Who better to help out that those that have worked through the same hurdles you may be facing as a beginner, unsure of where to begin or how to get started. Anxious to save money but discouraged because you aren’t making the type of savings that you may be seeing on TV. I posed a request for advice from my readers and they graciously provided the following:
Vicki – DO NOT watch Extreme Couponing on TLC!!
The Extreme Couponing show should be kept in its proper perspective. It’s a “reality show” like any other in that it is entertaining with a hint of reality. While there are serious savings that can be made by couponing (as you have seen in our postings here) unless you’re in the market for nothing but mustard and ramen noodles, you’re going to pay for something. That said, don’t get distressed or disappointed by seeing exaggerated or inflated savings on unrealistic shopping ventures. Save what you can and rejoice in the savings. – The Coupon Hubby
Lisa – Advice I always say is to not get hung up on numbers, especially percentage. Most people start out and freak when they hear they “only” saved like 10% for example, they don’t think it’s good enough. I tell them that ANY savings on stuff you would normally buy is good.
An excellent point…think about it this way. Let’s say you are “only” about to save $20 a week grocery shopping. You may look at that as failure and throw up your hands and want to quit. OR…you may blow that out to a year and think to yourself, I’m saving $1,040 a year in savings, enough to cover groceries for a month or more…0r take that vacation…or treat yourself. The point is, if you try to compare yourself to an extreme anything, you’re apt to get easily discouraged. Rejoice in your savings – it’s cash in your pocket!!! – The Coupon Hubby
Gloria – Ditto to Vicki! I just started about 6 months ago and i’m still learning.. Extreme Couponing gets the stores to make exceptions for the show too.. NOT every state doubles and/or triples the values of coupons on the regular either.
April – Vicki I agree….. That show is full of misconceptions!Its not realistic to a general audience.I have yet to get all my groceries for free….Also I would say start slow.Dont get upset if you only save a few dollars.
Lynn – I’m somewhat new and my advice is to start slow! There is so much information that it can be very overwhelming. I have only scratched the surface but I feel like I’m learning a little at a time and that has already made a big difference.
Excellent advice – start slow. Taking couponing to this level is a whole different ballgame and you can’t expect to walk in an expert, just as you can’t expect to walk on the field a pro having never practiced a sport. Guide your way into it slowly with occasional savings. Save your coupons and start learning the patterns. Catch the easy freebies and as you feel more comfortable, tackle a larger transaction or set up a matchup of your own. The rewards start immediately. Couponing is one “sport” that doesn’t require you to be a professional to reap the benefits. – The Coupon Hubby
Jami – Start out with small transactions, so you don’t get overwhelmed and are able to watch your items ringing up closely! I’ve been doing this for a few months, but I still like to do small transactions. It makes it easier on the cashiers and they are more friendly that way! Also, I make sure when I have BOGO coupons I stop the cashier after the items scan and give the coupon, so they don’t have to back track to check the price! I’ve not had hardly any problems with cashiers! 🙂
Another excellent point that I’ll expand on. I always advocate the practice of courtesy at the register. You are more apt to have a tough transaction work in your favor if your are courteous and cordial than if you bring attitude with you to the cashier. It’s not you against them…they already have enough people that give them attitude for no reason. Show them that you’re above that and you never know…when that coupon just won’t seem to scan, they might go out of their way to make sure you get the deal your supposed to, or they may even fill you in on a deal that you didn’t even know about. That goes with management too…it’s so much easier to be polite than it is to be rude, and so much more rewarding. – The Coupon Hubby
Candice – I would say kinda what the others have said. Start slow . There is def. alot of info you need to know and learn.You also need to get comfortable with it.My other advice is .You will get excited with your savings. However. You can sometimes get out of control. Get what you need. and don’t buy just to buy ( like extreme couponing) unless you need it or have plans to donate it. Keep organized and watch the reg. to make sure it rings up correctly.. but most of all have fun with it 😀 saving money is great ~~~
Laurissa – Find a way that works for YOU to organize your coupons. What one person does is not necessarily best for you. Whatever method you choose must be one that allows you to have your coupons handy at all times. When you walk in somewhere to get milk & pass the clearance rack knowing that you have massive coupons at home it is such a frustrating experience. Keep them with you! I carry a huge purse and just throw my book in there whenever I go into the store for any reason. If I used several coupon binders, I wouldn’t be able to do this and therefore that method doesn’t work for me – find YOURS.
Excellent advice. Remember that you are your own person and have your own way of organizing your coupons and your time. Some advocate binders and that works for them. Others don’t. Neither is “right” or “wrong”, it’s just what works best with us as individuals. Don’t get sucked into the idea that you have to do things a certain way because that was the way they did it on TV, or because I do it the way I do. You need to find a method that works best with you…and share it – it may be an idea that no one had come up with before that may work wonderfully. – The Coupon Hubby
Jennifer – Start small at a drugstore like CVS and work your way up.
Jodie – Start out small…you dont HAVE to try to get every DEAL…Start out at one store learn their policies and PRICES on the things you use most of, so when another store puts them on sale you KNOW if you are actually getting a good deal. Set your self a weekly (monthly) budget on how much to spend on deals other wise you will end up spending more because you think you cant pass up a good deal. Organize your coupons the way that is best for YOU. Dont become consumed with getting coupons, remember your family misses you when your not there. High dollar coupons isnt always the best, when a .60 coupon can be doubled compared to a 1.00 that cant be, you actually can save more. ASK QUESTIONS…. dont be afraid to..THATS how we learn and dont be afraid to make a mistake and always show respect for other couponers and yes, even the cashiers they can and will become your friend and advisor. If you have more than you need share…. Most of all HAVE FUN! 🙂
Xochitl – You DO NOT have to get every single deal posted. And don’t ignore your family when searching for the next big deal online – it’s easy to do. Pick one store and know it’s policy backward and forward before going to the next. Keep up the good work TCH!
Most of all…have fun with it. Couponing is what you make of it. It can be an all-consuming addition that will take all your time, or it can be something that you do for a certain amount of time daily so as to get your finances in order. Regardless the reason you’re looking to coupon seriously, don’t let it take over your life. Start small, keep a level head about why you are doing it, what you are hoping to accomplish, and the reasonable savings you expect to attain. Give yourself time to learn the nature of the game, and to learn the rules (as each store has their own). I’m confident that if you give it the time that you need, you’ll find yourself saving a LOT of money in no time at all…
Thanks, and if you have advice to add, please let me know – I’d love to add to this page.
The “Coupon Hubby”