Rule #1 - Realize you may have to drive to a few different stores to get the best pricing, even with price match. Some stores will not let you add a coupon onto a price matched item.
Rule #2 - Stock up on items when they are at a lo price. This doesn't mean you have to a stockpile that takes up an entire room. But you should get enough to last you until it's goes on sale next.
Rule #3 - Be open to try new things. That's where you are going to be able to expand your savings. If you are brand loyal to a few items, that's fine. But trying new things is not only a great idea in general, but you can stock up on items as well.
Rule #4 - Have more than one copy of every coupon. I get 5 Sunday paper's, so I end up with at least 5 copies of all the coupons. I can end up with more if I use internet coupons as well.
Rule #5 - Don't rely on internet coupons. They can be a great addition, but the are not reliable. Manufacturer's only allow a certain number of prints per coupon, and once that limit is hit, the coupon expires.
Rule #6 - Be patient. This is probably one of the mot important rules for couponing. You have to be patient. Wait for the sale. Don't just use the coupons as soon as you get them. Pay attention to sale cycles and wait for the perfect one to come along. With this also comes some oddities. One week, toothpaste, dish soap, spaghetti noodles, and beans may go on sale. It may not be another week or so before spaghetti sauce goes on sale. Stock up on what's on sale, and then wait.
Rule #7 - If a coupon is about to expire, let it go. Don't feel like you have to use every coupon every time. It's okay. More coupons will come around. But don't throw away expired coupons. Mail them to troops and their families over seas. Military families can use expired coupons up to six months later. To find more information, visit www.tipresource.com/invite and click SEND EXPIRED COUPONS TO MILITARY.
Rule #8 - Use the internet to your advantage. www.tipresource.com is an awesome website run by an Extreme Couponing All Star rom TLC. She has great resources for coupons, current sales, videos, and more on couponing. It's a great place to expand your couponing skills. Some other great sites are:
www.thedenverpost.com/coupons - Colorado Only
Rule #9 - Have fun with it. If you aren't getting excited about couponing, don't do it. You'll just get frustrated with it. Have patience with yourself. None of this is going to happen over night. It takes time to get it all figured out.
I hope this helps get you started with couponing. As I get better and learn more things, I'll be sure to pass them on! If you have any tips or tricks you'd like to share, please leave a comment below! We would all love to save money and coupon like the pros!