Couponing is something that I just started to do in January 2011. There are a TON of helpful websites out there to help you get the most bang for your buck. My favorite blogs to follow are listed in another tab "My Favorite Blogs". These blogs are great because they do all the hard work for you! They truly help to make couponing so easy. They list great deals as they find them, so you don't have to scour the internet for them. Some of them do store match-ups for all your favorite stores too! Store match ups are GREAT, they list everything that is on sale, then they tell you what coupons you can use and what your final price will be! Even better is, if it's an internet printable coupon...they give you the link to print it out! For non internet printables they tell you where it came from (All You magazine, Redplum, etc) and the date that it was released. See what I mean....they take all the guess work out of couponing for you!!! Some of the blogs, especially two of my favorites www.thekrazycouponlady.com and www.cuckooforcoupondeals.com have tutorial videos and blog posts to help teach you how to coupon. I highly recommend that you check them out.
I am just going to touch on some of the important pointers to help you get started. For starters, the number 1 most important thing to remember is that ANY savings is better then no savings!!! Do not ever get discourage. Don't compare yourself to your friend's, other couponers, or bloggers.Some people have been doing this for years, some places double coupons, while others don't (doubling coupons in SoCal where I live is VERY rare!), some people have a big pool of friends/family to get extra coupons from. Every person or situation is different. But it's just like Abraham Lincoln said "A penny saved is a penny earned".
Another important thing....always, always, always make a list!!! If you don't, you might forget something that you wanted to get that was a good deal. Or, you might second guess yourself in store, think your math is wrong, then wind up buying double what you should have, and then not getting as good a savings as you should have (I was guilty of that one just this week!).
Get organized!! This one is also pretty important. Find a system that works for you and stick to it. For me, I have found that using a binder is the best way for me to stay organized. My binder goes everywhere with me! When I first started out, I stuck all my coupons in an envelope. So there I was in the store, looking through my envelope, trying to find a coupon that I thought I had. Not fun! If you don't get organized, you will have trouble finding the coupons you want to use, and more coupons will expire that you normally would have used.
The last tip I am going to leave you with is start small. Don't plan to go to 3 grocery stores and 2 drug stores your first time out with coupons. Start with 1 store as you get use to looking for the deals and matching them with your coupons. As you get more comfortable with it, then add more stores to the mix. I couponed for over 6 months before I started to add in drug stores (they can get a bit more complicated with their rewards programs, but are well worth it once you add them to the mix). Start small and build yourself up. Find which stores have the best deals, and go from there.
I hope my tips have helped you to get started. I really encourage you do check out some of the blogs that I shared for more tips and pointers. I hope couponing becomes as rewarding for you as it has for me. If you want to see what kind of money I am saving, check out my blog posts. I am posting my savings for each month.