Couponing 101: Four things all good couponers remember to do

Hey there fellow couponers and coupon newbies!


Todays couponing lesson is on the 4 most important things all good couponers remember to do.



It just so happens that these 4 things are the ones that I personally have had the hardest time remembering to do on a consistent basis lol. 

Does that make me a bad couponer?

I wouldn't go as far as saying that lol I'm just a tad forgetful and also even though I am learning quickly I'm still a newbie and I'm prone to making mistakes. However because I want all of you to be as best equipped for couponing as you can be I wanted to make sure I let you in on these 3 important things all good couponers remember to do.

1) ALWAYS PRICE CHECK

I don't care if its clearance or the regular price of something on a shelf. I no longer EVER trust what that little sticker says! Especially in Target, their prices are never what they say they are even if something is on clearance at Target there is a 89.995% chance that whatever that little red sticker says is a DAMMMMN LIE and its probably cheaper =)

Dont believe me? Just watch...

Marked clearance price 3.07 actual price 1.84

Marked clearance price 1.48 actual price .88 cents

Marked clearance price was 6.98 actual price 2.98

See what I'm talking about?  

Target is a big store and although they have set days where they mark things down some stuff can get lost in the sauce and the computer system will have it at a cheaper price but a store workers never got around to marking it down physically...which can have you second guessing if you should buy something or leave it right there where it sits.

Trust me almost all couponers decide if a deal is worth doing or if an item is worth buying by figuring out how much their OOP will be after they use their coupons, OR if they don't have a coupon for an item, how much they will be spending in general. 

For all the items pictured above I did NOT have coupons for them but I did want to buy them for my office. Had I just looked at the items and trusted the price I probably would not have gotten anything because I was already spending a lot of money on other items with no coupons.

However once I did the price check I saw that I had some wiggle room in my budget.

Lesson: NEVER TRUST IT, ALWAYS  CHECK IT


2) ORGANIZE YOUR CART

Keep like items together and different transactions separate 


This may be the number one thing I suck at. Partially because I'm a reckless cart pusher and even if I try to set things up all nice and pretty they wind up getting flung around anyway as I whip through aisles (imagine the type of driver I am lol) and the other part has to deal with the fact that when I'm shopping I'm in go mode. 

Because I shop at stores that have a high couponer population, I know I need to get what I want off the shelf before another couponer comes down the aisle ready to grab what I'm grabbing....I mean think about it we all get the same coupons pretty much sooooo most likely if you're in the aisle with me we are going to be reaching for the same free product.

So most times I just toss stuff into my cart to worry about it later....

But later quickly becomes too late when there are a million and 2 things in my cart and I need to do 3 to 4 different transactions to abide by item limit and coupon limit or if I'm using multiple cards. 

Note: I do realize that last statement makes me sound like a crazy couponer who clears the shelves... but honestly I live with my boyfriend 4 boxes of granola bars with only 5 bars in each between the two of us will be gone in a week if we both only eat one a day (which is not realistic in our house lol)....I need to buy at least 8 and if the store only allows me 4 on one card no matter if I buy different kinds....i need two cards -___- 

Moving on...like I was saying...If you wait to organize your cart when you get to the cashier you're either going to hold up the whole line FOREVER trying to figure out what goes in what transaction and you'll probably freak out under the pressure of too many coupons, people staring and a cashier that is hella impatient or you're going to be standing at the front of the store tossing things from one side of your cart to the other talking to yourself while people look at you like your crazy.

Not that I mind the stares anymore but your best bet is to organize as you go, put one transaction on one side of the cart and the other on the other side. Or if you have a friend shopping with you use two carts, also pull coupons as you go and put them in an envelop, your pocket ect, do whatever you need to do to separate them so when checkout comes you're not looking like boo boo the fool with missing coupons.

This past week I took the time to organize my cart when I was doing multiple transactions and everything went soooooo smooth. Having the right coupons and the right items matched up helps so much...at the end of my first transaction this was my total

Yes that is a negative balance in that sub total =)

Lesson: DONT BE MESSY, KEEP THAT CART CLEAN


3) HAVE A DAMN PLAN

Im so proud of myself and the fact that I'm getting a lot better at this. I even got myself a little note pad so I can stay on track and write down what I'm in a store for, what I need to get and what I can/should get if the price is right. 

This past week I had a plan at Harris Teeter a grocery store that was having a huge event where they double coupons up to two dollars and I was able to get all this for around 7 bucks in 2 hours or so!


Had I not had a plan NOTHING and I mean NOTHING could have saved me from circling that store for hours upon hours.....upon hours. DONT let that happen to you trust me you aint bout that life LOL 

And neither am I but the sad part is that I used to do this all the time, I would go into a store having not looked at their sale paper, not pulled any coupons and not even decided how much I'm willing to spend in a trip. Then I would get home 4 hours later pissed because I forgot to get things I needed but got a whole bunch of crap I didn't and had spent too much.

Trust me if you're new you don't need to be walking around a store trying to find deals on the fly, you will come home with things you don't need just because it was a "good deal" and thats a no no.

Before you go to a store, look at their sale paper. You can see CVS sale paper in advance HERE, and Walgreens sale paper in advance HERE. Often times your local super markets will have their up coming weeks sale papers in store 3 to 4 days prior to that sale. On your next shopping trip take a second and kindly ask customer service if you can have one for the up coming week (I have never been told no). Look at what deals they have coming, mark what you want in the paper or write it down, then pull out your coupons and put them in an envelope or accordion holder and set it aside for next week.

When you go to the store you will have your list and the coupons you need ready to go =) in advance might I add!

If you're a newbie and you don't have a plan....do yourself a favor and just don't go couponing that day lol 

Lesson: FAIL TO PLAN...PLAN TO FAIL


4) GET A RAIN CHECK!!!

This last one seems simple enough right? However I still forget to do this every damn time I'm at a store and they don't have what I want....then as soon as the sale is over somehow I magically remember "oh you should have gotten a raincheck" and I feel like an idiot because I'm pretty much S.O.L -----> Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiid out of luck!


For those of you who don't know what rain checks are, they are little slips of paper that pretty much extend the sale of an item for you. If you go to your local store and they do not have an item that is on sale, you can tell customer service and they will write you a rain check. So you can come back later when the item is back in stock (most often when the sale is over) and get that item for the price that it was during the sale, no matter what the current price is.

Some stores have rain checks that never expire (PRAISE JESUS) and some have ones that last a few months. There are also some stores who actually will not give rain checks on some items, most often when they advertise things and say "while supplies last" (BOOOO HISSSSS) lol. There are also some store who will not give rain checks *cough* Target *cough* on items that have a promotion attached to it such as...."get a free gift card with purchase"

UGH, you all really don't understand how many deals I have missed out on because of forgetting to get a rain check. It honestly may do you the most good to actually go around the store when you get there and find all the things you wanted that they don't have and go get rain checks first just so you don't forget or make a note in your not pad as you go.

Oh...and don't worry if you get a rain check for something and a coupon for the item expires.....there will be another coupon for it...there is ALWAYS another coupon for it.

Another DOPE ASS positive to getting rain checks is you can stack them with new deals, to make your savings even better. So lets say you got a rain check for deodorant when it was 1.99 and its normally 3.00. Then another sale come up where the same deodorant is BOGO. You can use your 1.99 rain check and it will go along with the current BOGO offer so instead of paying 3.00 for one and get one free,  you will only have to pay 1.99 for one and get the other free and if you have coupons for the items it makes the deal even sweeter. 

Lesson: GET THEM RAIN CHECK THEN MAKE IT RAIN!


LMAO....im sorry that last lesson even made me giggle. I hope these little tips helped any newbies or current couponers out there. I really do enjoy doing these little lessons for you guys, I'm all about saving these dollars and no matter if you have been couponing for 5 days or 5 years its always nice to have a little refresher and get some tips!

If you guys have any questions or there is a specific couponing topic you would like me to write about let me know in the comments below. Also if any of you have started couponing be sure to check in with me and let me know how its going either here or on IG tag your hauls, breakdowns ect with #PrettyGirlsCoupon & #Regularasslife and ill be sure to take a look =)

Until Next Time,
XO Deanna

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