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Couponing Basics - Learn How to Use Coupons

Couponing for Beginners

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Introduction - It Is Time to Get Started Using Coupons

Have you wanted to use coupons, but you are not sure how to get started? Do you want to cut the cost of how much you are paying for groceries and drugstore products, but feel overwhelmed with what you have seen on other couponing sites and on televisions programs like The Learning Channel program (TLC) "Extreme Couponing"?

Don't feel bad. We all felt overwhelmed when we first began to use coupons. But with this step-by-step couponing tutorial, you will learn how to use coupons combined with smart shopping strategies that will help you immediately save money on food and drugstore products.

Couponing Tutorial Overview

First we will briefly review the benefits of using coupons, then we'll take a realistic look at how much you can save, go over new shopping habits that will help you and finally get into the meat and potatoes of how to put it all together for maximum savings.

Let's Begin:

Why Use Coupons?

In 2011, shoppers redeemed coupons totaling $4.6 billion in savings, an increase of 12.2 percent over 2010, and 58.6 percent higher than 2006. (Source - NCH Marketing Services, Inc.).

Why are so many people using coupons now compared to five years ago? The number one reason is that since the 2007 recession money is tighter and food and other grocery products cost more.

There has also been more exposure to the benefits of couponing discussed on television, especially since the "Extreme Couponing" program first aired.

And finally, because a more frugal lifestyle is considered to be smart and savvy now, rather than just cheap.

Realistic Expectations

Most everyone would love to go to a store and walk out with a case of free toothpaste, but in the real world of couponing that kind of experience is rare.

In the article, Extreme Couponing vs. Reality Couponing, I discuss in depth the reasons why that type of couponing is almost impossible to duplicate. It doesn't mean that by using coupons you won't get free products, because you most certainly can, and a lot of them. However, it is important when you first begin couponing to have a realistic idea of how much you can save. You run the risk of becoming discouraged and giving up if your expectations are too high.

So How Much Can You Realistically Save Using Coupons?

Depending on your level of involvement you can quickly begin saving 30 to 60 percent off your weekly grocery and drugstore purchases by combining coupons with our saving strategies which we'll get into later. As you get more involved, your savings will increase.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2010 the average U.S. family spent $6,443 a year on food, or around $125 a week. Based on that number, let's take a look at what the actual dollars saved on food (just food!) could look like:

  • Weekly Savings - $37.50 to $75
  • Monthly Savings - $150 to $300
  • Yearly Savings - $1800 to $3600
Include the free products, money-back programs and other premium products that you will begin to accumulate and the dollars saved will continue to increase. And the more comfortable you get with couponing and smart grocery shopping, the more your savings will increase. If you find this appealing, then couponing is for you.

Learn to Coupon Series

Shopping Habits That Cost Us Money Grocery Stores - Tricks of the Trade Grocery Coupons Organizing Coupons
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