Extreme Couponing Class: Week 10 (June 6, 2011)

You’ve made it! After ten short weeks, you’ve learned the nuts and bolts of couponing!

If you didn’t manage to read all the Monday classes, you can always take part in the next free couponing course again!

Go here to learn more.

As we come to the end of this session of the ten week couponing class it’s time to reflect on all that you’ve learned, and what things are still puzzling or problematic to you. Specifically, I’d like to touch on three main themes that you should remember to keep in mind as you move forward. For those of you who are interested in taking part but haven’t yet had the chance to do so, there is a new class starting next week – so don’t worry. As always, the coupon class assignments are delivered on Mondays, and the rest of the deals and freebies come throughout the week.
So what do we want to review about couponing today?

There are three main ideas that will be coming up for you in the near future that I’d like to highlight today. In each of these three areas, you will see that gaining as much mastery as possible will benefit you enormously.

1. Stockpiling: The purpose of couponing, as we have discussed, is to always buy products at their lowest price point. You can do this by combining coupons in ways that take advantage of both manufacturers’ coupons, store coupons, and/or store deals. However, in order to truly get the lowest price on items, you cannot wait until you need something to buy it. Instead, you have to be constantly planning and looking towards the future to anticipate what you may need in the future. A frugal shopper knows to keep his or her eyes open for great deals, and snag them when they are at their best ever. Then, you can store the items until you need them. This is an important practice, and will always remain a keystone of your couponing life if you moved forward.

2. Unadvertised Deals (a good eye gets the deal): Another important element to couponing is remembering that there are many spontaneous or unexpected deals that are truly amazing, and well worth taking advantage of. There are a couple key ways to always find those unadvertised deals:

  • Make sure to scout the clearance shelf. Combining manufacturers’ coupons with clearance items is an amazing way to score near freebies!
  • Ask the manager if there are any unadvertised specials this week. Sometimes it helps to just ask someone who works at the store if there are any other deals that may not be listed in the circular that are particularly hot.
  • Always bring all your coupons with you. Although early on in the class I made it clear that you should only worry about the specific deals assigned for you to do that week, in moving forward you want to be prepared to take advantage of spontaneous deals. The way to do that is to make sure that you have all your coupons at your fingertips.

3. Streamlining Your Couponing System: As you move forward to become lifelong couponers I wanted to encourage you all to be thinking about what works for you and what doesn’t work for you in couponing. Over time, this will help you develop a personalized, streamlined way to both store, cut, and use your coupons in a way that is most efficient for you. People take part in couponing in different ways, and I wanted to give you the two main ways that individuals approach couponing:

  • Cut all your coupons and put them in a divided folder system that you can take with you to the stores
  • Store all your coupon inserts whole in a binder and carry this entire binder to the stores when you coupon.

freeflys

Which one appeals to you?

It’s okay if you are not sure yet, and I would encourage you to keep trying different methods to see what best appeals to you. Ultimately, this is the best way to find out what system works for you. Finally, I wanted to ask you personally how you are feeling about your couponing skills? Have you been able to make great strides in your family’s budget? I’d love to hear more thoughts from you readers that have learned things during this course, or those readers who still have more questions. As always, I’m here via email to answer any queries you may have at savingmoneyplan(at)gmail(dot)com. Thanks for taking part and happy couponing!