you are getting the lowest possible price. If you're lucky, some of your items may even end up being free after sales and coupons!

Once you have scoped out the deals, there is one last thing that you should do before you actually hit the stores. Check out store websites to find a copy of each store's coupon policy. Each store has its own set of rules when it comes to using coupons, including how many coupons can be used in a single transaction and whether different types of coupons can be combined. It's always important to know the policy in advance to avoid any confusion in the checkout line.

Now that you know the basics, it's time to try your hand at couponing! Try not to get too frustrated if your first few shopping trips are not as successful as you'd like. There will be times when you will have to change up your game plan because of a minor error or out-of-stock items. Over time, you'll find that your planning process will become much quicker and easier, and your shopping trips will begin to go more smoothly. Remember to check out couponing blogs, forums, and books for even more tips and tricks, and you will be couponing like a pro in no time!

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