Jumping on the coupon bandwagon

So, it seems everyone is talking about couponing these days. Maybe it’s that I’m getting older, that I love a good bargain or the fact that I work at Money Management International, but I’ve jumped on the coupon bandwagon….and I’M SOLD.

The first step to successful couponing is to overcome those mental barriers. You may have a few of your own:

-Mom always told me it was a waste of time. Mother is always right, right? Wrong. The key is organization and finding just a few extra minutes to dedicate to saving. Just because it didn’t work for someone else doesn’t mean it won’t work for you.

-Coupons are only for the really expensive items. Sometimes, but the trick is to find name brand items when they are on sale. Using a coupon on a sale item equals savings.

-I have ZERO extra time. I’m hardly an expert, so I probably don’t spend nearly the time clipping as a real master. I’ve found that the key is just starting and starting small. You’ll find your comfort zone once you start saving.

-I don’t quite get how price matching works. I discovered that you can save money even when you don’t have a coupon. Start by collecting store flyers each week. I have found that the best savings are for beef, chicken, and pork. Take the flyers with you and simply ask your store to match the lowest advertised price. Just last week I saved over $6.00 on the price per pound match on a sirloin steak.

Check out these results!

When you’ve looked yourself in the mirror and made a dedication to saving, here are a few pointers to get started:

1. Research.
There are so many online resources out there for coupon trading, coupon selling, coupon printing, coupon clipping and coupon organizing. A couple of my favorites are CouponMom.com and Couponizer.com.

2. Take it one week at a time.
Push yourself to do a little more each week. The first week, just focus on one store flyer. The second week, plan a menu around sale items. Change can be tough and overwhelming, so start small.

3. Plan and organize.
Set aside some time to clip coupons, make a list and plan your meals each week. Get an expandable file folder or a binder with business card inserts and create categories to file your coupons.

4. Find a store that matches prices and/or doubles or triples coupons.
Price matching is where I’ve saved. Add a coupon on top of the price match and that’s a real savings.

Stay tuned. Good luck and happy saving!

Do you have any tips or tricks? What kind of savings have you seen? Tell us about it!

Courtney Velek is a former marketing manager at MMI.

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