New to couponing and have no idea how to get started…
You are in the right place!
Learn How to coupon!
***NOTE*** There is a LOT of information here. I’m purposely NOT going through all rules, policies, intricacies etc. of couponing on PART 1.
Part 1 of Learn How to Coupon guide is to get you started NOW.
Later/after you take the first steps, we’ll keep adding on to your growing knowledge bank.
LEARN HOW TO COUPON PART 1
- Start Small! Pick 1 store.
- Make sure you have a shopper card for that store (if they have one)
- Get Coupons
- Find a Deal
- Prep for your Couponing Trip
This is so that you can easily get a hang of how couponing works, and to avoid getting overwhelmed – which is really easy to do.
Pick a store
Decide which store you’d like to start couponing at (shortly you’ll look for deals for the store you picked).
One store is great – maximum of 2 or 3 stores.
Pick a store that you already shop at (to make it even easier for you) and START SMALL!! I can’t emphasize this enough.
This makes a huge difference in your early success in couponing.
CAUTION! There is a temptation to jump on deals – you’ll see MANY deals, and the all are amazing – resist the temptation to chase every deal that sounds great and STICK to the plan of couponing at your chosen store/s. Running after deals is another super easy way to get completely confused and you’ll end up spending more money than you wanted to!! These deals will come around again!!
Choose a store that you regularly shop at and know the store.
It starts to get confusing and complicated in a hurry if you decide to drive across town to a store you’ve never been in. Typical results for those excursions – not so good. Choose a store that is convenient for you and you already know: you know where what products are located at, what their sales and price tags look like, where their clearance is etc. Makes it for much easier couponing.
Some great stores to start couponing at are: CVS, Kroger, Walgreens, Rite Aid, Publix, ShopRite.
Why are these stores great for couponing? These stores are favored and loved my many seasoned couponers for the ease of couponing.
***NOTE*** When I say Kroger I also mean any Kroger sister stores, like Ralph’s, Fry’s, Food 4 Less, King Soopers etc.
You need a shopper/loyalty card for each store you will be couponing at.
If you don’t already have a shopper card for the stores you’ll be couponing at, sign up. You can do that at the store, or online. You don’t need to make a special trip to get the card, if you don’t have it – just grab it when you go to the store for your first couponing trip! 🙂
Once you get the card make sure to connect it to an online account with your contact information! The stores often send you special coupons!!! And you want to make sure you get any special perks and rewards correctly applied to your card.
Here are some of the cards for a few of the stores:
Walgreens – Balance Rewards
Rite Aid – Wellness+ Plenti
Kroger – Kroger Card (Kroger sister stores will have their own cards)
CVS – Extracare rewards
Walmart does not have a shopper card.
Make sure you have the card before you coupon at the store!
You will need the card to get the best deals and lowest prices.
***NOTE*** You will end up having a card for each store that you shop at – that offers a card. For right now, we are just focusing on the one store.
You need coupons!
For the best deals you will be combining a sale with a coupon – which is couponing in basic terms. So you will need to get some coupons.
Where to get coupons?
There are two main sources for coupons: Sunday paper coupon inserts and printable coupons.
If you have coupon inserts from past Sundays or can pick up the latest paper now you can start couponing NOW!
If you don’t have any inserts from past Sunday/s you will need to wait until next Sunday until you can start couponing with using coupons from the inserts.
***NOTE*** There are NO COUPON INSERTS in the Sunday paper on a HOLIDAY!
If you have a printer you can start couponing right now.
***NOTE*** Depending on the store you picked you may also have an option of digital coupons! In this case you can also start couponing right now. The digital coupons are loaded to your shopper card/account. Multiple stores offer them – Kroger, CVS, Walgreens, Dollar General, Family Dollar, ShopRite…
USING COUPONS FROM NEWSPAPER INSERTS
Start Getting the Sunday Paper Coupon Inserts
Typically the coupon inserts are in your Sunday paper, some regions may get a weekend edition paper on a Saturday where you’ll have the inserts.
Find out which papers in your area carry all the inserts. e.g. some of the smaller publications may NOT carry any inserts or maybe just one. The paper/papers that carry all of the available inserts in your area is what you want to get.
Get 1-2 Papers/Inserts Each Sunday
To start with you only need 1-2 papers, 4 max. You don’t need 10 or 100! Ever really. Even seasoned couponers don’t typically get more than about 4-8 inserts each weekend.
How to SAVE money on Sunday papers?
Sunday papers can be expensive. And couponing is about saving money! So…
1. Most Dollar Trees and some Dollar Stores sell Sunday papers for $1.00!
You can call your area store to see if they sell the Sunday Papers. Some stores even start selling them on Saturdays?
CAUTION! The papers can out quickly, especially on a Sunday with great coupons! Plan on picking up your paper early as soon as the store opens.
2. Get a Sunday only Subscription to your local paper.
You may be able to find a special promotion where the price of the paper ends up being around $1 for each Sunday. That’s a good deal and very convenient! You can often also subscribe for more than one paper – ask about bundled services.
3. Get inserts for free.
Ask your friends, family or neighbors if you can get their inserts, if they are not using them.
Get a free neighborhood paper? Check inside – some neighborhood papers have inserts – FREE!
Check your community for Newspaper recycling and see if you can get inserts from there – always ask, don’t just take!
Check your area paper recycling center – many have a separate recycling for newspapers – ask if you are allowed to get inserts from there.
CAUTION! Taking inserts from trash bins. You may see or hear that somebody gets their inserts from recycle/trash containers at the Post Office. Please don’t do this. The trash is considered federal property and anybody taking anything out of it could be committing theft of federal property!
ATTENTION! Information about Buying just the Inserts/Coupons!
According to the coupon manufacturers rules buying and selling coupons is prohibited and can have legal consequences. Those who claim to be only selling clipping services or some other roundabout ways sell coupons, are considered to be violating rules and could face legal action. Also, coupon fraud and counterfeit coupons are an unfortunate reality. Stay safe and get the coupon inserts from the known source – the Sunday paper or from a reliable source for printable coupons like here at Coupon Rebelle.
General information about Coupon Inserts
There are 3 different inserts you can find in the Sunday Paper: They are called Proctor & Gamble (PG), Red Plum (RP) and Smart Source (SS). These are just names of the inserts.
Which inserts are in the paper each week varies. Some weeks you may have 1 insert, others 3 or 4.
Here is a 2017 Sunday Coupon Insert Schedule.
Proctor & Gamble insert comes out once a month.
There are no coupon inserts on a Holiday.
There can be hundreds of coupons in a Sunday paper insert.
Each coupon has a unique expiration date.
The vast majority of the coupons in the inserts are manufacturer coupons. These manufacturer coupons can be used at any stores that accept coupons. Which is why these coupons inserts are golden!
Coupons and inserts can vary by region!
You will notice differences – a deal may specify a coupon you didn’t have in your insert and you may have a coupon others don’t have. There can also be differences in the coupon values – some may have a $1.00 off coupon, others $0.50 off coupon.
Should you get the paper this weekend?
Some weekends the inserts may not have many coupons you want to use.
Between Friday and Sunday – Check what coupons are expected to be in the coming Sunday’s paper – both to see if it’s worth getting the paper and if so how many papers. I post the previews each Friday right here on Coupon Rebelle and if you are subscribed to my daily emails you get the preview on Thursday evening/night.
You can find the most recent Sunday Coupon Previews here:
I post Sunday Coupon Insert Previews by every Thursday for the Sunday inserts.
USING PRINTABLE COUPONS
If you have a printer you can start couponing right now!
Print Coupons for Items that you need/want
When you are starting out you will most likely be couponing for items that you need on top of the best deals you find of other items. Ideally you want to get into a position where you coupon based on the best deals and sales – not because of need. However for now…
Print the coupons for items that you will need in the near future and then look for sales for those items.
Print Coupons Needed for a Deal You Found
This is so easy! You find a deal you want to get. You notice that it requires a printable coupon – click/tap on the coupon link – and boom, the coupon is clipped for you and you are ready to print!
Here is an example of this looks like in a deal:
WHERE DO YOU FIND PRINTABLE COUPONS?
Right here! 🙂
A large selection – several hundred printable coupons in a mobile friendly view. New coupons are added daily!
Several other sources of printable coupons such as Red Plum, Smart Source, Hopster, Proctor & Gamble, Kellogg’s click/tap on the button below:
TIP! Each week on Friday’s I also post – alert you to – coupons that are going to disappear in the next day or two, typically at the end of the day on a Saturday. This is so you can have a last look of the coupons that are going to be shutoff and you can print any of those coupons that you may want before it’s too late.
General information about Printable Coupons
CAUTION! Do NOT copy printable coupons! Copying coupons is coupon fraud and could result in legal action!
The vast majority of printable coupons are manufacturer coupons and you can use them at any store that accepts printable coupons. Each store has their own rules on how many printable coupons they accept.
Each coupon has a unique identifier code.
Print Twice per Phone number/Device
Most coupons can be printed twice (the same coupon) from one phone number.
Printing First Time
You will be asked either to download a coupon printing software or for a verification code (sent via text). You will need add the software or verify your phone number in order to print the coupons. You may have to do this more than once, depending on the source of the coupons.
The next step is to find deals!
Look for deals that use the coupons that you have or are able to use!
NO SUNDAY PAPER INSERTS?
If you don’t have Sunday paper coupon inserts from last Sunday or before, you will need to
a) start with a deal that uses printable coupons
b) start with a deal that doesn’t require coupons
c) start with a deal that uses digital coupons
If you don’t have a printer, you’ll either have to
a) wait to get the Sunday paper inserts
b) start with a deal that doesn’t require coupons at all
c) start with a deal that uses digital coupons
d) start with a deal that does require a printer and see if you can print from a printer of a family member or a friend etc.
NO INSERTS and NO PRINTER?
a) start with a deal that doesn’t require either
b) start with a deal that uses digital coupons
Look through deals here on the website, find some of easier deals posted on the Learn How to Coupon Facebook Group and/or you can also subscribe to daily emails I send out of the deals posted that day. Getting the daily emails straight to your inbox (sent at night) is the quickest way to scan through the deals and also the best way to make sure you didn’t miss anything.
Where do you find deals?
LOOK FOR EASY DEALS!
Skip the deals that have several steps – we want the start to be as easy as possible!
When you find a deal that peaks your interest – for the store you chose – click on it to see the full write up and step by step instructions on how to do the deal.
When you find a deal you want…
Read through the deal.
Follow each step – step by step – of the deal as written up.
Get all that you need together for the deal e.g. clip the coupons, activate rebates etc.
If the deal specifies – use a printable coupon you need to print the coupon – the link to print is in the write up.
If the deal specifies – use a coupon from [enter date here] coupon insert – you’ll get the coupon from the Sunday paper insert it specifies.
Fill in the a coupon trip planner/worksheet so you know exactly what you will be doing at the store. (link to print the planner below).
Alternatively you can pull up the deal on your phone at the store and follow the step by step instructions this way.
Here’s an example of a filled out Q-Trip Planner Worksheet for a super easy, straight forward deal:
PREPARATION IS KEY!
Have all the ducks in a row BEFORE you set foot at the store. It makes everything so much easier when you are at the store.
After you have your coupons and the q-trip planner ready paperclip them all together or put your coupons and the q-trip planner into an envelope. And…
You are ready to go do your first deal!!!
PRINTABLE – DOWNLOADABLE TOOLS
Grab these tools to help you as we are getting closer to going for it! Doing your first deal!
LEARN HOW TO COUPON – LIVE COUPONING CLASS
HOW TO GET STARTED
You can find more videos on Coupon Rebelle Youtube channel.
When you get your coupons, it’s a game of hold or fold – meaning you shouldn’t buy everything that you want/see just because you have a coupon for it.
Many deals you see on the internet or on social media are often not great deals.
You want to focus on free, moneymaker deals, stock up price deals (price so low that you should consider buying enough to last you 3-6 months) and those with 70-90% off savings.
These are the deals you want to go for. And even then SELECTIVELY – so you get the BEST deals AND the MOST SAVINGS!
Coupons for other items – you hold on to and wait until a great deal comes around. If your coupons expire, it’s OK! New coupons and deals will come around again (and again).
If you absolutely need an item then find one with minimum cost as possible using a coupon that you have. But buy the absolute minimum needed, then wait for the great deal.
All deals and coupons are cyclical – they will come around again – so if you don’t see a deal now, wait.
Shop the deals – not the coupons
Meaning – look for deals first e.g. the ones I post here or elsewhere – this way you are getting the best deals (I post specifically the deals I mention above).
If you are not sure if something is a great deal just ask. Many deals are not.
If you ever get something and you are not happy with it (once you get home) whether it’s because you spent too much money for it (even if it was a deal) – take it back, return it.
You should feel good about your couponing trip and about SAVING MONEY. Especially if money is tight you do not have to keep the stuff. Yes you might have lost a couple of coupons when you return a few things or all that you bought, but you are smart and saving money.
Start small, pick deals with the most savings!
Set a budget for couponing (it can be addictive and you can end up spending more than you thought).
Updated July 16th, 2017