Coupon policy changes. Fine print limitations. Rewards programs starting. Rebate programs ending. Store limitations set.
We’ve seen a lot of challenges and changes in the couponing world in the last few years, haven’t we? Let’s face it. Stuff has changed and things aren’t same old, same old when it comes to couponing. In order to continue to thrive as a couponer, you need to understand the new couponing environment and how to navigate it in a way that still saves you money and doesn’t eat up your precious time.
Couponing for Today
A couple Octobers ago, I wrote a series of “lessons” posts to get you started couponing. Today those are still some of my most visited posts, and you can find them in my Coupons 101 section. However, I’m finding myself cringing a bit when I send new readers through those lessons to get started. As a coupon instructor, I’m also finding myself slowly removing slides from my Couponing presentations and adding new ones.
Simply put, what worked three or four years with couponing ago may well NOT work today.
For the last several weeks I’ve been hemming and hawing over what sort of a fall series to run here. If you’ve been following me, you know my last several series having involved crafting with mason jars, learning homesteading basics, and seeing if one can follow a plant-based diet on a budget. While these pursuits are definitely fun, it occurred to me that it might be time to do a series that goes back to basics. So for the month of October, I’m going to walk you through everything you need to know about how to use coupons NOW. These posts will essentially replace the outdated versions on the Coupons 101 page.
Some of the topics and ideas I am planning to address in these expanded lessons include:
- How to stockpile when coupons and stores limit quantities
- Why understanding store sales cycles is vital
- Creating your own coupon scenarios without losing your mind
- Reducing your stress during checkout
- How to handle common coupon problems
- Saving money in the absence of coupons & sales
- Building couponing into a weekly routine that saves you time & money
It is my hope that these new lessons will better equip you with reasonable expectations of what can be achieved with coupons.
Who is this Series for?
My original lessons were geared primarily for new coupon users. This time around, my goal is to include both new and existing coupon users.
- Newbies. You want to get started with couponing, but aren’t sure the steps to take. Maybe you don’t have the money or resources to take a coupon class. You like things clearly explained with clear “steps” of what to do.
- Frustrated couponers. You started couponing with a gusto and you know the basics, but you’re frustrated because you can’t seem to get the deals you once used to and you’re wondering what happened.
- Returning couponers. Maybe you once used coupons, but you took a break for whatever reason. You’d like to get back into it, but aren’t sure what you need to know about couponing today to dive back in.
- Questioning couponers (for lack of a better term). Maybe you’re wondering about your friends that coupon – how do they do it, really?! And what about those people on Extreme Couponing – is it legit? Whether or not you’re considering taking the plunge yourself, I’m happy to have you on board and explain the mechanics of couponing so you can make an informed decision if it’s right for you.
I would also be very honored if my pro coupon users out there would consider reading and commenting on these posts as they are published. Your advice, encouragement, and stories are 100% welcome! Remember that I may have brand new couponers reading these posts, so your input is valuable.
Let’s Get Started!
Watch for these posts every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday in October. I will soon add a button to my sidebar so you can quickly and easily find all the posts in this series.
I also want you to know that even though there have been some definite challenges to couponing in the last few years, it’s my intention to keep the tone of this series upbeat and positive. The truth is there still are many wonderful deals to be had with couponing. (If you don’t believe me, just check out this Albertsons trip I shared this morning where I saved 85%!)
A final word: in a couple weeks I will be sharing a post on organizing coupons. I would love it if some of my existing couponers out there would consider sharing some photos and notes about how they organize coupons for this post! If you could do that, I’d appreciate it. Email me at angela @ thecouponproject dot com with your photo and a sentence or two about what you do.
Have you been on the fence about couponing? Or maybe frustrated by how stuff is changing and wondering how you can regroup? Anything you’d like me to address for this series?