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Is couponing really worth it when it comes to debt?—answered.
You’ve probably landed here because you are on your debt-free journey and you are endlessly searching for additional ways to help you reach your destination faster. And you’re wondering if it is possible to do couponing to be debt-free?
I know because I have been there. When we started our debt-free journey, I searched high and low for ways on how to grow my income to have extra payments for our debts.
That’s when I stumbled upon couponing. Can you really use couponing to be debt-free?
Well, Tasia of The Frugal Farm Girl was able to pay off their debt through couponing.
Lauren Greutman of I am THAT Lady achieved debt freedom by incorporating couponing in her life.
So then I guess it is possible. But before we dive into what couponing really is. Let’s first look at your ultimate goal on why you want to coupon.
Yes, you want to be debt-free.
And for you to achieve your goal, you have to have action plans and you should have a great strategy in place. Since you are here, I hope you already have, but if not, check out 5 Best Tips on How To Pay Off Debt.
What Is Couponing
Basically, couponing is the use of coupons. Coupons are vouchers that give you a discount on goods and merchandise.
Here is a little bit of the history of couponing. It was first started in 1887, and Coca-Cola was the first coupon that was issued.
Apparently, it has been around for a while and more and more people are redeeming them.
Is Couponing Really Worth It
The most important benefit of couponing is the saving benefit. When you use coupons on your groceries, you are basically slashing your monthly budget on groceries into half.
Couponing also gives you a sense of accomplishment. When I started couponing, I always come out of the store smiling because I felt like I just made our hard-earned money worked harder for us.
Another benefit of couponing is it allows you to try branded products that you usually do not buy because it’s way out of your budget.
Furthermore, couponing allows you to stock up on supplies that you would normally use like paper towels, toilet paper, trash bags, pantry supplies, laundry supplies and more.
And lastly, couponing allows you to be more helpful to others. You will be able to give back to the community by donating pantry supplies.
Types of Coupons
To get you started with couponing, you will first learn the types of coupons and where you can find them.
1) Newspaper Coupons. These coupons come as inserts usually in the Sunday newspapers. The most common coupons include P&G, Retail Me Not and Smartsource. These coupons contain manufacturer coupons, meaning coupons that are directly issued by the manufacturer.
2) Store Coupons. You can get these coupons in printable, digital or in paper form that you can find from the store’s weekly flyers.
3) Peelies. These coupons are directly on the product like a sticker that you can peel off to reveal the discount.
4) Blinkies. These coupons can be found in a little black box that is hanging on the shelves. The black box blinks a red light to get your attention.
5) Tearpads. This type of coupon can be found anywhere in the store where you can just tear off the coupon to use for a specific product at checkout.
6) Hangtags. These types of coupons can be found usually on products that have a ‘”neck”, where you can hang the tag on.
7) Catalinas. These coupons usually come with your receipt at the register. The coupon machine will print out a narrow receipt like coupon whenever you qualify for a particular promotion.
8) E-coupons/Loyalty Program. You can earn these coupons when you are a member of a store’s loyalty program. You earn points towards coupons whenever you make a purchase.
9) Printable Coupons. These are also manufacturer coupons and even store coupons that you can download and print from coupon sites.
10) Digital Coupons. These are found on the store app that you can download straight from your phone. A few examples include Target Cartwheel, Walgreens App, CVS App, and more.
11) Rebate Apps. The most popular rebate apps are Ibotta, Checkout51 and Fetch Rewards. The best thing about these apps is that you can only redeem after you make the purchase, meaning after you use all your coupons at check out, you can still save more by using the rebate apps after you made the purchase.
How Do Beginners Start Couponing
Here are some beginner’s steps on how to coupon.
Understand Your Coupon Goal
Couponing is not just getting discounts, it is getting the most discount during your purchase and to buy enough to last you until you get the most discount again.
Couponing involves planning so you need to set aside time. Couponing can take time but the less distraction you have, the lesser time you need for planning.
Get Your Coupons
Start deciding where to get your coupon inserts. Dollar Tree has $1 Sunday newspapers or you can even get it for free from your friends, family, neighbors or at work.
Search the internet for coupon sites. Here is a list of legitimate coupon sites.
You can also start signing up for loyalty programs of your favorite stores and download their apps.
And don’t forget to download your rebate apps, Ibotta, Checkout51 and Fetch Rewards.
Organize Your Coupons
As you build up your coupons, it can get really messy if you do not have an organization plan in place. Grab a coupon organizer to keep your coupons organized and easily accessible.
Find Your Deals
Search deal finders like The Krazy Coupon Lady or Coupon Surfers. What I like about KCL is that they list down what coupons you need to get the most deal on a certain product.
When you start couponing, it can be addicting that you end up buying everything and anything you get a discount on. You have to note that couponing takes time and when you do not watch it, you can easily lose track of time and also end up blowing your budget.
Build Your Stock Pile
Make a list of the things you regularly use in your household and make a plan to stock up on each of them whenever you can get them for rock-bottom prices.
Don’t Be Wasteful
Although you can get items for free and almost free, don’t be wasteful. Buy only what you need and donate the ones that you don’t.
To get the most out of couponing, you have to learn how to make a list before you go to a store. Make a plan to stack up coupons so that you can get the most discount. For example, you can use a manufacturer coupon on top of a store coupon and then redeem it using rebate apps.
Yes, you can go to jail for committing coupon fraud! It is punishable by law and misusing coupons is the biggest form of coupon fraud. To get more information about coupon fraud, check out The Coupon Information Center.
Final Thoughts On Couponing To Be Debt Free
Although couponing can slash your grocery bill into half, it can be daunting to some because of the time it requires and the learning curve. However, the only thing you can do to find out if couponing is for you is to just go out and try it.
Some people can be extreme couponers and it works for them however, it is not for everyone. I, myself coupons but I am not an extreme couponer because of my busy schedule.
I do not have the time to clip paper coupons, however, I found that the digital coupons and the rebate apps from Ibotta, Checkout51 and Fetch Rewards help me the most. This method allows me to still be able to stack coupons together.
So to answer the burning question, “Is it possible to do couponing to be debt-free?”
Yes, it is possible, the money that you can save from couponing can add up and pay off your debts. However, you have to note that this requires planning and budgeting.