Friday, May 13, 2011

Getting Started With Coupons

I wanted to write a post about getting started with coupons. I know many of you are here because you have seen the Extreme Couponing show. I want to share a little bit about how we got started couponing and some advice on getting started:

How we started couponing
We started couponing when I found out I would be losing my job. I was the larger income in the house and  that income was going to be gone.  We had to look at our finances and start to figure out what we were spending money on.  I will admit prior to this point we were not very focused on what we spent money on.  I wanted to find a way to contribute to the household budget when I was not bringing in a paycheck. I started with 1 $.25 coupon. Yes a quarter value coupon!!! I went to Safeway with a good friend and used the coupon on a product I was already buying. I was so excited that I had saved a quarter I had to call John and tell him. He thought this was crazy funny since I had never paid attention before. I was the girl who went out and bought the cute $100 shoes because I liked them. This was a drastic change for me. My love of coupons quickly grew from there. I bought a newspaper subscription and spent my Sunday mornings clipping coupons. Last year we were able save over $10,000 with coupons and sales.

Advice on getting started
The shopping trip that we did on Extreme Couponing is larger than our normal shopping trips. Please do not pressure yourself to go to the store and save a couple hundred dollars the first time you use coupons. If you manage to do it that is great but do not feel like this is something you have to do.  Even if you save 1 dollar with coupons that is a dollar that you are keeping in your checkbook!

I would suggest figuring out how much you spend now on groceries and other products. I would write this down so when you do start saving with coupons you have a reference point of how much you are saving. It is a great feeling when you look up after a month or two and realize how much money you have saved by using coupons.

Please ask questions! I am happy to answer any questions I can here on the blog, via email or on the Tammilee Tips Facebook page. I know that when I started I had a ton of questions. I can honestly say there are still days that new things come up and I have to look for answers.

Couponing is like any other skill you are trying to learn it takes time. 

Organization is key to being able to save the most money with coupons. Your coupons do not help you save money if they are on the kitchen counter while you are at the store. I highly suggest finding a system that you are comfortable with. I started with an envelope in my purse. When the coupons started to take over my purse I moved to a larger organizer and then up to a binder. I really like using the binder system because I am able to easily see the coupons I have when I am at the store.

I hope that this helps as you start using coupons. Please let me know if you have questions about coupons and how to use them. I started this website so I could share coupons and how they have impacted our lives.


Anonymous said...

my question is how do u get so much of the same product.

Anonymous said...

I want to know how I can shop for the things I really need in 1 shopping trip. I don't like driving to 10 stores just to get 1 or 2 products for free. I would like to know how you plan your shopping trips like the 1 to be aired today on TLC. I noticed that most of the bloggers don't share this technique. They share deals from each stores but how do I just compile it into 1 trip.... Thanks a bunch..

Mom vs. the boys said...

saw the show - great job!

Angie said...

Hi Tammilee!
I saw you on TLC tonight and I loved seeing a fellow Spokanian on the show! I was convinced it wasn't possible in our area since no one does double coupons but it looked like you were shopping at Fred Meyer. Is that correct? Great job and THANKS for all the hard work you put into the website!!!!

DIAPERS in the DESERT said...

Just finished watching the show a couple of hours ago BUT didn't realize it was you until I read this post. CRAZZY!!! Good Job... You looked amazing!

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