Welcome to FTM – Beginners Section

Couponing doesn't have to be super complicated! Get started with these 5 easy steps and save big.

I have had so many people ask me .. but HOW do you do this? It seems so complicated. I don’t understand and this can’t be worth my time.  I want to present you 5 relatively easy steps to get started.  They may take some time, but they aren’t hard and will  have a big payoff in the end.

Traditionally we make our store lists based on how empty our cabinets are.  We make a list of what we need and go to the store and start shopping.  If you want to be a successful couponer and save the MOST money possible, you must first leave that notion at the door.

You cannot shop strictly from a list of what you need. Shopping this way will cost you the absolute most money possible. We have to think of everything in terms of price and maximizing savings.

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As the graphic above shows, you can save a little bit of money using a coupon or you could maximize that with matching your sales cycles to coupons and store offers. It takes a bit of work to get started. Don’t try to tackle this in a day or even in a week.

 Do you want to pay $3.50 for your Orange Juice or $1.99 or even $.99? Follow along to learn how you can pay less than half of retail price all the time. Save.jpg

1. Grow Your Coupon Collection

To start couponing, you need coupons. Makes sense right?  Here are a few tips to get you started with growing a collection of coupons. You can’t really coupon without a decent collection, so you may need to take a week or two to start printing and finding coupons.

2. Learn Your Stores Policies and Offerings

Before you head out to start couponing, you will want to take the time to learn your stores coupon policy. You will also want to know a few things about coupons:

  • Be sure you understand how to read the terms and conditions of a coupon. Here is a good article on understanding a coupon.
  • Find your stores coupon policy, sale policies and review it.  {You can find many store coupon policies in our FAQ Here}
  • Does Your Store Double Coupons?  You will want to maximize your savings with a store that doubles coupons (if available), so find out if your store will take your $.50 coupon and make it $1.00.  If they do double, how many will they double?  Some chains even vary by location! Don’t be afraid to ask at the customer service desk.
  • Does your store allow stacking?  You can’t ever use two manufacturer coupons on an item, but you may be able to use store coupons with manufacturer coupons.  Check out more information here on stacking.

3. Create an organization method

Once you start collecting all these coupons, you will need to figure out how you want to organize them. Without  a solid organization method, you will quickly become frustrated. There is no right or wrong method, just the one that works best for you!  You can choose one of these methods or come up with your own idea.

4.  Wait for a sale

While clipping coupons is great and using just one coupon will help you save money, but it won’t help you save big.  Couponing is a bit like poker, you have to know when to hold your coupons and know when to use them.  In our graphic above, we show you that you can save money  by just waiting for another opportunity to save. Use Your Coupon When An Item is on Sale If you have a coupon for $.50 off orange juice and run to the store today to use it, you might not get the best bang for you coupon buck. In the example below,  if your orange juice is $3.50 regular price, you would pay $2.50 after your double coupon.Screen Shot 2014-04-08 at 9.17.48 AM  However, if you hold your coupon until it is on sale at your store, you will pay less. This is maximizing the VALUE of your coupon. So if you wait until the item goes on sale for $2.99, then you will pay only $1.99, saving an additional $.51.  Screen Shot 2014-04-08 at 9.18.53 AMIf you use your coupon along with another store coupon, you can score an even better deal.

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This allows you to save another $.50 on your product. This is where FTM comes in, we provide you with weekly coupon matchups for your stores.  You can find your stores weekly matchup list by going to the menu and selecting store deals and your stores. As you go along, you will find even MORE Savings offers that can be stacked, such as ecoupons and rebate offers.

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5. Learn About Sales Cycles

Things go on sale in cycles. After a few weeks, you will start to see these cycles. Typically everything goes on sale in 6-10 week cycles.  The key is to figure out how much you need of one item to last an entire sales cycle.

So if cereal goes on sale for $.99 every 8 weeks and use 2 box of cereal per week, you will need to buy 16 boxes of cereal to get you thru the sales cycle. Ok, so I just saw you  cringe at the thought of buying 16 boxes of cereal at once.

However, what  if you can save $192.50 by buying 16 boxes at once instead of 2 a week.  Lets say you stock up 6 times a year – that comes out to $32.00 savings per cycle and $192.00 a year.   Cereal.jpgOK, so you are thinking wow this sounds hard and complicated.  Well, this is where we come in. It doesn’t have to be hard or complicated, because we do that work for you. This is why you need us. We matchup all the deals, provide you with links or information about where to find the coupon.  All you have to do is organize your coupons and shop.

 

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That is what you really need to get started. Sure there is more you can learn, in fact, to get into couponing deeper, be sure to check out our FAQ section.