Bee-ginners

Before I had a family I would save a few coupons here and there, they would sit in one spot and I would always watch them expire or never use them. I used to view coupons as a waste of time & effort when using them. However, my thinking quickly changed when I found myself married, with four kids and needing to save money on our monthly expenses. It was at that time I fully commited to learning how to coupon, and in return it has saved our family hundreds of dollars every single month. I have put together a few key items to help you get started to be able to save your household money while couponing as well! I hope you find this information helpful.

Introducing Coupons

First you should know there are two different types of coupons. The most common type of coupon is a Manufacturer’s coupon. These coupons are released by the actual manufacturer of the product. The companies release these, to encourage consumers to purchase their products. The second type of coupon is a called a Store Coupon. These are coupons issued by a particular retailer, valid only at THAT specific retailer. A store coupon will have wording similar to this: “Coupon valid only at Target” or “CVS Pharmacy Coupon”. Manufacturer’s coupons can be used anywhere that accepts coupons. Store coupons can be only used at that specific store.

Keep in mind that stores do get reimbursed by the manufacturer when we use the manufacturer’s coupons. They also get an added ‘handling fee’ as a bonus.That being said, the store does NOT lose out on profit when coupons are redeemed, they actually make a couple of cents! But it is our responsibility as couponers to be diligent and use coupons properly on the right items being purchased.

You can only use one manufacturer’s coupon per item that you are purchasing. Coupons are typically redeemed by having a barcode on them, and they will always have an expiration date.

Can I combine a manufacturer’s coupon with a store coupon?

Absolutely! You can combine a manufacturer’s coupon with a store coupon! This is called “stacking” coupons. In fact, this is probably the best way to save the most amount of money possible.

For example, let’s say that Target has a sale on Shampoo, $2/bottle. If you have a $1.00 off manufacturer’s coupon, that makes the price just $1.00. Even better, let’s say that Target issued a $1 off store coupon.. You can combine both coupons to drop the price even more, to get the item for FREE!

Just make sure that both coupons apply to the same specific product you are planning on purchasing.

Where to Find Coupons

You can always find printable coupons right here on MamaBeesFreebies! You can also find coupons in various locations: your weekly newspaper, In Stores from ‘Blinkies’ (usually found in stores in various aisles), Peelies (these are coupons that are stuck to products when you buy them) Hangtags (coupons that are hanging on products in stores), ask your friends & family for coupons, you can buy coupons through a clipping service, from free samples, or get them from contacting the manufacturer directly.

Things to Note & Couponing Tips

1. Don’t ever ‘copy’ a coupon. It is illegal, and is considered coupon fraud, which can lead to fines and possible jail time.
2. Find out if your local grocery store ‘doubles’ coupons. If so, you could save even more with your coupons!
3. Plan Ahead. View the weekly circular ads for the various stores you plan on shopping at during that week. This way you can try to match up coupons to sales to save even more! It’s better to use a coupon during a sale in comparison to when the product is at full price. Your goal is to save the most!
4. If you find a coupon for a product that you are not interested in, don’t cut it or print it out. Save your Time!
5. Always check the clearance section. Often times you can find a product with a heavy discount. Even better, if you have a coupon for that product, it can lead to free (or close to free)!
6.  Find out if your Store will Price match other stores. Walmart allows ‘ad matching’ — meaning if you bring in the ad of a competitors store, they will match the sale price of that particular product. Target allows ‘price matching’ — meaning you can match online prices & ad prices.

Most of all, please remember to have fun while couponing and saving money. It does require a little bit of research and work on your part, but your bank account will thank you for it. Happy Couponing!

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