Welcome to Coupon 101
Getting StartedSet up a separate email address you can use to request samples and coupons. This way your regular email address won’t be clogged with unwanted offers and spam. Yahoo.com is a great site to obtain a free email address solely for this use.
» Subscribe to your local newspaper (much cheaper than picking one up every Sunday). Check here for discounted newspaper subscriptions.
» Start building your stash of coupons.
This is what theDealyo is all about – we scour the net looking for the best of the best. Here is what we hit up and post on our site – essentially doing the work for you. Highlighted below are a few of our favorites we like to prioritize when looking for online coupons:
» Sunday Newspaper – the largest resource for coupons. Subscribe here.
» Online– Top three online coupon resources: Coupons.com, Red Plum and Smart Source.
» E-coupons: Cellfire.com, shortcuts.com and Upromise.com.
» In-stores– Peelies, blinkes and tear pads (see lingo).
» Magazines– All You, Good Housekeeping and Red Book feature a ton each issue.
» Ebay– Bid on the coupons you want at a price you want.
» Mail– Many manufacturer sites let you request coupons by mail.
» Free Samples– Many free samples comes with high-value manufacturers coupons.
» Search Engines– Do a quick internet search for the product you’re looking for.
» Store website– Check the stores website. Often times they often store coupons. Target and CVS are popular sites for coupons.
» Coupons for Sale Sites– The Coupon Clippers and My Coupon Hunter are the largest.
Identify the Best StoresDepending on where you live, you may just have 2-3 stores to choose from or more than you can manage. Over time you’ll quickly learn which stores offer the best deals and are “coupon friendly.”
Prepare to Shop
Visit theDealyo to review weekly sales and coupon match-ups. This way you can quickly assess the sales and determine the best stores to hit up.
» Make a shopping list before you leave to house and stick to it. This ensures you don’t go over budget and saves tons of time at the store.
» Pull and review the coupons you need in advance. This ensures the coupons aren’t expired and are for the product you want. It also minimizes the chance of leaving home without them (trust us, it happens often!)
General Coupon Shopping Tips
» Have PATIENCE – We can’t stress this enough. You’ll run into a number of snags shopping no matter how thorough the pre-planning. Anything from inexperienced cashiers, to inaccurate pricing to catalina’s that won’t print. These things can and will happen from time to time. Don’t let hiccups get in the way or spoil your mood. Before you leave the store talk the issue out with your cashier or manager. 9 times out of 10 the issue is quickly resolved. Life happens. Be patient. You’ll be much happier for it.
» Don’t count your chickens before they hatch – Coupons and values vary per region. Even though you’re expecting the B1G1 Free coupon your friend in Texas received, you many not receive it at all or it may be for $1 vs. B1G1 Free. The bright side…you may be able to buy the coupons you want for pennies (see Finding Coupons).
» Use multiple transactions to reduce OOP– The ultimate goal is to reduce your OOP. Your OOP is what you pay to the store. If you buy two products that will trigger a $10 catalina for your next purchase, consider purchasing these two items first to obtain the $10 catalina. This way you can instantly use the $10 catalina for the rest of your goods and reduce your OOP.
» Practice makes perfect- Yet again your mother was right. The more you shop the more you’ll learn the ins and outs of each store, coupon policy and “rolling” strategy. You’ll quickly learn the “great price” for shampoo you scored two months ago can easily be lower and the more you practice “rolling” to reduce your OOP expense, the better you’ll get.
» Carry coupon policies with you – Cashiers and even managers may not be 100% up-to-speed on their corporate coupon policy. Have no fear when you have the printed version with you to quickly pull out and discuss with the manager.
» Hand over manufacturer’s coupon first– Yes, there is a correct way of handing over coupons to the cashier. Manufacturer’s coupons will beep if the price of the product is lower than the coupon. For example, let’s say you’re purchasing chips for $2 and have a $1.50 manufacturers coupon and a $1 store coupon. The chips ring up for $2 and you had over the $1 store coupon first so the total is now $1. Since the manufacturers coupon is worth $1.50 and you’re total is only $1 it will beep and will not be accepted. If you handed over the manufacturers coupon first both coupons would have been accepted. Stores do not pay overage however so you’d need to purchase a “filler” item to make up the difference.
» Rebates – Most rebates require the original store receipt. Therefore if you’re buying two items for two different rebates, you’ll need to split your purchases into two transactions in order to secure two original receipts.
» Identify the best filing system– There are countless ways to organize and file your coupons. Find the best option that works for you. What works initially may not work when you’ve built up your stash. Popular options include a 3-ring coupon binder utilizing baseball card inserts, accordion file or just cutting them as you need them.
» Purchase multiple copies of the Sunday newspaper– Once you get the hang of it you’ll realize there is value in purchasing more than one copy of the Sunday paper. The savings you will realize greatly outweighs the cost of multiple newspapers.