Coupon school

Other than common sense and coworker sharing, I haven’t really focused on learning to take advantage of all the resources available. That has now changed!

Sorry for the less than crisp photo. It was a sneaky cell phone shot.

This was a first for sure. Who knew there was even coupon classes? Not me until I ran into a woman in the grocery store with a tell-tale coupon binder. She told me she taught classes, but they cost $10. I’m excited about knocking off 50 cents so ten bucks seemed like a step backwards. Enter Aisha Denson.

She was fun and a coupon guru…and did I mention, free? Yep. Hooray! Here’s what I learned:

The Art of Stockpiling

  • It affords you the opportunity to be flexible, which saves you the most money.
  • Don’t over-buy, its wasteful and items can go bad.
  • Don’t under-buy, it makes you a slave to what you need at that moment.

Smarts

  • Get good at math. You should know (or be able to figure out quickly) that 3 for $5 means each item is $1.67.
  • Meal planning and couponing goes hand-in-hand. Surveying what you have already in your cabinet and then building around it to make the smartest use of your dollars.
  • Using coupons can be a casual clip as you go when you think about it or can be a series of weekly algebraic equations. Balance and strategy are up to you.
  • Think in long-term/big picture. For example, you have a 50 cent coupon for a brand of rice. If a 5lb. bag of rice is $5, your coupon makes it $4.50. BUT, if a 1lb bag is $1, your coupon makes it 50 cents per bag. If you buy 5, then you get 5lbs rice for $2.50 and earned yourself an extra $2 and a “whoo-hoo.”

Legal Issues

  • Copying or scanning coupons and selling coupon inserts is illegal. Don’t get scammed or greedy. No one should have to explain to their boss or family that they are in handcuffs because of coupons. There are no coupons for bail 🙂 .
  • You know the sticker coupons on product packages? They are called peelies. Don’t be a peelie stealer.

Where to Get Coupons & Info

General Info & Advice

  • Grocery cycle is 6-12 weeks.
  • Know what amount of product is used in your house (Does 1 box of cereal last 1 week? 1 month?).
  • Learn what things cost in your area. A solid base of a what a “good” price for something is can help you determine the best way to get a deal (or when to just go ahead and pay).
  • Look into what you can freeze and what you have room to store.
  • If you have problems printing coupons, it may be your browser. Internet Explorer uses vi or wi; Firefox uses vg or wg; and Safari uses xs. (I have never been able to print coupons on my Mac and she fixed it!)
  • Know your stores’ policies.
  • Be considerate to other shoppers (don’t clear the shelves on the first day of a sale unless you are feeding the Duggar family; let the guy with a case of beer and 2 mac ‘n cheese boxes go ahead of you.)

Good start right? Hopefully this will help me in my quest to save more than I spend at least once before my next birthday. But overall, I really enjoyed the event.

Did you try anything new today? Do you coupon? I hope Aisha’s tips help you!

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One response to “Coupon school

  1. Pingback: Savings…HI-YO! | Greenhorn Living

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