Skeptical about the whole couponing thing? I’ve been there so I totally understand.
Many people believe that couponing is time consuming and that it isn’t worth it in the end. Lies, all lies! Just kidding (sort of). It might be time consuming in the beginning because you have to learn something new, How to Coupon. Once you establish a routine, you’ll be able to coupon for as little as 1 hour a week!
But let me tell you a little secret:
You can make it work for YOU no matter how hectic your schedule may be, the types of foods and products you use (organic, gluten-free, all-natural, etc) or even if you are brand loyal.
Here are some things to consider if you want to start:
- SUNDAY NEWSPAPER – You can purchase these at Dollar Tree for $1 each. Better yet, subscribe to your local paper (Sunday only) and get it as low as $0.37 each delivered right to your doorstep! I recommend at least 2-4 Sunday paper.
- GAS – You might drive to several stores per couponing trip.
- OUT OF POCKET EXPENSE – There are 2 sure things in life: death and taxes. Getting stuff for free is fun but you still need to pay for tax.
- COUPONING TRIP PREPARATION – You’ll want to look at store matchups, weekly ads, watch for sale cycles, make a shopping list and clip coupons (if you haven’t already). The beauty about the internet is that there are PLENTY of bloggers that do this work for you. I post weekly free and cheap matchups here. All you need to do is clip your coupons.
- SHOPPING TIME – This will depend whether your store has all of the items in your list in stock otherwise you may need to make changes to your transaction plan. If all else fail, get a raincheck.
- One of the key factors to couponing is stockpiling, which means you purchase items at a rock-bottom price in large quantities. For example, if toothpaste is free after coupons and store rewards you’ll want to purchase as many as you can (if store policy and coupon limit allow) to last your household until the next sale. You’ll probably need a linen closet (or two!) for your stockpile.
In the end, you can tailor couponing base on your needs and schedule. You decide whether you want to coupon casually or go extreme. Both ends of the couponing spectrum will save you money. The question that you should be asking yourself is: Am I willing to start?
This pretty much applies to every aspect of our lives. But first:
However, in the couponing world:
Different households have different needs. Just because your coupon buddy has a dedicated stockpile room doesn’t mean you should have the same. Sure, it looks awesome but always ask yourself if it’s really necessary for YOUR household.
I’ve coveted a dedicated stockpile + couponing room. But I realized, it wasn’t necessary for my household + lifestyle. I don’t want to become an extreme couponer and I don’t want to spend a lot of time couponing. In addition, having lots of stuff is overwhelming for me. I’d just stress or burn myself out trying to keep up with the Joneses.
You’ll eventually become aware of how many bottles of shampoo (or whatever it may be) your household really consumes in a period of time.
This is something I need to remind myself from time to time. I hope you keep this in mind, too.
If you are going to be brand loyal then you might as well earn rewards, too. Here are some popular brands that you might want to check out:
- Collect: codes from Kellogg’s boxes marked with Kellogg’s Family Rewards logo.
- Enter: those codes using the Kellogg’s website or mobile site
- Redeem for: high-value internet printable coupons, sweepstakes, donation to a charity and other special offers
Notes: You can redeem 1000 points for a $1.50/1 off any Kellogg’s cereal internet printable coupon. Also, wait to enter your codes when they have the double points offer. You’ll receive double points on any code or code from specific products you enter within a certain time frame. Here are some codes to get you started:
LOVEANDCHOCOLATE: 100 points
SPECIALK5BONUS4U: 50 points
EARNGREATREWARDS: 20 points
GETKELLOGGPOINTS: 20 points
GIFTOFMUSICBONUS: 20 points
GRAINSDAIRYFRUIT: 50 points
KELLOGGSFREEBOOK: 50 points
HOWITWORKS20PNTS: 20 points
HEALTHYRETURNS20: 20 points
GREATSTARTSBONUS: 20 points
- Collect: codes found inside each package of diapers, training pants and wipes. You’ll find a small label with the rewards code. Wipes have the codes printed directly on the packaging. Individually sold wipes package do not have codes.
- Enter: codes via Pampers site, mobile app or text messaging (you have to sign up for this on your account)
- Redeem for: coupons, special offers, Shutterfly prints, sweepstakes, toys, books, digital downloads, magazines
- Collect: codes found inside each package of diapers, training pants and wipes. You’ll find a yellow label with the rewards code.
- Enter: codes via Huggies, mobile app or text messaging (you have to sign up for this on your account)
- Redeem for: free diaper coupons, Shutterfly prints, special offers, sweepstakes, toys, books, gift cards (Amazon or Starbucks!), donate your points or diapers!
- Collect: product UPCs
- Enter: last 5-digit of the UPC code via the website
- Redeem for: coupons, sweepstakes, Kiwi magazine subscription, and Kiwi bucks (gift card for Kiwi shop)
- Collect: codes located under caps, inside tear-off on 12-packs or on multi-pack wraps found on the following brands:
Coca-Cola, Coke Zero, Diet Coke, Sprite, DASANI, POWERADE, Minute Maid, Fanta, Barq’s, Fresca, Pibb, Mello, Yello, FUZE, Seagram’s, TaB
- Enter: codes via website, mobile app, Facebook or text messaging (you must sign up)
- Redeem for: movie tickets, Shutterfly prints, All You magazine subscriptions (loaded with coupons), gift cards, sweepstakes, special offers, apparel, accessories
- Collect: magic codes from Disney Movies (Blu-ray & DVDs, & digital Disney movies) or earn points from Disney CD’s purchase and Disney Movie tickets
- Enter: magic codes via the website. For Disney CD’s, insert CD into your computer to get points. For movie tickets, you must upload a photo of the ticket via the website to get points.
- Redeem for: coupons, collectibles, memorabilias, clothing, dvds, toys, novelty items and more.
Buy a Starbucks gift card. Register it for the My Starbucks Rewards program.
- Collect: codes from marked Starbucks packages to earn a star. you’ll earn a star whenever you use your registered Starbucks card.
- Enter: codes via the site or Starbucks app
- Redeem for: free drink, free refill or treat depending on your member status:
- 0-4 stars: free drink or treat on your birthday and exclusive offers
- green level – 5-29 stars: free refills while in the store and exclusive offers
- gold level – 30 stars: earn 30 stars within a year to reach this level and receive a personalized gold Starbucks card (fancy!) earn 12 stars while on this level and get a free drink or food.
Can you tell I love the Huggies Rewards program? I’ve redeemed my points for free diaper coupons and used them at CVS with Huggies spend $30 get $10 ECB for a really sweet deal!