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Old 08-09-2011, 12:12 AM
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Nebula Nebula is offline
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Hi. Welcome. I've been coupooning for about three months. I would say start out with a three ring binder ( I use one of my daughter's old ones). Go to Target or Walmart and buy one pack of baseball card inserts (by the registers where the Pokemon cards are kept). You can buy them online for way cheaper, but to start, one pack of 25 or 30 will run about $4. They are not two sided, but you can cut construction paper to fit the slots and then utilize both sides of the inserts that way. I get three sets of inserts from my neighbor each week and then buy two or three sunday papers. So this gives you several copies of each coupon.

Print out the coupon policies for every store you think you will be using and put them into the binder. You may need to refer to them or even show them to the cashier if you get one that isn't familiar with their own policy. It happens. Keep updated on the policies in case anything changes. Typically, each store will have a limit of how many "like" coupons you can use in a transaction. Most of the Procter and Gamble coupons limit 4 "like" coupons in a transaction. You can split transactions to utilize more than the limit of coupons if need be. I haven't needed to yet.

Use stick on labels for some of your pages so you can categorize coupons into things like...Frozen, Canned, Paper Products, Beauty, Hair Care, etc. I started out using a 4x6 photo album for my coupons, but that only lasted one week. I gave in to the binder method quickly. Organizing makes it much easier. Then watch the new circulars each week for what is on sale. Previews of circulars often are on this site or you can sign up to get them on your email. Watch this site for where the good deals are.

Even on free items, expect to pay tax, so know your tax rate in your state. I only deal with stores for now, as CVS and Walgreens are still confusing to me. Take one step at a time and try not to get overwhelmed. When you see something that you can get for cheap or free, just try using three coupons and see what happens. Don't try to do a huge "haul" right off the bat.

Pay close attention to stores that are making coupons worth one dollar, even if they are .25 on an item. This makes all the difference. I have 11 tubes of toothpaste that were all free because my store rounds coupons (Qs) up to a dollar.

Target lets you stack one manufacturer coupon with one of their coupons on an item, but they don't double. So you may want to use your high dollar coupons there. Walmart price matches and you can use coupons.

Read on this site as often as you can. You'll get the hang of how to do it the more you read. Some of the big sales that happen throughout the year can be tricky, so when you see "Mega Event" from Krogers, etc. pay attention to how it works. Ask questions if you don't understand something. Everyone here has been very helpful to me.

Keep every coupon you get, even if you don't think you will ever use it. Some items will be a "money maker". Meaning, using it will actually give you money to spend on other items. Every week that you are clipping coupons and putting into your binder, glance at the expiration dates so you don't end up trying to use one that just expired.

Plan to get a little addicted to this. It's amazing how exciting it is when you start getting things that you couldn't previously afford, for pennies!

Good luck! Have fun!
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