This week youíll find a Smartsource insert with valuable coupons. Also check Parade Magazine. Sometimes you can find coupons there.
This weekís lesson is about ways to reduce stress while couponing. I know some people stop couponing because of the stress, while others wonít even touch the subject of couponing because of the stress. This does not need to be stressful. It should be fun! Who doesnít enjoy saving money? If things donít go our way that can make it frustrating, but itís easier just to realize that if it doesnít go as planned, so what?
There are steps you can take to help reduce the stress of couponing. However, there is also the part where if itís needed, just walk away. If things arenít going right, if the deal isnít what you planned, or if the store is out, you may have to walk away from that deal. Generally, that same deal will come back around again. Plus, you can always ask for a raincheck. Not all stores provide these, but if they do, donít be afraid to ask for one.
There are times that you may have to walk away from a deal because a store isnít properly following their coupon policy. This has happened to me. I will do my best at presenting their coupon policy to them and so forth, but some people just donít understand what youíre telling them. If Iím unable to proceed after talking to a manager I will politely ask the cashier to void my order and take my business elsewhere. Itís not worth arguing over, and it isnít worth any stress. Walk away graciously with a smile on your face.
Preparing for your shopping trip is the biggest way to reduce stress. However, you also have to be okay with your plans going down the drain if you get to the store and they are out of the products that youíre going after. This isnít easy, but trust me it can be done! The more you coupon you will also learn how to alter your shopping list and coupons as you go along. It becomes second nature.
Prepare your shopping trip by creating a list of all items being purchased, a separate list of transactions in the order they need to be done, and organize your coupons before you go. Stick to your list as much as possible. This helps reduce stress because it helps you stick to your budget. Organize your coupons by store and by order if youíre doing separate transactions. This makes the checkout process much easier for you. If you find a coupon friendly cashier stick with that cashier. That doesnít mean you can try illegal methods and get whatever you want. It means that this person is very well informed about coupons and knows how they truly work, so as long as you are following the guidelines they will have no problem helping you save money off your bill.
When the cashier is scanning your coupons be sure to watch your total. A coupon beep does not mean it went through. Itís also a good idea to carry a folder with store coupon policies in them. If you have a binder, but the policies in there. I canít remember how many times Iíve had to pull out the storeís coupon policy after being told I wasnít allowed to go about purchasing the deal I wanted to a certain way. Some cashiers are not aware of their own storeís coupon policy. Personally, I think they should be, but be prepared and cover yourself in the event that you run into any situation.
A huge way to reduce coupon stress is through ethical couponing. Iíve mentioned being courteous of others couponing, but it goes further than that. Ethical couponing is the best way to coupon. You can do this in many ways. Following store coupon policies is a big one. You may not agree or like changes that some stores make. I know I donít sometimes, but we still have to follow the rules they set in place.
Donít use fraudulent coupons. This includes copying printable coupons or printing coupons that youíve received in your email from a third party. Very seldom will you be able to view a coupon with a barcode before it prints. The biggest way to follow ethical couponing is to use a coupon for the item it is intended for. If a coupon says ďany,Ē that means any. But if it specifies a size, get that size. Also, do not use a Crest Whitestrips coupon on a bottle of Tide just because they are both P&G products. Yes, people have tried this in the past. Submit your savings tips to me at StephaniesSavings@hotmail.com.