New To Coupons And Feeling Discouraged...

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Old 03-17-2011, 07:06 PM
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Help Sign New to coupons and feeling discouraged...

Hey there! I'm new to coupons (just started last weekend). At first I was excited and optimistic about saving money, but after a week of trying, I'm almost ready to give up. I started the week with some coupons that I was excited about, but most of them have turned out to be total duds.

I'm feeling pretty blue right now. I thought I could get some nice savings and a free thing or two, but almost everything I try has failed. Everyone online talks about easy it is to save tons of money with coupons, but so far I've just been disappointed. It's hard to find good coupons in the first place, since 95% seem to be for processed food that I don't eat...so I was excited to find what I thought were some bargains that I could use.

My failures:

-My favorite coupon was one for a free 16oz box of Purina cat food. YAY, free! The problem is that I can't find the 16oz box anywhere. I've looked at five stores already (one Kroger, one Target, two Walmarts, and a Petsmart), and they only have the big expensive bags. The free version is nowhere to be found. There are only two other stores I can check, and if they don't have it, the coupon will go to waste.

-I have $2 off any Visine product, and you're supposed to be able to use it to get a free trial size at Target. Except that my Target doesn't stock a trial size Visine.

-I have $10 off Crest whitestrips, and CVS is giving $10 in extra bucks on them this week. Which should be awesome--double savings! BUT, the coupon is only for the mega-expensive types of whitestrips, not the more affordable ones. Even after the $20 savings from the coupon and the extra bucks, they would be almost $40...which is way out of my price range.

-I had a set of stackable coupons for One-A-Day vitamins: a $2 off (Target), and a $1 off (manufacturer). Three bucks off one item! But when I bought them, the coupons didn't stack; only the $1 one came off. Why didn't it work? Both of them appeared to scan successfully at the register...

Is this beginner's bad luck, or is this always how it goes? Am I doing it wrong? Does anyone have any advice?

The cat food one hurts the most...I actually have two of those coupons, because I got a second one from a petless relative. But they're useless if no one carries the product. Do the 16oz boxes actually exist??
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Old 03-17-2011, 07:18 PM

RE: New to coupons and feeling discouraged...

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Don't be discouraged I have only been at this about 2 months now and you should see my mini stockpile! I had 20 of the cat food coupons and I scored all 20 at kmart! So check there but they were not on the shelf with all the other cat food they had them on a display stand in the pet food aisle. The savings from couponing are too great to give up hang in there and you will get the hang of it! HTH
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Old 03-17-2011, 07:24 PM

RE: New to coupons and feeling discouraged...

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Don't be sad some weeks just suck. You don't have the right coupons for the right size or sale that week and it can be a bummer. I've been there many times but don't get discouraged yet. There is always a new sale coming! I sometimes collect coupons for a few weeks from the weekly ads and papers then cut them out when I feel up to it again and go back out there and work those sales! I would call the manager of that $2 coupon that didn't go through. They will almost always fix it for you if you speak up. Most of the time my best deals are for cleaning supplies or makeup. Check out walgreens this week I got some good deals there!
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Old 03-17-2011, 08:01 PM

RE: New to coupons and feeling discouraged...

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Don't lose heart. I've only been couponing since the second week of January. At first, it was slow going. But you just have to be vigilant about getting your Q's and be patient and wait for the sales to come along. So far, I've gotten enough toothpaste to last my family over 2 years. (Each of the tubes I either paid a quarter for or got for free.) I've gotten a free bag of dog food (wrote in to one of the pet food companies telling them I wanted to try their products and asked if they'd send me coupons, they did.) I've gotten free pasta, free toothbrushes, and so on......but it didn't happen in the first week. It takes a little bit of time to get a good bit of coupons, but before you know it, you'll have more than you know what to do with. Just remember, you aren't going to get EVERYTHING at a free or reduced price. And you'll also have to let go of that brand loyalty to really take advantage of the savings you can get. Stick with it, it will pay off in the long run.
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Old 03-17-2011, 08:13 PM

RE: New to coupons and feeling discouraged...

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I started couponing about 18 months ago. What worked for me was starting out with one store at a time until I mastered it. It's impossible to do every deal. I rarely went to WM due to their prices being regional and I skipped the clearance deals since those also vary by store. I just don't have the time for a deal unless I know it's a 'sure' thing.
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Old 03-17-2011, 08:39 PM

RE: New to coupons and feeling discouraged...

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Butlers1234 has posted more than 100 good deals!Butlers1234 has posted more than 100 good deals!
One more thing. You can ask managers at some stores to supply a certain product in a certain size. Just put you're foot out there and ask!
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Old 03-17-2011, 08:43 PM

RE: New to coupons and feeling discouraged...

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I focus on one store and sometimes a particular item. I have enough toothpaste for the entire neighborhood Keep collecting qs
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Old 03-17-2011, 08:52 PM

RE: New to coupons and feeling discouraged...

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walmart has the the cat food you are looking for. hth, hang in there! yes, start out at one store.
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Old 03-17-2011, 08:58 PM

RE: New to coupons and feeling discouraged...

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Old 03-17-2011, 08:59 PM

RE: New to coupons and feeling discouraged...

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don't give up .,.. i just started to a week a go i have some ups and down but i think i'm getting there... If u need Visine try riteaid...they have $2 Q in there riteaid ads and print the $2 in visine.com promotion the visine in riteaid is 4.99 if u use 2/1 from riteaid ads + $2/1 printable.... and they will give u $1+UP for ur next purchase. so visine is FREE. hanh in there.
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Old 03-17-2011, 09:02 PM

RE: New to coupons and feeling discouraged...

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And Walmart has the travel size Visine for $1.97.
With Target you have to be extra vigilant about your coupons. Before I get to a cashier, I always have a total for the number of coupons and the total for the coupon value in my head. That way you'll know if something is off immediately. You can check your receipt and go to the customer service to get it fixed.
Also, Target receipts are hard to read. Take some time to study how they ring up the coupons and what receipts look like. You'll know pretty quickly if something is off.
Good Luck and don't get discouraged!
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Old 03-17-2011, 09:44 PM

RE: New to coupons and feeling discouraged...

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I remember when I first started couponing there was a q for free Purina Kitten Food. Couldn't find it anywhere, so I called Purina. They told me where to find it, AND that it came in a bag and not a box. They also sent me a buttload more coupons.

Good advice here - stick with it; it's way too soon to give up!
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Old 03-17-2011, 09:50 PM

RE: New to coupons and feeling discouraged...

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Thanks for the words of support! I guess it is too soon to give up. It would help a lot if my family were more supportive...they think I'm being silly with the coupons and stuff.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Butlers1234
I would call the manager of that $2 coupon that didn't go through. They will almost always fix it for you if you speak up.
I actually did talk to a manager about that. He swore that the savings had been applied. He said that only "official" coupons showed up on the receipt. According to him, home-printed coupons deduct the savings but aren't recorded on the receipt. He's obviously full of it, but I'm shy and I have a hard time arguing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dannae7
Before I get to a cashier, I always have a total for the number of coupons and the total for the coupon value in my head. That way you'll know if something is off immediately.
That's a really good idea. I also think I'm going to get my coupon stuff seperately...it's probably easier to argue when the receipt is simple and it's clear how much was deducted and where.

Quote:
Originally Posted by esquala
I remember when I first started couponing there was a q for free Purina Kitten Food. Couldn't find it anywhere, so I called Purina. They told me where to find it, AND that it came in a bag and not a box. They also sent me a buttload more coupons.
Cool! I'll have to try that.
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Old 03-17-2011, 10:50 PM

RE: New to coupons and feeling discouraged...

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Even if its off to a rough start ... hold your head up. Like riding a bike, sometimes we wobble, fall and even scrape. I'm new to coupon'ing as well, and am still making noob mistakes.... i just chalk it up to "learning" and move on.

AFC has been such a strong supporter to me and my desire to save.... hang in there.... we're all here to help eachother...!!

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Old 03-18-2011, 05:03 AM

RE: New to coupons and feeling discouraged...

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Havemail

Deals will come and go, you'll win some and lose some, just keep going.

I've been couponing seriously for 2 months now and am packing up a box as we speak full of things to donate to our local women's resource center because we have so much!

If you are brand specific (we are about a few things), call or email the companies of the products you like and tell them how much you love them, or that you're wanting to try them and ask for Q's. 9 times out of 10 they'll send you something.
I've gotten:
2 Free BBQ sauce Q's + 2 $1 Q's
6 Free razors (I had compained the moisturizing strip kept falling off)
A Q for a free bagged salad from Fresh Express.
Free bag of Nuturo dog food Q.
Q's for canned veggies from DelMonte...
+ too many more to list!

I also get 2 papers every week, people at work give me their Q's, and I order Q's on ebay and from Q-clippers.

HTH! In no time your house will be overflowing!
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Old 03-18-2011, 01:13 PM

RE: New to coupons and feeling discouraged...

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Don't be discouraged you first have to study the craft. First you need to concentrate on what items you are looking to obtain. Get those coupons. Only buy when the item is on sale and when you can maximize the coupon savings. You may have gotten hyped up with the coupons. You are just starting out. First and foremost you need coupons for items you need. That is the way to save. Time is needed to organize your coupons. You need to also track the sales practices of the store you shop at most often. Check the clearance isle. Concentrate on what you need to do to be start your stock pile. I have been couponing since the age of 14, I am now 47 and believe me I can shop out any store. Sometimes I have good weeks and sometimes I do not. When you score a nice deal you feel good. So that is the way the carousel goes round. Don't be discouraged become encouraged with the responses of the season cpnrs on this site. Follow this site and you will find your way. This is a great club to hang out with. Infectious to say the least but I have had good times and good thoughts on this yellow brick road. Many blessings. And consider this I have three kids to feed a daughter that will start College in Aug. I am amped cause I need to be, what better fun for me. You will get there. If you need one/one I will lend and ear and a response. Good luck to you.
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Old 03-18-2011, 08:35 PM

RE: New to coupons and feeling discouraged...

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I'm pretty new too, about 2 months into couponing. Some times I have awesome weeks with a nice display of free and almost free stuff to brag about to "the haters" (as I like to call them). Then there are days like today where I was totally discouraged. Walmart made a fuss over a silly little Kool Aid coupon (embarrassing) then lost another $1 coupon during the Kool Aid chaos. Stopped at another store for a "good deal" which turned out not to be so good when the cashier pointed out the fine print on the coupon I hadn't noticed. Another embarrassing moment. But then I went to Kroger and kicked butt, saved over $40. So the good days usually outweigh the bad... (Don't get me started on my Rite Aid which never has the stuff I plan for in stock... Never.)
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Old 03-18-2011, 08:55 PM

RE: New to coupons and feeling discouraged...

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Thanks for the words of support! I guess it is too soon to give up. It would help a lot if my family were more supportive...they think I'm being silly with the coupons and stuff.
************************************************
Your family will stop laughing when you are saving half of your bill with coupons. I'm pretty new and 50% savings is my 'success rate'. (When I save over 50% of my orginial price I feel like I'm doing good...I know I'll get better!)

You'll get there. make a binder. Keep your receipts. You'll spend a bit in the beginning but once you buy a few laundry soaps for $2. then you can be pickier about the 'best' deals and then only buy when it gets to 99 cents.. and only buy when you NEED it or it is a great deal.

I am so surprised that I actually think to myself, "I'm not paying $2.50 for THAT!" I laugh at myself. I used to pay $7 for the same item and not bat an eyelash!

I am so glad that I started and I can't imagine going back. I have adusted how I shop completly.

I watched the Jill Cataldo video that my SIL bought. She explains the 12 week cycle, getting the best market coupons, and so many other things. My husband and I watched together and he is fully on board. That definately helps, but you can do it with out family support.

I am amazed at how supportive the people here at AFC are! I wish I would have started here than other sites. People here are SO nice!

Don't give up. You are going to be amazed at what you can do. and if you actually set the money aside, you'll get a pile soon enough to do whatever you want!
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Old 03-21-2011, 07:59 AM

RE: New to coupons and feeling discouraged...

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Is the "Free" Q the one that is free for 16 oz and $3 off larger sizes?

If so as you have a Target near you - Target has some web Qs up for Purina you could also combine with this. That might make a larger size more affordable.

Also - check your Target receipt and see if rather than come off as a credit at the bottom or underneath the item, the price didn't adjust down, as a lot of Target coupons do that. Otherwise, if the coupon went through but didn't take the money off, I'd bring that to the attention of CS next time you are in Target - as the policy is one Target coupon and one MF Q per item. (Though YMMV on how many web coupons they take per transaction.)
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Old 03-21-2011, 08:34 AM

RE: New to coupons and feeling discouraged...

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I've been couponing for a year now and I'll be honest this week and last have been not great with sales/coupons. Last week was ok for Meijer but this week, nothing... The coupon inserts this week were crap as well. Please don't stop now.. And as far as your family goes, my husband thinks I'm a loon but it helps me when I don't have to RUN out to the store because we are out of something (not to mention the savings)!! My husband (like it or not) calls my stockpile the general store...LOL I embarass him with the coupons but how can he complain....? You just keep going.
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Old 03-21-2011, 11:40 AM

RE: New to coupons and feeling discouraged...

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I'm new too, I started the beginging of this month. And at first it was alot of reading and getting hold of coupons. And the first two deals, a box of gain for some cents and I got 4 7oz boxes of toothpaste for 18cents. Now yesterday was horrible. everything I did blew up in my face and I even thought wow .. this isn't worth it. But when I looked at what I ended up spending yesterday to what I saved it was about 50% and that was awesome. My biggest score yesterday was 4 boxes of contact solution that was 26 dollars before coupon made it 16 dollars .. and that's something we need. I kept reading pick a store or two and stick to those .. but no I had to do it my way and try 13 (yes .. 13 -.-) and it truly was way to much. I went back to my top 3 (WM, BiLo and RA) and looking at the others if maybe its a to good to miss deal.
My biggest issue is getting there before people pick everything clean. I can only go on the weekend as I live an hour outta town and my husband works 14 hour days. (Only one car) So Saturday and Sunday is my only day to shop. And so far by Saturday everything is gone. I get rain-checks but when I get there on the weekend everything's gone again or still not sure which.
If you wanna talk or rant, feel free to message me. I think it would be awesome to talk to someone who might be feeling the same why I have been feeling.
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Old 03-21-2011, 11:53 AM

RE: New to coupons and feeling discouraged...

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It's so true, this is a new experience for you. You do have to study and you will make tons of mistakes. The great thing is that everyone does, but then you will start to get it. One day soon you will notice a ton of new product in your home and great savings for your family.
Don't quit! It has it's ups and downs but doesn't everything worthwhile.
Call the stores, ask them to order what you need. Find out who orders what you want, ask to talk with them. Then when you're in the store, look for them. Be on a first name basis, then you can call them anytime and ask them to order extras or whatever you need.
If there is a special sale, ask the Mangers to order a stock for you. Then pick it up with you're coupons and at your convenience.
It's a win-win situation for both of you.
Always be kind. They have plenty of frustrated customers. Stand out as a great customer and they will always be there to help you.
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Old 03-23-2011, 05:17 PM

RE: New to coupons and feeling discouraged...

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My food lion had a lot of the cat food - you could try sending an email to the company and asking them where you can find the boxes of cat food. Just let them know you are having an issue finding them and they can point you in the right direction.
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  #24  
Old 03-25-2011, 05:04 PM

RE: New to coupons and feeling discouraged...

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ms_courtney has posted more than 1000 great deals!  WHOA!!ms_courtney has posted more than 1000 great deals!  WHOA!!ms_courtney has posted more than 1000 great deals!  WHOA!!ms_courtney has posted more than 1000 great deals!  WHOA!!ms_courtney has posted more than 1000 great deals!  WHOA!!ms_courtney has posted more than 1000 great deals!  WHOA!!ms_courtney has posted more than 1000 great deals!  WHOA!!ms_courtney has posted more than 1000 great deals!  WHOA!!ms_courtney has posted more than 1000 great deals!  WHOA!!
Can you tell we're true beliviers in couponing? Look at all the responses you got, OP, you can't give up now! I've been at it just a few months and it's starting to pay off. But I do focus on getting one or two really good deals each week. It's slow but that's the best way to get the VERY lowest price.
Oh and I dont like a lot of processed food either, but the savings you get on toiletries and household goods will help you contain that part of the budget at least. I watch for sales up on stuff like paper towels, TP, pads, rice, pasta, condiments, vegi products, yogurt. There are coupons for healthy stuff out there!
Also the 16 oz boxes of Purina1 Beyond are at Kroger if you have one near you. I only saw the cat food, but they were 2.99 and not on sale.

Gosh I'm long winded. Don't get discouraged! Just think about it from a different angle.
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Old 03-25-2011, 05:30 PM

RE: New to coupons and feeling discouraged...

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I started a week ago! I've learned that what I've seen on T.L.C is not real life for most people. This Saturday will be my first trip out with coupons in hand. I'm starting small. I hope you don't give up.

Chrissy
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