Since Mason and I have joined our Moms and Toddlers group, I have started using coupons more. They have inspired me and given me several ideas. Kudos to you all!
No, I'm not an extreme coupon-er, no, I don't carry a binder, and no, I don't clear the shelves. There are so many tips that I can give in regards to coupons, but I'll just give a few today.
#1: Know your store's coupon policy. The policies can change every once and a while, so make sure you check the website or ask a customer service rep. Just recently, I learned, Target accepts 1 store coupon and 1 manufacturer coupon. Target actually has a coupon section on their website. You just select and print. My last trip to Target, I saved $26 and spent $47. Also, recently, I learned, BJ's Wholesale will do the same. 1 store coupon and 1 manufacturer coupon; however, BJ's has taken it a step further. You can actually use 1 manufacturer coupon for every item in the package. For example, we bought a 3 pack of Dove body wash. We used 1 store coupon and 3 manufacturer coupons.
#2: Product Rewards. I use mycokerewards.com to enter all of my codes from Coke products. There are so many rewards you can receive, from a free case of coke to coupons to trips. Pampers is another one that uses a reward system. I have not used this one. Research your favorite product (s). You may find a reward system that will fit your needs.
#3: Sign up for emails and/or Facebook. Most of the stores will send you email alerts of sales coming up. You can also 'like' a product or store on Facebook to get extra updates and coupons. I know, it can be somewhat overwhelming with all of the emails. Just pick a couple of your favorite stores and start from there.
And my final tip (for today), is:
#4: Stay organized. When you are using coupons, the amount of papers to keep up with may become overwhelming. Find a system that works best for you. I, personally, don't use the binders, but it may work for you. I just have my coupons in an organizer per category. Normally before a shopping trip, I have my list ready and I pull all of my coupons out before going into the store. I don't always have a coupon for every item, but most of the time, I do. :) I also, make sure that I have looked at the sales for that week. You can print them out, if it helps. The savings come in when you combine your coupons with sale items.
I don't HAVE to use coupons. I choose to do so because I like to see the savings. I will warn you, when you start using coupons, you will never want to buy an item with out one. HA! You may also get dirty looks from the shoppers that are in line behind you. I'm not sure why they look at me this way. Maybe because it takes the cashier extra time to check me out or maybe they think it is a total waste of time.
My advice to you is, just try it for one month. Save your receipts and at the end of the month add up your savings. You can decide if it is worth your time or not.