Although I stopped couponing a few months ago because I got crazy busy at work and wasn't shopping as much, I still appreciate a good deal as much as the next person. And I learned a ton of things when I started couponing that I'll never stop doing, no matter how little time I have. So I thought I'd link up at Kelly's Korner today to pass the torch, so to speak, to the next "generation" of couponers.
($4.65 for everything at Target)
1) Don't Be Intimidated
First, don't let the extreme couponing hype scare you away... you don't have to buy seventeen newspapers a week to save a big chunk of change. In fact, I cut my grocery bill from ~$125/week to ~$45/week by just buying one newspaper a week (which I got for an amazing $1/week in Houston) and a little time and creativity. When I was in law school and money was tight, it was more than worth the couple of hours it took each week to cut/organize the coupons and plan my shopping trips. If you get to a point at which your time is worth more than the money you're saving, then stop. But for me, $360 a month went a long way for a long time.
1) Learn the Basics
There's no sense in me reinventing the wheel here. There are people far more clever than I who have already broken this down for newbies, so go here or here to find out how to get started. In general, My Litter was my favorite couponing site because she was honest, funny, and had good regional deals - she lives in Houston and, when I lived there, provided the best local deals. I also loved Hip2Save, My Dallas Mommy, and Money Saving Mom, as well.
2) Start Clipping Coupons
3) Wait for a Sale
($3.82 for everything at Target)
Once you've got your list, go shop! And, for non-grocery deals, make friends with Amazon. I honestly can't tell you how much money I've saved by shopping at Amazon. Go here to see some of my best deals (and learn about how I was a borderline shopaholic last Christmas. Go ahead and judge. :))
Again, there are other places to get a super-detailed tutorial, but this is just how I always approached couponing. One thing to remember is that most people don't love the lady who's checking out with a huge stack of coupons to get through. So try and be courteous by having everything organized ahead of time and by being an honest, fair couponer.
Happy shopping, y'all!