Welcome to lesson number 3! This is going to be the last post before we start going store by store on what their rules are and how to coupon there! I know this may be boring but if you do not get these basics down, you will not be successful and I am trying to make this as easy as possible. Learn from my mistakes!
FIND A COUPON BUDDY IN YOUR AREA! This is so important because you can bounce ideas off of each other, share deals, and do hauls together. Sometimes this can get stressful so it is a good idea to have someone do this with you. It is also a lot more fun that way! I have multiple, along with dragging my husband around sometimes, and I promise, you want to do this.
The next thing I want to share are coupon database sites. I personally like Southern Saver but if you just google “coupon database”, you can find any. With this, you can look up to see if there is a coupon out for what you are looking for. It will tell you where it is too. There are multiple types of inserts in the newspaper like Redplum, SmartSource, and P&G. It will tell you which one it is in and what date it came out. This is important because you will start to accumulate a lot of papers (if you go that route) and it is nice to keep things a little organized. That brings me to the next topic…organization.
I use to get inserts and cut every single thing. Since I have young kids who LOVE playing in paper, I stopped doing that and only cutting the inserts that I need. I have a coupon binder that I use. I bought a binder that zips up and bought baseball card holders to put them in. There are actual sets you can purchase on Amazon, but I’m cheap.
I organize it by category (food items, cleaning supplies, baby stuff, etc.). This is great because as I am shopping, I will pull out the coupons I need and put them in the front. You do NOT want to be the person pulling out coupons at the register. The people behind you will hate you, along with the cashier. Plus, you may get flustered and rushed and miss some coupons.
The next thing I am going to talk about is fraud. Coupon fraud is a real thing and you will see it pop up a lot in couponing groups. I do not care what you do with coupons, but I will NOT teach you to do things the wrong way. If you choose to use coupons inappropriately, know that you CAN go to jail for that. What I am talking about is using a coupon for something scans for a completely different product. With that said, you will probably make a mistake and that is okay! My husband calls it a “coupsie doupsie” meaning you may have read the print wrong on a coupon and got the wrong size or something. You may not even get called out for it and it scans but I really suggest reading the coupon and seeing what it excludes and what size it is for. It can get pretty embarrassing if you get up to the register and the cashier says they will not scan your coupon because it is for the wrong product.
This next thing I am going to talk about is probably THE most important aspect of couponing. I honestly believe I am so successful in couponing because of this: treat the cashiers well! A lot of couponers feel entitled for some reason, giving us good couponers a bad name. Do not freak out on your cashier if something does not go as expected. I ALWAYS write to corporate for whatever store I am at and tell them what great of a cashier I had was. I also tell the cashier I am going to do that! It makes them less angry that they have to scan a lot of coupons. If you have a good relationship with all of the cashiers at your stores, you will be more successful.
For some reason, some cashiers like to make up their own rules that go against their own policy. It sounds crazy, but you will run across it. It is good to keep a copy of the store policies just in case but if they do call you out and you know you are in the right, just be very gentle and explain why you think you are right. If they still deny you, either move on or you can request a manager. I, personally, have only ever had one bad cashier (she literally made me cry) but all of the other ones are great and I think it is because I treat them with respect….and write to corporate. I know some of them so well that I get their favorite candy every time and give it to them. They’re my couponing family!
That’s it for now! Next post we will dive into a specific store! Let me know if you have any questions.
*Also, thank you all for joining my Facebook group and participating in the giveaway! There will be many more of them so add yourself and your friends who you want to have as a coupon buddy! https://www.facebook.com/groups/1636723473236178/