Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Getting Started...

I'm sure you are like most people lately, and have seen TLC's Extreme Couponing and want to start getting all those great deals.  Granted, the show is very entertaining, but remember- it's just that: ENTERTAINMENT.  There are numerous policies and procedures that are in effect for the every day couponer that the show overlooks; or just plain violates!!  I still watch, but for the sake of entertainment and learning what NOT to do.

The first 2 things to do to get started are to 1. Start collecting coupons. & 2. Gather up and read each store's coupon policy.  Once you have your coupons and you know the policy for the store, then you can start researching and looking for deals.  :)

I'm putting together a download for you all with all the stores in my immediate area- the one's that are close enough to make the deals worth the cost of the trip.  In my opinion, driving too far with gas at almost $4 a gallon is just wasting the money that you are trying to save!

When I started couponing, I was a bit overwhelmed with the amount of coupons and deals.  And yes, it's really hard to go to the store after working so hard cutting and planning (especially with the infamous "Shelf Clearers" lurking about!!) and realize that your total percent saved is way less than what they show on tv.  Realistically, your savings should be between 50-75% on average.  This is awesome!  Really: stop and think about it.  Your normal monthly grocery budget is probably around $400 (national average for a family of 4).  Now if you strategically shop and stay within the average coupon savings, you will drop your budget down to only $100-$200 a month.  That's not some small feat!  After just one year of couponing, you will have saved over $2500 if not more!

Start with collecting newspaper coupons, and we will talk about internet printable coupons (IP) later.  DO NOT print out every coupon you come across!  You'll just be wasting money on ink, once again defeating your purpose!

This week, just go out and get at least one newspaper and read over the coupon policies.  We'll do more after you have some coupons to work with!  :)

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