We all have let the thought, IDK what to do, stop us from couponing (and a bunch of other shit, but that’s another post). This post, IDK what to do, couponing for beginners is exactly what we are going to cover. We will get you into the drivers seat of this coupon business, confidently. No one likes to feel stupid, let alone on purpose, so we’ll cover some must know rules and resources to get you started too.
IDK What To Do, Couponing for Beginners – The Moment
You are probably here because, you’ve experienced this very thing.
I have a few pets and my guilty pleasure is Air Wick Scented Oil Plug In Air Fresheners to help me forget. Seriously, I wrote a whole post on substituting DIY Air Fresheners for refills to save $100s a year. Then one day I’m at the checkout, Krogers (a local grocery store) I believe, and “one of those crazy couponing ladies” was checking out in front of me. It really was the uniform items in her basket that caught my eye. I remember thinking to myself, what the hell is in her basket? My second thought was, what the hell is she going to do with all those any way. Why am I swearing so much? Then the clerks voice pulled me from the fog, “that will be $4.andsomechange”. WTF!! She easily had hundreds of dollars worth of oil in her basket!
OMG, I almost lost my chili right there. Up to this point the whole couponing thing felt like a league reserved for the Stepford Wives club. I took it another step further, telling myself I didn’t even want to coupon. My emotional state was becoming like that of a wounded elementary child trying to pretend being picked last didn’t hurt my feelings.
I was overcome with curiosity and thought about following this chic to her car; I couldn’t figure out how to check out and stock her and still have time to get to my next stop enough. Aggg.
Instead, I watched my dreams roll out the door.
IDK What To Do, Couponing for Beginners – Sources
There are three places to find coupons: easily: 1) newspaper, 2) online and 3) apps. Next we will talk about all the ways to find these coupons, which blogs/websites to follow and what apps to download to get you started. Do not photocopy coupons.
The best place to get newspaper coupons is at a dollar store. Down here in Texas the Sunday paper is $4.00. You can start with one newspaper; you will quickly realize you need two or more; if you are just starting get one.
There are two kind of coupons in newspapers.
- Monthly – Redplum, SmartSource and Procter & Gamble Saver
- Weekly – will vary (how is that for vague)
These are sources where you can print coupons. Yep, manufacturer coupons you can print from your device(s). Read Printable Coupons below for more know how.
This can be from a store or couponing individual etc. For example, Target offers an app called Cart Wheel. This app allows you to add discounts to their store sells and/or your manufacture coupons. Then there are website/apps from peeps that have been in the biz a while, like SouthernSavers.com. You can find printable coupons, ways to combine offers to get the best Out Of Pocket (OOP) deals, etc.
IDK What To Do, Couponing for Beginners – Couponing 101
There are two main types of coupons: 1) manufacturer and 2) store. This is really the biggest get in this whole couponing business.
Manufacturer Coupon (MC)
This coupon can only be made and distributed by the manufacturer. You can only use one of these coupons per item, period. That should clear up a lot of confusion. So, you can not use two manufacturer coupon on one item, but you can use two manufacturer coupons (printed/insert) on a Buy-One-Get-One (BOGO) offer. You have two items and two coupons. Amazon.com offers coupons you can simply ‘clip’ inside the website/app.
Store Coupon (SC)
These are coupons offered by the store you are shopping and can be combined with manufacturer coupons, because it is being offered by the store, not the manufacturer. HEB is a grocery store chain in the south. They offer in store coupons for many items. Let’s say they are also having a Buy-One-Get-One half off sale on an item that is $1.50, making the second item $0.75. They are also offering a printed in store coupon for $1.00 off. Let’s say you have a MC for $1.00. Before any deals are applied the total of two items would be $2.25 ($1.50+0.75). If you apply the MC and the SC you would be OOP $0.75 for two. This is why people get addicted to this type of shopping.
IDK What To Do, Couponing for Beginners – Printable Coupons
Do not photocopy coupons. First, IP addresses are associated to numbers on the coupon and they are in more places then you think. You can get your IP address blocked from printing. Mark me.
You are allowed to print two coupons for each and every coupon on each site, per device. That means print one, hit that back button of your browser and print again. Two coupons per device, not per printer. Use your phone and personal computer, etc. No need to print them all; if the coupon feels like a big deal it probably is. You should print it and file it if you don’t not plan to use it right away.
Note: if you get a message: you have already printed this coupon, but you know you haven’t, coupons are sent out in “master” batches. If the website/app knows they have all been printed and you are submitting a print request, it will be denied with the above message. That is why it is important to print the great deals immediately. You snooze, you loose.
IDK What To Do, Couponing for Beginners – Electronic Coupons
Electric coupons are not the same as printed coupons and generally lead to cash back. Like SavingStar (link up reward cards when you register & use with other coupons).
There you have it, the bare bones of couponing. You can use one manufacturer coupon per item. You can apply store sales and coupons to your MC, along with app deals (eg., cartwheel). Know you stores coupon rules before you head in. Some stores will allow you to use five coupons per item, some won’t; that is another post. There are employees that do not use or know the store coupon policy, so be an informed consumer. Note: it is rare you have to call a corporate about a coupon policy, but it is not unheard of. Also, something to keep in mind, customer service can be a great help in mistakes at the register rather then holding up the line.
Now you should be able to go to the store and make a purchase feeling confident you have a handle on how the couponing system works. If you don’t, comment below and we’ll find the solution. If you are looking for more ways to save money be sure to check out Cut Cable Costs by Streaming or Shop Online & Save Money. Both saved my family over $1,000 annually!
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