I was like most peoples several years ago. I would see the coupon fliers in the newspaper and in the weekly ads bundle and toss the whole flier. Couponing had little value in my life.
Who has time to use coupons, I thought? Let alone read these things? At that time, I was working nine hour days and commuting and trying to just keep my dog alive. This is the story of how to start couponing.
How to Start Couponing
Occasionally I would clip a few coupons for items we normally buy, but using them was sketchy. I would either forget to use them before they expired, or if I did use them, it would be when the item was full price. How little I knew.
I went to the class and came back in awe of how much money I was throwing away by not couponing. Case in point: contact lens solution. I’ll share more detail about this product next.
I have been using the same contact lens solution since high school. It’s rather expensive but the only solution that has helped deter repeat eye infections. Normally Clear Care is about $9.99 for one 12-ounce bottle.
I used to buy these bottles at full price whenever I ran out. Now I know that I can get Clear Care on sale for $8.99. I can add on a $3 manufacturer coupon and add on an in-store $1 off coupon, and behold, I can purchase Clear Care for as little as $4.99 per bottle.
That’s a $5 savings if you are keeping track. Considering I use a bottle of this solution at least every other month that alone is a savings of roughly $30 per year.
How I Started Couponing
How Can I Start Couponing
If you are like me there are many things I would rather do with that $30 than spend it on my contacts! Thus, I started couponing. I did not have overnight success.
It took me several months to understand the sales cycles, what coupons are routinely issued, how to use coupon websites and some of the basic rules of the game.
I also came up with my own rules. I would only coupon for non-food items. I would only coupon at stores very close to where I live and I would only coupon when couponing was less stressful than paying full price for an item.
Couponing for Beginners
However, I do use coupons often when I shop now. I hope to share more about my couponing journey and my favorite tips for saving money in the future.
What questions do you have about using coupons?
*This post was originally published in 2016 and has been updated and republished for accuracy and comprehensiveness.