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Sunday, January 17, 2010

7 Tips For Starting Out

Grocery shopping by firstindy.
If you are just starting out, you might be easily overwhelmed with information and have no idea where to go from here. I have a few quick tips to help you start on your own money-saving adventure.

1. Start getting the Sunday paper on a regular basis. It takes a while to build a good coupon stockpile so you need to get in the habit of buying the paper every week. The general rule is to get 1 paper for every person in your household. Why? The more coupons you have, the more times you can work a deal over and over again. Personally, I buy 1 per adult and kids count as a half.

2. Take advantage of printable coupons and electronic coupons. Printable coupons are available instantly with easy access from your home computer and printer. Likewise, you can load Ecoupons to your shoppers card and they are immediately available for use (no clipping required). Check out my favorite printable sites and Ecoupon sites.

3. Plan your meals around what's on sale this week. Planning your family meals around meats & produce which are on sale this week can automatically save you about 30% without ever clipping a coupon. You can also use sale items to supplement side dishes and desserts as well.

4. Look for blogs and forums for your favorite grocery store. This is a great way to learn about store policies, weekly matchups, specials & unadvertised deals. Some of my favorites are Hot Coupon World, A Full Cup, I Heart Publix.

5. Set a budget. You won't know where to go if you don't know where to start. Figure out what you have been currently spending on groceries and start there. This number should decrease over time as you become more efficient at using coupons, matching them with sales, meal planning & stockpiling. A goal grocery budget is $100 per month per person.

6. Find a couponing buddy. For most of us, grocery shopping is an unwelcome task on our to-do-list each week. Finding someone to share your triumphs and frustrations with can make the grocery game a lot more fun. You can share deals, tips, tricks and recipes. Not to mention, you now have someone to swap coupons with.

7. Stockpile 1-2 extra items at a time. You have to start somewhere, right? Remember, you are still trying to get everything you ran out of this week and trying to get ahead at the same time. Pick 1 or 2 items that you think are a really good deal and get a couple extra to start your stockpile. As your stockpile grows, your budget will decrease!

Did you find these tips helpful? Leave me a comment and let me know what helped you most when you 1st started couponing.


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