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Sunday, October 3, 2010

Smart Second Moves for Beginning Couponers

Here's a helpful article from

I've been thinking not just about things I wish I had known about couponing sooner - but things that would have made months 1 - 6 of my couponing SO much easier. Moving beyond the "Buy the Sunday paper" and "start organizing your coupons" type of tips.

1. Know the big no-nos for couponing and abide by honest couponing: This was the biggest thing I wish I had known that first month.

a. Those first few weeks, I didn't know it is illegal to photocopy Internet coupons, but now there is no way in the world you'd catch me giving a photocopy. It's dishonest, and hurts couponers everywhere. Don't photocopy coupons you get on the Internet. Ever.

b. Don't manipulate coupons (pdfs and otherwise) to even do something as innocuous as save paper. Again - it's illegal to do anything to coupons except print them out.

c. Don't use coupons for anything other than the product(s) that are clearly spelled out on the coupon. The store that you redeem that coupon at has to show they sold the product that is on the coupon, or they do not get reimbursed. If that coupon says "Product X, grape flavor only" and you find out it can be used on any flavor of Product X - no matter how tempting - don't do it. You are essentially stealing that coupon dollar amount from your store. They will not get reimbursed for that product and it is considered a loss for the company. If your store suddenly had to stop accepting coupons due to unacceptable levels of loss, you would see the direct effect using coupons improperly can have.

d. Practice Good Coupon Karma: Don't take more coupons from the tearpad than you can possible use. Don't clear the shelves when taking part in a deal. Give coupons freely to friends and family - and offer to "RAOK" (Random Act of Kindness; sending another member or couponer coupons without asking for anything in return) other members at WUC.

2. Get a subscription to All You magazine: All You magazine is a women's magazine produced by Walmart, and has more coupons per month than any other national magazine available. You can also get it in Walmart each month, but I like getting it delivered; I don't forget it that way.

Subscribe here: - it's a GREAT resource for coupons each and every month.

3. Begin collecting Coca-Cola codes and Box Tops for Education ( BTFE ) if you don't already. : Among some couponers, the codes from Coca-Cola products and the small "Box Tops for Education" logos on most General Mills products are a kind of currency. For many couponers, you can offer Coke Codes or BTFE in exchange for coupons in the Trading Forums.
If you don't drink a lot of soda, start looking for Coke bottle caps on the ground, or ask friends to start saving them for you. These are real currency in the couponing community.

4. Start understanding couponing acronyms and forum speak: Pretty quickly, you'll start to see that couponers sometimes have their own language! Start by getting to understand the list of common abbreviations here : Acronyms & Abbreviations for WUC. You'll be more able to negotiate some of the deals posted here (and elsewhere online) if you have a firm grasp of these abbreviations!

5. Tell your friends and family to be on the lookout for you! : For some reason, a common first step for new couponers is not to say anything to anyone about their new experiences couponing. Perhaps we feel we'll be ridiculed or are embarrassed. On the contrary, if you are embracing couponing as both a way to reduce your monthly expenses AND as a hobby of sorts, be proud! Let people know you are starting out in couponing. You'll be surprised at the number of people who don't coupon who will start bringing you inserts, tearpads, and blinkies they find. Thank them genuinely even if it isn't a product you want or use - you are encouraging them to continue to bring you coupons!

As always, read the forums and get involved in those forums where you shop. The Forum Leaders and Moderators are experienced and above all, approachable and friendly. Questions are always welcome; we're here to learn right along side you! If you don't feel comfortable posting your question in the forum, feel free to send the Forum Leader a private message through WUC. We are happy to help you succeed!


thriftymomma said...

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Kaprice said...

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