What I Wish I’d Known Before I Started Couponing

Posted on October 2nd, 2011 by Coupon Cathy

Couponing is a blast. It’s fun and rewarding (financially and emotionally)! But, there are a few things that I think are important to keep in mind in order to maximize your rewards and minimize your frustration.

1. Managing Expectations. If you are like me, you have been disappointed once or twice after finding out about an amazing deal. Why? When you arrive at your destination, you find that someone (or maybe a few people) got there before you did and cleared out the shelves! This has happened to me enough that I have developed two ways to handle the best deals. First, I try to get to the deal as soon as I find out about it. Second, if I’m not able to get to the store for a few days, I make sure to make the most of the trip to that store in case the great deal is no longer available.

2. The Fine Print. I recently discovered a money-making deal on a water filter. After a coupon and rebate, I stood to make $5 on my purchase. Since I could print two coupons, I did. Then, as I was filling out the rebate form, I read that only one rebate per household was allowed. I guess I should have read that before buying the second filter!

3. The Pressure to Hurry. While time is usually of the essence to get most deals, time can sometimes work in your favor. Recently, I realized I could stack a Neutrogena manufacturer’s coupon with a Target store coupon to get a facial cleansing bar for free. I checked the two Target stores closest to me and they were sold out. I presume that there are lots of couponers where I live. In any case, after being initially disappointed for missing out on a great deal, I noticed that the two coupons had several weeks before they would expire. And, the price of the bar was the regular price! So, as long as I just checked back whenever I was in the store, I could get the deal. No hurry! Sure enough, about three weeks after I first discovered the deal, I got my free Neutrogena facial cleansing bar, which I absolutely enjoy using now!

A recent "freebie" purchase.

Lessons learned! Happy couponing!

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