Coupon Clipping 101

With the prices of groceries continuing to increase many people are looking for ways to cut costs. You may think clipping and using coupons takes too much time and effort, but there are ways to make it easier.

One of the main sources of coupons is the Sunday newspaper. On most weeks the paper includes coupon inserts.  In many cases some stores run sales that correspond with the coupons that are in the paper to make it an even better deal.

There are various ways to store your coupons. Some people clip the coupons they think they may use and store them by category in a binder with clear pages (like baseball collecting pages). Others keep the whole inserts in a file with the insert dated. There are some websites with coupon databases which tell you which insert a coupon was in. Then if you are looking for a certain coupon you just need to look at that dated insert to find it.

One thing to remember about using coupons is to only buy things that you would normally buy or use. You are not saving any money if you buy extra items or things you do not end up using. It used to be that most of the coupons were for processed foods, but there are getting to be more available for organic and natural foods.

Coupons are normally considered for grocery items, but many can be found for restaurants and retail stores. The main concept behind coupons is to get you into the store. Many stores may offer some items at extremely low prices or coupon offers to get you into the store, hoping you will spend money on other things while you are there. Many grocery stores will double or sometimes triple the value of your coupon. Check your local stores to see what their policy is, if they double it may be easier to get items for free or for very little money. They may have a limit on how many coupons you can use per trip or per like item.

If you are a new couponer, there are various websites and blogs about the ins and outs of couponing. Saving a few dollars here and there may not seem like a lot, but can add up over time. And the more experienced you get, the more you may save. There are also websites that provide lists of weekly sales at major grocery store chains and also have available coupons for those items. In some cases, when you combine a coupon with a sale item you may be able to get some items for free or for very little money.

You do not need to be an extreme couponer to start saving money with coupons.