The Fine Art of Couponing

Two years ago, after A1 was born, I decided to enter the wonderful world of couponing. We didn’t have a subscription to our local paper at the time, so I’d go to the store and buy the Sunday paper. There are days (especially now) that I don’t always have time to do this, so I started printing out coupons and perusing weekly fliers for deals.

Now that I’ve had plenty of practice, I’ve become quite the deal sealer and stealer. I’m in Pennsylvania, so I won’t mention the private stores I use (and one is a mom and pop, so it’s only in our city).

Here are my tips and tricks for saving some coin with coupons:

1. Get a weekend newspaper subscription. Getting a daily paper for a family on a single income is expensive. Even a six-month subscription is $75 here. The weekend subscription we have is a deal—three months for $25. An intern came to our house and offered this to us. Inquire in your neighborhood.
2. Buy the Sunday papers at the store. Buy at least three of them. Some of the neighboring Ohio publications are available, too.
3. Print coupons. My favorite coupon blog is Coupon Divas. It will teach you how to coupon, how to organize, give weekly match-ups (which allows you to align coupons with great deals, like BOGO items). It will also give you deal scenarios, store coupon policies, info about freebies (you heard it—free stuff), and much more. She even has links to the most popular sites to from which to print. They are also independent sites, and print the fliers you receive in the paper or your mailbox. These include:
Redplum
Smartsource
Coupons.com
Couponnetwork.com
4. Price match. Walmart is famous for this. Do it to your full advantage. Use fliers from private, independent stores and match those deals with Walmart prices. There are a few caveats, and the cashier will inform you of these. One of which is that the original (savings) price of a BOGO item, for example, must be listed in the flier you use. So, it will say, “A $4 savings!” If Walmart is offering the item at $2 BOGO, you just pocketed the extra two bucks. Use a self-scan register, and you can watch those savings go right down.
5. Get booklets from incentives programs. One of the most notorious is Pamper’s Gifts to Grow. I got a coupon booklet AND a free potty seat for A1 because of this. Proctor and Gamble (P&G) is including them in packages of diapers and training pants as well. Buy $12 packs of wipes (several—20-30, I will give a total after shopping day) save $25 on more diapers, wipes, and other household items. Sounds good to me.

Keep an eye out for more couponing tips!

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