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New Q Shoppers, Don't be Scared! You Can Do This!!

hawaiiandawn 9,954 October 24, 2008 at 11:25 PM in Question (3)
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Last Edited by nuffsaid July 30, 2013 at 04:24 PM
In this forum, we are all here to help each other and learn. (Crikey. Almost two years since I have joined and someone had to explain what a particular smiley meant just last week. Stick Out Tongue) I learned something from a wise q girl a long time ago...."A coupon is a form of payment." Armed with that knowledge, don't fear using the q as long as you are using them as the manufacturer states.

I know there are a couple of websites around that offer to teach you how to coupon shop for a fee. I just wanted to take a moment to tell you there is NO NEED to pay anyone a fee to learn to shop. Smilie All you need is SD and the coupon love you can get here is amazing.

Coupon shopping takes one thing....the confidence to learn and try. It can be scary but you can do it. Again, no need to pay someone. There are many many Jedi masters here that like to help Padawans.

I know it seems like SD can be overwhelming. Especially for those with little time to peruse the entire board. Here are some of my fave threads...

Here's a thread with the rules. I like it because the first two posts have a good list of abbreviations for nooblets. There is some really good info in it too. Not just boring old rules....

Drugstore and Grocery Store Index and Information Thread

Need more q resources??

Clipper Sites Thread

Here is a current list of printable q's. TYVM to Bailey327 and Laulea2782 for all their hard work and to all contributors for their finds! hug

Printable Manufacturer's Coupon Compilation

A new fabulous addition here to SD is the Coupon Database. Thanks SD team!

SD Coupon Database

Having problems printing Brick's coupons??

Troubleshooting Bricks Problems TYVM AlanisRox69

Want to see what's coming?

2013 Newspaper Coupon Insert Schedule TYVM Shopnut. Smilie

A place to trade coupons....

DS Coupon Trading Thread From me. Smilie

A place to gift or receive coupons....

RAOK Thread for Giving Away Coupons TYVM MFH. Smilie

Here is a list of unexpired paper q's to match up with your deals....

Alpha List of Unexpired Newspaper Q's TYVM Thxslic and Shopnut. That thing is a monster to update I am sure.


Need to learn about coupon policy acceptance at your local stores? TYVM Shuri!

Store Coupon Policy and Acceptance Thread [http]

Grumpy cashiers not wanting to take your q's? Commiserate here...

What is the funniest, strangest, most off the wall reason a cashier has given you for NOT taking your coupons?

The Drugstore and Grocery Store Index and Information Thread is mod stickied to the top. Maybe you'd like to create a personal sticky of some of them? At the top of the thread, on the far right is a thread tool link. You can subscribe (my personal fave) or sticky any thread you like.

List of Common Abbreivations

Abbreviations Sitewide and/or Commonly Used Abbreviations in the DS forum (located in WIKI)

LASTLY......don't be afraid to ask! Read the wiki. (What's a and/or Wiki? It's the first post after the initial post in a thread. It can be updated by any registered user. Just like Wikipedia!) And then if you still have a question, I am sure someone will help. PM, IM, phone a friend or bat call. Just ask. Smilie

Afraid of the Wiki? Go here for some FAQ regarding the Wiki.

Whee YOU CAN DO IT!!!!!!!Whee

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#766
Quote from Msblue422 View Post :
I'm sorry that happened to youFrown It sounds like you just had a bad store. Coupon "friendliness" can vary wildly within the a neighborhood and even within different store branches. I would call Kroger's corporate office (with the cashier's info from your receipt) and let them know what happened. Then try again at another store. If your husband is mad, perhaps he can try couponing, maybe he'll have better luck.
I want to thank you nice people for your support. It feels good to know I have people who understand my situaton.
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#767
Quote from ScrpBkBon View Post :
I feel so out of place. I have saved,clipped and spent hours in the store finding deals. I spent 150.00 tonight and only saved 24.00. My husband is so mad. I had a cashier tonight throwing my groceries around while my frozen things were thawing out while he argued about every coupon. It seemed like he was acusing me of stealing money from Krogers when I had all legitimate coupons. People in back of me were even ranting. I'm not sure if I can keep doing this with so little saving. I will accept any help from anyone who can guide me in the right directions. I'm begging because my husband lost his job and I haven't got enough savings to keep us going with this bad couponing that I try. Please help me in any way you can I am open. Bonnie from Northern Ky
Bonnie, just consider this a lesson in "finding your place" in how you operate. We can have you up and running quickly! We have all done the same thing at various stores - ending up thinking about throwing in the towel. (And me losing my job is what drove me to start doing the grocery stores so I feel your pain there!) My screw ups made me look at how I think. For instance, I knew I didn't have the patience to clip hundreds of coupons every Sunday, sort & stick them in a binder, tote the binder around town, etc. (even though I bought the binder & inserts to do just that!) so I just borrowed the couponmom.com way of just storing the entire inserts by date in a folder.

Now, I look at the DEALS here FIRST for any grocery or drugstore items. You probably aren't aware that many stores give many items away for FREE each week. If you start getting the FREE or nearly free items that are listed on the threads you should have a nice stockpile started in about 3 weeks. The coupons needed for each of these deals is noted in the wiki (second post of each thread). This is also the place where I "see" deals that I didn't notice while looking at the store ad......All you do then is go to that date's insert, clip your coupons for your free or nearly free items then hit the store that's offering the free items. Start with a few small transactions so your brain can learn what your hands and coupons are doing at the cash register and you can quickly scan receipt before leaving store to catch any errors. Also, you need to learn to CHOOSE your cashier at the grocery store. Young males are the best, old ladies usually the worst.

Stockpiles and self confidence are not created in one shopping trip. Hang in there and in a few months you will be laughing (well maybe crying) about spending $150 in a single shopping trip, but you will never do it again! I promise you that if you will spend your planning time here at slick deals you will not go back to trying to do it all by yourself again. We've all been in your sad shoes before and are here to help you kick them off!

Here's the link where you can find the grocery & drug stores near you with all the information you will need to get going. And please feel free to ask any questions you might have here - us old timers sometimes think things are clear when they aren't. Just follow us for all the FREE toothpaste, shampoo/conditioner, deodorant, makeup, nice razors, toilet paper, pasta, pet food, tuna fish, etc that you want!!!! hug
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#768
Quote from ScrpBkBon View Post :
I feel so out of place. I have saved,clipped and spent hours in the store finding deals. I spent 150.00 tonight and only saved 24.00. My husband is so mad. I had a cashier tonight throwing my groceries around while my frozen things were thawing out while he argued about every coupon. It seemed like he was acusing me of stealing money from Krogers when I had all legitimate coupons. People in back of me were even ranting. I'm not sure if I can keep doing this with so little saving. I will accept any help from anyone who can guide me in the right directions. I'm begging because my husband lost his job and I haven't got enough savings to keep us going with this bad couponing that I try. Please help me in any way you can I am open. Bonnie from Northern Ky
You've been offered some great responses so I'll keep it short.

Just using coupons isn't going to save money...you need to use them smarter Smilie Wait for the item to be on a good sale, then pair it with a coupon. Keep doing this and you will build your stockpile. Like a few others have said, you aren't going to start saving overnight, and your stockpile is built over several weeks or months.

I second the idea of looking at your general spending if you're looking to save money in general.

BEST WISHES!!
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#769
Ok Bonnie, here's 2 hand-holding freebies for you posted by the most wonderful JaxLadyBug (post #3775) in the Publix thread (if you have a publix of course!) and slatts from front page (link below to rep).

More free shaving cream. The Schick Hydro is $2 (through 7/2) with a $1 Publix Q in the green advantage buy flyer (coupon says $1 on Hydro Razor, Refill or Shave Gel) and there was a $1 Man Q in Sunday's paper (6/13 SS)

Just take those two coupons to publix, pick up the shave gel & bingo - FREE (well you have to pay tax).

Now, since you have the 6/13 SS with the $4 Hydro razor coupon, go to CVS or Wags (depending if you have any ecbs or RR's to use) and "buy" the razor - publix sells the razor cheaper, but doesn't give you any reward (ecb or RR's) for it so don't buy it there. (You should only be paying tax for the razor if you have either ecbs or RR's - if you don't have any, you will be starting your coupon "stockpile" to roll into more ecbs or RR's)

So there you sit with FREE shaving gel and a free or nearly free razor. Go here to get your Schick Hydro Razor Rebate (up to $10.99) which means you want to have "paid" as much as possible for the razor and CVS & Wags are more than happy to help you pay too much for anything.

Send rebate in and start making money out of paper!!! These deals are all here, all the time, you just have to invest the time to read and join in the conversations. You will also notice that these are two small transactions so you can do the math before you go into the store and know what your total should be on the way out.

Just found this - Glade Fabric and Air spray for .49 @ Target link

Remember we are buying when they are giving it away - not like we used to buy when we "needed".
Last edited by ninetenths June 15, 2010 at 04:31 PM
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#770
Hey Bonnie, first off welcome. I am new here as well and am learning lots. You should add to your profile your location so people can help you out.

One thing that I can tell you which I have learned is you do not have to buy everything that is on sale!!! Here is what I do. I was clipping all coupons, but now it has become a mess. What I am doing is going into the coupon thread, find where they have a listing of the RedPlum and SmartSource - like what is in each circular and print that off and keep it in a folder. Then you have a list of each coupon, know what you have and dont have to worry about clipping every single coupon and then sorting some way. That is way too much! When I need it, then I clip it. If I want more of a specific item, then I know I can order it through a coupon purchase site.

As for grocery items, you really only get to see the current weeks circular and maybe a few days in advance the coming weeks. At least that is the stores I follow in my area. The drug store chains for some reason come out sooner and you can plan well in advance (but to me that is a whole other ball game). But what you can do is view the grocery store of your choice, look for sales. If you are very particular about brands, then it might be tough. Check their web site, see if they have a club card and their own store coupons that can be loaded on to the card or clip. There you can match up with manufacturers coupons and make for great deals. Pick your price in your head and say hey, on sale and coupon, that price might be worth picking up a few. If it seems too much or not a bargain, then dont get it. That simple. Remember, items go on sale again and again and coupons normally dont expire that quickly. You will know the right time.

Another thing, read the circular carefully and dont just look at the pretty pictures. I know I did that and that is how I shopped. But there are deals to be had written and not with pictures. Check those out too.

Last but not least - do not leave the house without a shopping list!!! Do not impulse shop! Make your list, write down the item, brand + size (ie. SoBe 20oz) and write down the coupon you have and how many to get. Some times the stores wont have X amount in stock that you want, which means then you have to dig into your coupon pile and take out so you dont have an issue at the register. As long as you have the right item to the right coupon there should be no issues. Check and recheck! I am having problems with certain cashiers who like want to give an attitude about coupons. You know what, they have to take an extra few seconds from ringing, big FRIGGIN deal! I just have to keep telling myself that Stick Out Tongue.

Hope this helps! heart
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#771
One thing more I should add which is quite helpful - do not shop at high peak hours. If you are going in with a cart full of stuff or wads of coupons, and get intimidated by the stares, or snotty cashiers or whathaveyou, shop at lower peak times. Example - dont 'heavy' shop like around 5pm, Saturdays, etc. I am not saying do your shopping at midnight, but you know what I mean. Go when it is peaceful, you can shop leisurely, where the cashiers are not hectic and might want to be chatty.
Just my 2c heart
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#772
Here's a few more words of advice. Break your transactions (trannys) up, so you can better keep track of what's going on. (Buy your frozen foods last!) I prefer the self check out (SCO), where I scan my own items and qs. Sometimes I have more qs than the SCO allows, so then a cashier has to come over to assist, and I watch them scan my qs like a hawk. I always know where my total should be, so if it's to high, I can catch a mistake before the tranny is finalized.

My #1 rule of thumb is - and not everyone agrees this - ALWAYS BRING EVERY SINGLE Q YOU HAVE WITH YOU!!! Even if you don't cut your qs out (something I always do), have them with you. I cannot tell you how many times I've run into a fantastic, unexpected clearance that I have qs for. If I didn't have the qs with me, I would be outta luck. These clearances fly out the door, so if you don't jump on them right away, they'll be gone by the time you run home to get the qs!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Also, you need to develop a thick skin to be a successful couponer. Learn to stand your ground and stand up for yourself. Go in with a self- assured attitude; meek and mild will not cut it. Be your most forceful, confident self, and be willing to argue the points you are right about. You've got to train some of these people in the proper acceptance of qs. Once you do, it will make your couponing life much easier....

.......And remember....... a self-assured, confident attitude DOES NOT mean you go into a store with a belligerent attitude - even if you are get attitude from the cashiers. Try to stay cool, calm, and collected, and resolve your issue(s) with higher ups if necessary. At no point should you lose your temper, yell at anyone, or curse. If you feel yourself getting to that point, leave the stuff on the counter and walk out. If a store is unwilling or unable to be educated, move on to another store!
Last edited by MistyQ June 16, 2010 at 07:38 PM
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#773
Quote from ninetenths View Post :
Ok Bonnie, here's 2 hand-holding freebies for you posted by the most wonderful JaxLadyBug (post #3775) in the Publix thread (if you have a publix of course!) and slatts from front page (link below to rep).

More free shaving cream. The Schick Hydro is $2 (through 7/2) with a $1 Publix Q in the green advantage buy flyer (coupon says $1 on Hydro Razor, Refill or Shave Gel) and there was a $1 Man Q in Sunday's paper (6/13 SS)

Just take those two coupons to publix, pick up the shave gel & bingo - FREE (well you have to pay tax).

Now, since you have the 6/13 SS with the $4 Hydro razor coupon, go to CVS or Wags (depending if you have any ecbs or RR's to use) and "buy" the razor - publix sells the razor cheaper, but doesn't give you any reward (ecb or RR's) for it so don't buy it there. (You should only be paying tax for the razor if you have either ecbs or RR's - if you don't have any, you will be starting your coupon "stockpile" to roll into more ecbs or RR's)

So there you sit with FREE shaving gel and a free or nearly free razor. Go here to get your Schick Hydro Razor Rebate (up to $10.99) which means you want to have "paid" as much as possible for the razor and CVS & Wags are more than happy to help you pay too much for anything.

Send rebate in and start making money out of paper!!! These deals are all here, all the time, you just have to invest the time to read and join in the conversations. You will also notice that these are two small transactions so you can do the math before you go into the store and know what your total should be on the way out.

Just found this - Glade Fabric and Air spray for .49 @ Target link

Remember we are buying when they are giving it away - not like we used to buy when we "needed".
ninetenths,I used my RR and I got the razor and the gel and then put in the rebate.You didn't have to reach out to me but I'm so thankful for your hand holding at this time. I know it is a learning trial and error and I will get this game down. Anytime you wanna offer I am all ears for you my dear friend::wink wink :::
You are right I won't be paying out big bucks anymore. This takes planning and winning. I also agree about the picking of the cashier. Bless you for your kind help Smilie
Bonnie in Northen KY
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#774
Quote from fishmurdrr View Post :
Hey Bonnie, first off welcome. I am new here as well and am learning lots. You should add to your profile your location so people can help you out.

One thing that I can tell you which I have learned is you do not have to buy everything that is on sale!!! Here is what I do. I was clipping all coupons, but now it has become a mess. What I am doing is going into the coupon thread, find where they have a listing of the RedPlum and SmartSource - like what is in each circular and print that off and keep it in a folder. Then you have a list of each coupon, know what you have and dont have to worry about clipping every single coupon and then sorting some way. That is way too much! When I need it, then I clip it. If I want more of a specific item, then I know I can order it through a coupon purchase site.

As for grocery items, you really only get to see the current weeks circular and maybe a few days in advance the coming weeks. At least that is the stores I follow in my area. The drug store chains for some reason come out sooner and you can plan well in advance (but to me that is a whole other ball game). But what you can do is view the grocery store of your choice, look for sales. If you are very particular about brands, then it might be tough. Check their web site, see if they have a club card and their own store coupons that can be loaded on to the card or clip. There you can match up with manufacturers coupons and make for great deals. Pick your price in your head and say hey, on sale and coupon, that price might be worth picking up a few. If it seems too much or not a bargain, then dont get it. That simple. Remember, items go on sale again and again and coupons normally dont expire that quickly. You will know the right time.

Another thing, read the circular carefully and dont just look at the pretty pictures. I know I did that and that is how I shopped. But there are deals to be had written and not with pictures. Check those out too.

Last but not least - do not leave the house without a shopping list!!! Do not impulse shop! Make your list, write down the item, brand + size (ie. SoBe 20oz) and write down the coupon you have and how many to get. Some times the stores wont have X amount in stock that you want, which means then you have to dig into your coupon pile and take out so you dont have an issue at the register. As long as you have the right item to the right coupon there should be no issues. Check and recheck! I am having problems with certain cashiers who like want to give an attitude about coupons. You know what, they have to take an extra few seconds from ringing, big FRIGGIN deal! I just have to keep telling myself that Stick Out Tongue.

Hope this helps! heart
Thanks fish,
I will follow you wise advice. It's just a game as I see all this coupons thing. Between the stores cashier, the store sales andme searching for who does have the products that are in the ads.
Thanks once again for your kind help Smilie
Bonnie in Northern KY
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#775
Quote from MistyQ View Post :
Here's a few more words of advice. Break your transactions (trannys) up, so you can better keep track of what's going on. (Buy your frozen foods last!) I prefer the self check out (SCO), where I scan my own items and qs. Sometimes I have more qs than the SCO allows, so then a cashier has to come over to assist, and I watch them scan my qs like a hawk. I always know where my total should be, so if it's to high, I can catch a mistake before the tranny is finalized.

My #1 rule of thumb is - and not everyone agrees this - ALWAYS BRING EVERY SINGLE Q YOU HAVE WITH YOU!!! Even if you don't cut your qs out (something I always do), have them with you. I cannot tell you how many times I've run into a fantastic, unexpected clearance that I have qs for. If I didn't have the qs with me, I would be outta luck. These clearances fly out the door, so if you don't jump on them right away, they'll be gone by the time you run home to get the qs!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Also, you need to develop a thick skin to be a successful couponer. Learn to stand your ground and stand up for yourself. Go in with a self- assured attitude; meek and mild will not cut it. Be your most forceful, confident self, and be willing to argue the points you are right about. You've got to train some of these people in the proper acceptance of qs. Once you do, it will make your couponing life much easier....

.......And remember....... a self-assured, confident attitude DOES NOT mean you go into a store with a belligerent attitude - even if you are get attitude from the cashiers. Try to stay cool, calm, and collected, and resolve your issue(s) with higher ups if necessary. At no point should you lose your temper, yell at anyone, or curse. If you feel yourself getting to that point, leave the stuff on the counter and walk out. If a store is unwilling or unable to be educated, move on to another store!
Thank you Misty for you strong no nonsense advice. I do always carry all my coupons with me when I go out to the stores because I have found clearance items and with cpns I have got them free or almost free. I also found it if I make a bit of friendly eye contact and a smile it goes aong way with my cashiers. I also carry a copy of their coupon policies with me with the improtant issues underlined. I also keep a cell phone with me to show the cashier that an item was on sale so I can prove to them right there to save some time.
Thank You, Thank you once again for your kind insite and useful advice. Smilie
Bonnie from Northern KY
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#776
I was a brand specific person but I learned that sometimes you can compromise. Try the other brands when they are free. That way if you don't like it you didn't waste your money on them.

Learn the coupon policies of your stores. It really helps when you have to stand your ground. Don't be afraid to write a complaint or compliment to the stores. Sometimes they give you gift cards for your troubles. Wink
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#777
Hi All!

I've been semi-serious about all this in the past, but now I'm dedicated to couponing all the way! (nothing like student loans to relight the money-saving fire)...

Do any of you do youtube videos or have a guru on there that you like to watch? I'm gathering as many resources as I can!

Thanks - and excited to be as successful as you all are very soon!

wave
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#778
Quote from kcotten View Post :
Hi All!

I've been semi-serious about all this in the past, but now I'm dedicated to couponing all the way! (nothing like student loans to relight the money-saving fire)...

Do any of you do youtube videos or have a guru on there that you like to watch? I'm gathering as many resources as I can!

Thanks - and excited to be as successful as you all are very soon!

wave
wave Hi!
I learned by following transactions posted by people on forums and by following some savings/couponing blogs. There isn't much of a broad 'How to'. You'll have to figure out which store(s) you're going to focus on and then learn their specific rules about coupon usage. I'd highly suggest trying to take on one store at a time. Learning to efficiently coupon at CVS and Rite Aid and Walgreens and your grocery store (not to mention Target and/or Walmart!) at the same time could drive you bonkers and end up discouraged.

If you read up a few pages you'll find some super advice. If you have specific questions, feel free to ask!
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#779
I am very new to This coupon thing and need advice on how to organize.
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#780
Quote from Jumfgra5709 View Post :
I am very new to This coupon thing and need advice on how to organize.
What I do is, I have a business size envelope labeled for each store that I carry in my purse. In this, I place the coupons from the store, the manufacturer's coupons, and the list of items that I am going to purchase in that store for that particular week. I usually keep a copy of the week's ad, with the items circled also, with the envelope.
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