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View Full Version : ~~** Lots of GREAT couponing tips from the HCW mods!** ~~



mcscheatzle
11-20-2008, 05:50:11 AM
MOD NOTE: this thread started as a wonderful RAOK to the mods.
So many great tips were shared, we wanted to keep it up in the trading area for all members to benefit from!


please tell us your best "couponing" tip.

My family and I have benefitted SOOOO much from this site over the past year. I am so grateful. I am continually amazed at my progress and the fact I don't "need" to go shopping for weeks maybe months!

There seems to be an explosion of people couponing now b/c of the economy. Hopefully this site will continue to grow and be prosperous for the owners.

Good Luck and Thanks! to all!:smile:

pennywatcher
11-20-2008, 06:31:20 AM
I think stockpiling is an important concept for folks to grasp. I suspect that most people would be able to take a serious chunk out of their bill, without ever touching a single coupon, if they would watch the sales and buy multiples when the items are cheap.

PHmom
11-20-2008, 07:23:29 AM
I agree and would add that I think stockpiling HBC items is just as important as stockpiling food. There are times when, if I hadn't had some in the cabinet, my DH wouldn't have had a razor to shave with - I certainly didn't have $10 to go buy a good razor at full price. And who wants to run out of TP, shampoo, or toothpaste? LOL

mom2lucas
11-20-2008, 07:33:58 AM
The first thing I tell new couponers is that you don't have to use a coupon right away! Sometimes if the coupon isn't hot when you get it, its best to wait for a better deal. Check out ad previews and see if you can find the same item at a lower price in a few weeks. Use the coupon when the deal makes the most sense.

ShoppingCartDiva
11-20-2008, 07:44:14 AM
Nice RAOK! :) I always tell people that just because you have a coupon, doesn't mean you should use it. :) I see too many people buying things they wouldn't, or more expensive brands/items, just because they have a coupon. And like mom2lucas said, know when to use it! It's like playing Poker, know when to hold and know when to fold.

ladywaterwind
11-20-2008, 07:47:01 AM
What a nice raok! I think this has been my favorite one ever hehe

I always tell people that even if you don't coupon, for whatever reason, at least pay attention to the deals at drug stores. While the normal prices at CVS, WAGS, and etc are usually out of this world they have the BEST deals on HBA items, which, after meat, seem to be the most expensive area of groceries for most people.

Doreen
11-20-2008, 07:49:46 AM
There is no way I can compete with the girls above me (those girls are seasoned couponers) but, here's my tip of the day.

I suggested this at the Kansas Coupon Group, and everyone loved the idea some did this at Kmart doubles here. I did this for my nephew when he went off to college last fall.

If you are going to be donating or gifting, spend your overage on laundry baskets instead of stackables.

greenfrog57
11-20-2008, 08:04:30 AM
Thanks for offering this RAOK!!! You ROCK!!!

Anyhow, my tip is to be more organized than I am.... Find a good organization system that works for you! Know where to find the coupons you need for a sale. I don't cut until I need to for a deal or trade....

ASweetHeart
11-20-2008, 08:05:52 AM
Become familiar with the prices of different things.

For example, I know off the top of my head that small boxes Kelloggs cereal at the regular over inflated price is about $3. An ok sale price is $2.-$2.50. Buy 10 boxes after coupon price is about 3/$5. I know from expirience that I can find a 3/$5 sale every few weeks.

Now if I see a new coupon come out in inserts, tearpads or peelies for $1 off one and I'm getting low on cereal, I'll trade for a bunch even if it's not on sale at the moment. Why? Because I know a sale will be coming up, and if I wait to trade for them, I'll risk my coupons coming in late, not being able to find the coupons, or having them become so hot it's not worth trading for them.

Another tip, when you see a freebie coupon come out in the inserts, I like to wait until the absolute last minute I can before they expire to trade for them. When they first come out, everyone is ISO of them and the people who do have them often charge an arm and a leg for them. If you wait until a week and a halfish before they expire, interest in them drops dramatically and you can get them for almost nothing.

seedlady
11-20-2008, 08:17:53 AM
save all the inserts. you never know when that 50 cents off creamed spinach will make a deal SING!

zoeys_mom
11-20-2008, 09:17:17 AM
What a sweet raok.
My tip:

Save free coupons for a better deal. Sure it is great you are getting free dog treats, free worchestershire etc., but wouldn't it be better to get paid to buy them!
Many times those freebie coupons are a participating item on a store promo where you have to spend so much to earn money off, or so many items to get $ off. If you save that coupon, you can get to that threshold easier. Also free coupons are great to save for bogo sales so you get 2 free instead of one!

Cin42382
11-20-2008, 10:46:38 AM
Wow what a sweet RAOk :)

It's hard to pick just one piece of advice LOL, so I won't hahaha...I will name my top few :

1 - Take a breath and don't get overwelmed:)
2 - Don't throw away coupons - Even if you can't use them there is almost ALWAYS someone else who can - trade trade and trade some more
3 - Don't stress out over sales or coupons - Another great sale will come along and so will another great coupon - if you miss this one, catch the next

4 - Most important coupon advice ever.............................................. .................................................. .................................................. .............................................






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JOIN HOT COUPON WORLD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But that's a no-brainer hahahaa:giggle2:

nrpeace17
11-20-2008, 12:06:26 PM
Thanks for this chance!
My tip is to know the policies of the stores you shop at.
Always ask if they take competitor coupons, you will sometimes be surprised at the answers you get. Between price matching and using competotor coupons, you not only get the best deals, but you save on gas costs.

YouPdWhat
11-20-2008, 12:08:15 PM
1st off I want to say thanks for such a generous RAOK it's greatly appreciated.


Save all your coupons you never know when you may need them. I use to go through & only cut & save what I thought I would use then throw the rest away. It never failed I always ended up hating myself later. After doing this numerous times I finally learned my lesson to save them all.
Rain checks are your best friend
Price Match whenever possible
Get as much as you can, stockpile when you can or there will be times you will say "I wish I had..."
Trade, Trade, Trade. Share the coupons you don't use for those you do.
If you don't have one buy a freezer whenever possible. I use to miss so many frozen food deals because I just didn't have the freezer space. I can not tell you have many times over I have recouped the money I spent on my freezer. It was a great investment.
Don't forget your dry & canned goods. If hard times should hit these will be very essential.
There are more but I will stop here. :smile:

megan_love
11-20-2008, 01:02:04 PM
Thanks for this RAOK.

I would have to say, the best advice I could give is to help others with your free/cheap items you get. Whether it's your family, friends or donating to a charity. There is always someone who can use the item if you can't. It feels good to give to others & know you got a great deal.

You have to stay organized, if not, then you are messed up & behind for weeks, months, it seems like you never get caught up again. (I'm going through this now) :(

cheynesnana
11-20-2008, 02:09:20 PM
This is so sweet of you.. Thank you !

Ok.. well all of the wonderful ladies ahead of me pretty much covered everything.. :giggle2: I would have to say, getting organized is super important... and stockpile.. stockpile.. stockpile.. if you get a good supply of HBA items that's money you can use for your groceries.. also, start slow, pick one store and learn it before moving on to another... keeps you from feeling quite so overwhelmed!

bugface711
11-20-2008, 02:30:34 PM
Ok, here are a few of my fav tips that popped into my head, I am like cin. just cant do one!
1. TRADE TRADE TRADE for coupons you can use to stock up. Yep it was already said but its one I think is so very important :smile:
2. if you have monthly meds, move them around and get those gift cards for transfers!!
3. dont forget to do rebates. This is just about the only way I save money on meats and seafood.
4. No start is too small! Print a few coupons that are good on a current sale and just get started!
5. When people ask me how I do what I do when I am in the stores I ask this: Are you planning to spend some money in this store today? When they say yes, I say ok first grab the ad. Find something that is free after extra buck or register reward etc. Use the money you had planned to spend on your item for this first. Then use your reward, extra buck etc. on what you planned to buy when you came in. You now just doubled what you got for your money. If there is more than 1 freebie, do a few transactions. Its such a simple start its also how I resart if I take a break or spend all of my extra bucks, register rewards, gift cards. etc.



:BigHand: thanks for offering this :biggrin:

luvmy3boys
11-20-2008, 02:40:58 PM
Whoa! How generous of you!
Everyone has such good advice, not sure what I can add here.
I think that if you find some kind of organizing system for your coupons that it will greatly help. I file them away by insert and then I have a list of all the coupons in each insert that I update. So, when I need a coupon for a deal, I look at my list to see if my area got it and then go to that date in the file box. I only clip what I know I will use and file everything else by insert date.

Shadowchasy
11-20-2008, 08:05:22 PM
Thank you for the RAOK

Already so many good tips, but here is what I tell my coupon class at every meeting.

1) Join Hotcouponworld
2) Take it slow, and learn one store at a time. It can be over whelming.
3) Dont throw the small amount coupons away, as they come in handy on double/triple day.
4) Stock up on non perishable items when they are Free or nearly Free.
5) Don't forget to stock up on laundry supplies, baby needs if u have small ones.

PMFan
11-21-2008, 04:11:20 AM
thanks for your generous offer !

my best couponing tip would be to find reliable sources for multiple coupons (friends, family, regular traders). you cannot use coupons if you don't have coupons :)

other tips:
if you're new to couponing/stockpiling method of saving, my number 1 piece of advice is to educate yourself. READ the couponing basics, FAQs and store policy/FAQ threads for stores in your area.

subscribe to the forums at HCW for the stores you shop at, this way you will get an email each time a new thread/deal is posted.

review the coupon previews to get a head start to trade for coupons for items you use often or "HOT" coupons. even if there is not a current deal on the item, if the coupon has a long exp date, odds are a deal will come along.

review the ad previews here at HCW, again, getting a head start on trading/clipping coupons to prepare for your shopping.

tacatcon
11-23-2008, 06:29:44 AM
Wow! This is super nice of you to offer! I am in awe of my co-mods and all the Admins here every day so I don't know how much I can add!

My #1 tip would be to have confidence when you go into the store to do your deal. As long as you are following the policies of the store and the language of the coupon, you are not doing anything wrong. I think many of us often feel a little timid and maybe back down when the store cashier or manager says no even though we know we are right. Don't be afraid to ask "why not". So be armed with knowledge and hold your head high! And smile! You catch more flies with honey right? :wink7:

cuzisaidso
11-24-2008, 06:05:15 AM
If there is a deal that creates overage buy it even if you don't use the product. You can use the overage on items you do use and you can give away the product you don't use to someone who does.
When you do have overage try to use it on items you don't normally get coupons for.
When buying online always, always do a search for a coupon code for that store. I brought the price of a Garmin GPS down from $185 to $110.

Mikki 316
11-24-2008, 09:44:47 AM
Okay. Basics are covered. Here's one that's really helped me:

Figure out the SALES CYCLES for your area's stores and stockpile enough to last until the next big deal. This works especially well with stockpiling food items and grocery items.

Thanks for the very thoughtful RAOK ideal, OP. You Rock!

heyaheather
11-24-2008, 10:00:41 AM
TY for this RAOK! So sweet of you!

In addition to what everyone else said, one piece of advise would be to know the coupon policies at the stores you shop. Then follow those policies. You can keep a print out of some stores policies with you to show store personnel when something is questionable.

mcscheatzle
11-24-2008, 06:10:31 PM
I was just thinking of this the other day! Three store in my area have been tripling. I find it very hard to keep all three policies in my head!:giggle2: I also find my self asking here, "so, its three like Qs or is it 4 for a total of 20 or ummm is it unlimited here??!":confused71:


TY for this RAOK! So sweet of you!

In addition to what everyone else said, one piece of advise would be to know the coupon policies at the stores you shop. Then follow those policies. You can keep a print out of some stores policies with you to show store personnel when something is questionable.

bugface711
11-25-2008, 07:04:09 AM
Very cool RAOK. Congrats to our winner! Also a TNT coach!!

So, there are some GREAT tips in this thread. OP, I am going to move this to our trading rules & guidelines area in a few days so all members can benefit from it for a long time!

Shadowchasy
11-29-2008, 08:41:41 AM
Thank you...I really enjoy helping others learn. This site has been a life saver for me in more ways that I can express.

This site ROCKS and I Am PROUD to be a part of it.

mcscheatzle
12-14-2008, 06:59:55 PM
My #1 tip would be to have confidence when you go into the store to do your deal. As long as you are following the policies of the store and the language of the coupon, you are not doing anything wrong. I think many of us often feel a little timid and maybe back down when the store cashier or manager says no even though we know we are right. Don't be afraid to ask "why not". So be armed with knowledge and hold your head high! And smile! You catch more flies with honey right? :wink7:

I Used this today at Safeway!!! TY The manager was not so great, I knew I was right.:wink7:

Whispered
04-14-2010, 01:39:06 AM
I admit, i got burned out for awhile, on the coupons.. but.. what I have learned, is , what everyone else has said:
STOCKPILING!!

KNOW YOUR PRICES~ (don't be fooled by the groceries, "Sales Specials", sometimes, i really laugh at those, when they've actually upped the price, like our 12 packs of cokes, for some bizzare reason.. went up to ... 7.79
ONE 12 pack... faint..
I try and pay no more then 2.50 or under, for 12 cans.. so I waited and i always keep stocked.. the next wk, they were back for 2.79.. still more then i normally pay.. but wasn't taking any chances!! lol

Keep a notebook, of your lowest prices, you've ever gotten for an item .. and when!
I use a small photograph album, for my coupons, and even keep slots just for Cvs (also store my ECB's, in that pocket) :BigHand: and other stores. I keep a price list, in the back, too.

I know that i can get swansons broth (for my cats :wavehi:, lol) the cheapest is at 49 cents , then i grab 10-20 of them.

Do your homework, before you leave the house!
Check out this site and others that give you the % of how much you save.

Q Trains, can be really wonderful assests!!

I'm just just starting to dip my toe, into the water of trading here and seeing how it goes.. it will be fun~:smile:

p ps: there is nothing like that feeling, of having a very full larder!
knowing you have 6-12 months stock, on almost free toothpaste, shampoos, lotions.. is Bliss!!~

Plan Well~ and theres always more to learn.. i still feel like i need a mentor at times!! lol.. just to tweek my sytem.

most of all.. have fun~:biggrin:

bugface711
01-11-2011, 04:50:31 PM
bumping this up for new members

OneHotMomma
03-07-2011, 12:26:30 AM
I know this RAOK is over but my tip is: If you need a break from couponing, take a break! Sometimes life gets crazy and there are still good deals to be had but they will come back around again. Don't be afraid to miss a deal and stress yourself out if you have other things going on. You don't have to make it to the store when you do need to make cupcakes for your child's bake sale by tomorrow. Take a break and start again next week, or next month.

mcscheatzle
03-07-2011, 05:35:42 AM
I know this RAOK is over but my tip is: If you need a break from couponing, take a break! Sometimes life gets crazy and there are still good deals to be had but they will come back around again. Don't be afraid to miss a deal and stress yourself out if you have other things going on. You don't have to make it to the store when you do need to make cupcakes for your child's bake sale by tomorrow. Take a break and start again next week, or next month.

I do this all of the time. It get to be to much sometimes. There is always another deal coming up!:biggrin: