The following is written by Robyn Adams of The Couponing Journey: Couponing 101: Getting Started Couponing the Right Way
When I first started couponing in 2008, I was overwhelmed with the enormity of information, yet I was determined to chase every deal down and be the perfect couponer.
I was left confused, frustrated, and spending more money than I intended in those early days. Now that I have been at it for 3 years, there are a few things I wish I had known back then.
Like any new skill, you must study to master it. The same is true in learning to coupon. You must spend some time actually learning how to coupon.
Think about some skills you have, such as cooking. You probably cook much better today than you did the first time you tried. There was some experimenting that went on, and different styles you tried before you settled into a cooking rhythm. The same is true of couponing.
There is ample couponing information online to help get you started. Just don’t overwhelm yourself with too much information. Learn some basic strategies like where to find coupons and how to organize them, as well as how to maximize coupons with sales. Just know it’s a skill you will learn and improve upon over time.
I made a mistake when I first started couponing, I tried to work deals like a seasoned pro and I got very confused in the process. There is a method and learning curve to strategic couponing. Expect a few mistakes along the way, just like any new skill. It’s much better to make them on a small scale. Then, as you master the small tasks, you can build up to bigger and better couponing strategies.
Follow a Few Blogs on Couponing
I stress the importance of following a few blogs in the early stages of couponing. Why? If you follow much more than 3 or 4, you will get overwhelmed with information and experience information overload. By sticking with just a few blogs early in the couponing game, you will get a better grasp of how a few expert couponers do it well, rather than bits and pieces of how 20 or 30 couponers do it.
You will see shows like Extreme Couponing and blogs that tout buying hundreds of dollars of products for a few dollars. What many people don’t know is the hours and hours those people spend doing that. I’m happy for people that get that much stuff but I just don’t have that much time.
The only episode of Extreme Couponing I’ve watched had a woman who spends 70 hours a week preparing her coupons and shopping list. I have a family and am a work-at-home mom. I only have a few hours to spend preparing a grocery list and shopping for my family each week. I’m OK with that. Learn to be content with the time you have, too.
Couponing isn’t difficult and is something you can build upon as you gain more knowledge. When you use coupons right, they truly can save your family a considerable amount of money. My family consistently saves 50% or more every week by using coupons smartly. Your family can, too, by following these tips so you start out well and build from there.
Robyn Adams loves to show others how simple couponing and frugal living can be, no matter what stage of life you’re in at “The Couponing Journey.” She’s a “wanna be” Type A personality who spends her days keeping up with two little energetic boys when she’s not chasing down bargains. She also authored the successful ebook “30 Ways to Slash Your Budget in 30 Days” available for free download on her website.