Hello 2018! The new year is here, and it brings resolutions for many. At the very top of many lists is to save more money. But where do you begin? To save money, experts advise consumers to change their spending habits. It’s easier said than done. But what we do know is that baby steps can lead to big steps. One way to reduce spending is to save money on things you’re already planning on buying by using coupons.
Are you new to the coupon game? Lucky for you, Unity One Credit Union has an in-house coupon guru. Blanca Gomez is the branch manager of both the BCTAL and KCAL branches. She has been with Unity One for 11 years and has been a couponer since 2015.
Here are Blanca’s tips and tricks on how to become the best couponer without getting overwhelmed.
Where is the best place to start looking for coupons?
- To begin couponing the traditional way, by clipping coupons, the best place to start is by looking for coupons in the Sunday newspaper. You can subscribe and get the paper delivered to your home for a monthly fee, or you can purchase the Sunday paper at any gas station or grocery store. However, the cheapest place I’ve seen is at Dollar Tree. A Sunday paper is $1.
How do you keep it all organized?
- When I first started couponing, I had a big binder with baseball card holders. I would clip coupons and had them organized by categories like cleaning supplies, food, makeup, personal hygiene, etc. That system eventually got very complicated. It was hard to keep up because coupons expired and went unused.
- I gave up on my outdated ways and downloaded an app, Southern Savers, which is available for both IOS and Android. With the app, I’m able to know exactly when and where specific coupons are located and can be used. The app even has its own coupon database where I can search any product I need. Now, all I do is go into the app and look up any coupon I need.
When is the best time to go couponing?
- You want to go as soon as a sale starts and early in the morning. Reason being, a lot of the times stores run out of items.
How do you keep from buying things you don’t need?
- This was the hardest for me! I would purchase things I didn’t need and food I didn’t eat only because it was cheap! So, what I started doing was writing down my grocery list. Now I only use coupons for items we need like: detergent, toilet paper, paper towels, shampoo, etc. You can save a lot of time and money by keeping lists of what you are going to purchase. Prepare.
Are there other resources other than paper? (Example: apps, websites, etc.)
- Like I mentioned, my favorite app is Southern Savers. This is one of the apps that informs you where exactly you can find coupons for all types of products.
- Another great resource is, Instagram! There are pages created by “coupon fairies” where you can buy coupons. There are also pages that inform you about specific store sales and coupons.
What advice would you give a new couponer so he/she doesn’t get overwhelmed and give up.
- Best advice I can think of is following couponers on social media. Also, take breaks when you feel you need it! Couponing can be a lot of work.