It’s Couponing Time!

(Banner from http://happycouponing.blogspot.com/)

Now, when you hear that word/words, what do you think? Do you think of the EXTREME TLC show about people who just do it to a huge extent? Or do you just do it casually once in a while if you just happen to remember and you were getting the item anyway?

These are the two extremes. Honestly, there is a huge following between those two extremes, just people don’t know it.

And my husband and I used to talk about it all the time, especially after watching Extreme Couponing on TLC. But we never got to actually DOING it. But as I was standing in line yesterday, I was behind a lady using coupons. Now, she wasn’t as pushy as some/a lot of the people on the show, but she was very kind and and giving the cashier the coupons. (The cashier was also a sweetheart and very patient.) And I literally watch her total go from about $300 to $119. …. O.O

SEROIUSLY?

I watched it happen before my very. Own. Eyes.

Yes, seriously. It HAPPENS people! And she wasn’t doing it for a stock pile or anything. She was honestly just trying to get food to feed her family on a very strict budget.

And it seriously amazed me. I swear, my face looked like this:

I was in shock people. IN SHOCK. To see it happen in person, and just a normal person with her family…

Yeah.

So I am inspired to figure out how to do this. My family’s food bill doesn’t have to be as large as it is right now, and I think this is a way to help with this problem. And so I did what anyone would do:

I asked. I asked her where she gets her coupons, and how she learned to do this. And she was such a kind and sweet person. Both her AND the cashier gave me some sites that I can go look at.

Now, here is my dilemma. I am iffy about online coupons because there are a lot that are scams. But they gave me some hints and some safe coupon sites that they personally use.  So, what I will do is list the sites below, and possibly write down what I am going to try to figure out. This may be a blog with more than one entry because I think the details in this may be too much for just one. ;P And I’m just trying to start. O.O

List of things I need to do:

1. Find where to get coupons.

Now, besides online, all I knew about coupons is that you can get them from the newspaper. (And there are a few newspaper choices around here. But I have found that the Charlotte Observer has the BEST selection of coupons and the MOST coupons than the other ones I have looked at.) And I just got to thinking;

Where else do you get them? Now, I will list a few sites at the bottom, but this was an idea I had: Around here, there is a place where you can go where you can go and throw away your trash, but also recycle things. And I have noticed a section for newspapers. Now I wonder, would they let me go through that and see if I can find some? This is definitely a question that is worth asking, and after I talk to them, I will let you know. *laughs*

2. Find out my store’s coupon policies, as well as those around me to see which is best.

Luckily, the store I like going to (Bi-lo!~) has a NICE policy, from what the cashier was telling me. They double all coupons under 99 cents (except those that say DO NOT DOUBLE) up to 10 of the same coupon. (You can break it up into separate transactions is a possible way around that. *whistles*)

Now, there are more to this whole thing, but I recommend looking at the terms your store has for coupons. And if you don’t understand anything, don’t be afraid to ask! (I did my research for Bi-lo!)

3. Start PAYING ATTENTION TO THE SALES.

You know those things in the newspapers or at the front of the store that tells you a lot of the sales in the store? (Keep in mind it’s not all, but it’s a good start!) Stop throwing those away! I know I do that a lot, and not really pay attention. But those have a lot of good details in it.

A lot of stores have it so you can check online now about their sales. It is quite fantastic.

And…

That’s my list so far. *laughs* It may not seem like much, but it is a start! It’s a great way to try to save money, and maybe afford more of the stuff I WANT to get and save on the things I NEED to get.

That, and being able to save money for emergency situations is nice too.

Do you coupon? Do you have any suggestions or recommendations for a beginner? I would love to hear from you.

Or, are you just starting or interested? Contact me! We can start this thing together and find answers using each other resources! It never hurts to have two or more heads working on something!

And at last, I leave you with that list of sites that I was given. May they help you as well.
(Tip: Here are the tips that the cashier and coupon lady gave me. Be careful of coupons that have a huge amount off. Like $5, or even just above a $1. They are more likely to not be real. Also be wary of the coupons that say FREE. Those also might be hints of possible fake ones.)

http://www.valassis.com
http://www.redplum.com/
http://www.couponmom.com/
http://www.pgeverydaysolutions.com
http://www.coupons.com/

Those are the ones I have on hand. Any others?

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