Michelle's Money in a Minute: How to start couponing to save big

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) –  A lot of people want to start saving money with coupons, but they don't know where to start.  Here's a tip or two that will help you start out.

I get a lot of emails from people who want to start couponing but don't know how to get started, and since I just started couponing myself, I can relate.

First of all, you should know that it doesn't have to consume all of your time.  The best piece advice that was given to me, that I'm passing to you, is to keep it simple.  The most basic and helpful thing you can do is to start saving a Sunday paper. That's where all the best coupons are going to be – most of the time you can find the same coupon (but with lower values) on the Internet.  Don't get me wrong, you can find great printables, too, but the Sunday paper is a guaranteed winner.

I also learned from Delly at Delly's Deals to get a Sunday paper in twos.  I only get two newspapers a week depending on how many coupon inserts are going to be in the paper.  You should know that each city gets different coupons, but a lot of websites, like Southern Savers, can give you an idea of what coupon inserts to expect for the upcoming Sunday.

Why do you want to get two papers?  Or in sets of two?  Sometimes stores will have a BOGO (Buy one Get on) deal.  And some stores also will allow you to use two coupons for their BOGOs.  If that's the case, there's a good chance you'll get the product free or super cheap.

Another tip about papers – if you can buy other city papers in your town, then go for the paper that comes from the bigger city.  It's not always the case, but chances are the paper from the bigger city will provide more coupons.  Smart shoppers know this little trick and will set their alarm clocks way early on Sundays to get the best paper.

Finally, pick one or two money-saving websites to follow and one store to shop.  Some popular nationwide websites that I tend to follow are:  The Krazy Coupon Lady, Southern Savers, and We Use Coupons.  I also follow smaller grassroots bloggers, like Delly's Deals, The Frugal Beach Bum Blog, and I Got It Free with Coupons.

And, if I find a good deal, I'll always blog about it, too.

So, get your two newspapers, find a website and figure out a store.  Now you're ready to save!

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