Last updated: August 24. 2013 9:15PM - 348 Views

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Stephanie Wysong

There are two Smartsource coupons out today to help you save on your purchases. There are several Memorial Day deals this week and next, so watch for those.

This weekís coupon lesson is about following the rules and showing courtesy to others as a couponer.

Itís very easy to get sucked into this whole coupon thing and become overwhelmed. Thatís why I always tell people at my coupon classes to pick one store and stick to it until they have the hang of it. Itís very easy to make simple mistakes. These simple mistakes can cost the store money, which will end up costing the consumer more money. Since the release of TLCís "Extreme Couponing" show, coupon policies and the coupons themselves have changed dramatically within the past year. If youíre someone who started couponing before it became popular or learned before last year, youíve seen these changes and youíve had to go through many adjustments.

As shoppers, we can coupon to save money while following all the rules. This makes it a win-win for everyone. There are a few simple steps we can take to keep our stores happy so they provide us with those awesome deals, save tons of money throughout the year, and make sure those around us can do the same.

Think about others when you are shopping:

We all love those free deals! However, itís it really worth getting a free it item that youíll never use just because you have a coupon? There is probably someone out there who really could use that item, but because itís free, itís gone. One thing I like to do when I find products that are free with coupons is to tape my own coupon to that item, that way the person coming in that day for that product may have no idea itís free until they see the coupon taped to it. That will brighten someoneís day. Itís also nice to hand coupons to someone who is standing in line at the store to help cut their grocery bill down. Itís also a good practice to be polite to your cashier, even if they arenít friendly back. They may have had a bad experience with another couponer and they are on guard now for anyone who uses coupons. Show them that not all couponers are the same.

If you donít need it, donít buy it:

This goes a lot with thinking about others while you shop. Too often I get emails from people or stopped in the store and I hear stories about how they started couponing, but gave it up because the stores were always empty. The stores were running out very quickly on Sunday mornings for a very long time. That seems to have slowed down because of coupon policy changes and limits being set. I stick with two to four items per deal and, if I can, I will split up the stores. I want others to experience the savings.

Itís not good to hear that people stopped going after deals because they canít get items and then we see all these ďgarage salesĒ selling couponing products. Couponing to save your family money is great. Couponing to sell items is not. Donating items is a little different. I will not go out and get items for donation until the very last day of the sale. I assume by this point that anyone who needed the product would have purchased it by then.

If you miss a deal, donít sweat it. Sometimes people get upset over missed deals. They seem so great at the time and when we donít catch them, it feels like a loss. However, those deals or other deals will come back around. Donít get discouraged. Coupon policies and store policies have changed to help reduce shelf clearing by limiting purchases. Never sacrifice your integrity to use a coupon.

You can view deals for this week, free samples, and updates at www.StephanieSavings.net.

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