No matter what your couponing style, there’s a place for you on PYP!
The Avid Couponer: You love getting amazing discounts at the grocery store, and may even buy a few extra items just for the pleasure of giving things that you got for free to people who need them. You enjoy hitting multiple stores to get the best sales on everything, and you may get a rush from looking at the savings at the bottom of your receipt. Maybe you’re new to couponing and you’ve just discovered the thrill of grabbing an incredible bargain, or maybe you’re running your household on a very tight budget and you need to catch each individual sale in order to stretch your grocery dollars. Either way, you’re willing and ready to hit as many stores as you need to in order to score the best deals. You mail in rebates, you track your gift cards, and you may even be paying for Christmas with your savings and rebate earnings. You are a couponing machine. People call you a coupon queen and honestly, they’re right. Others may even ask you for advice on their own grocery shopping when they see (or hear stories about) your savings and your stockpile.
Why You Love PYP: PYP’s numerous shopping lists allow you to see the best deals all over town, which is great because you’re going to hit most of them. Also, because PYP’s lists are often posted early, you’re able to clip, print, stack, sort, or trade for the many many coupons you’re going to use and be ready for the sale on the first day. You enjoy the PYP couponing grapevine because you love catching a good unadvertised sale, which can often be found only through word-of-mouth. You also use PYP as a reference when your friends come and ask you for advice.
What You Bring to PYP: Excitement! You are enthusiastic, open, and generous with your energy. Veteran couponers love hearing your enthusiasm, and new couponers are encouraged by your savings and your guidance. You are the pulse pumping the blood through PYP. We love you!
One of PYP’s newest and most rapidly growing features is the Financial Support Group forum, affectionately called the FSG. In the FSG, members share their money struggles, goals, ambitions, and successes. Here’s how to find the FSG forum:
1. From the front (or any) page in PYP, click on the “forums” link. You can see it below circled in red.
2. Once you’re in the forums page, scroll down to where you see the One Penny at a Time forum. Click the link, which is circled in red on the screen shot below.
3. From here, you have two options. If you’re new to PYP or you haven’t posted much, click the “new post” button to explain your situation, ask for advice, or tell your story. Please note that posts within this forum are publicly viewable, which means that they can be seen by anyone on the Internet. This is a wonderful place for people who are beginning to turn their finances around to start. You’ll be flooded with encouragement and great advice immediately.
4. Once you’ve made around twenty posts on PYP or in the One Penny at a Time forum, you can ask for the password by sending a private message to Dori. (This is just a small precaution to prevent trolls and spammers from reading details about our members’ financial lives.) After that, you can click on the Financial Support Group forum and enter the password. Voila! You’ve just entered the FSG family, a place where incredible things happen in our members’ financial lives!
I discovered a method that makes my coupon file even more user-friendly. The coupon file is all about fast, easy filing and fast, easy retrieval, but I hadn’t realized that there was a level on which I resisted getting coupons because I had to pull the folders out in order to read the dark letters that were scrawled on the dark files down in the middle of the folder. Often, my eyes had to work through several groups of scribbled-through numbers in order to identify the date.
This new method is much easier on the eyes and on the fingers, since all I have to do is flip lightly through the folders and note the dates that are printed in clearly-contrasting ink in a neat row on the binders.
I’m not suggesting that you go out and buy a labeler just so that you can more easily organize your coupons, but this is a good idea if you already have one or if you’ve been thinking about getting one for other household uses. If you’re looking for a bargain on one, here are three suggestions:
Couponing is all about streamlining the process as much as possible. I’ve been surprised at how much this little change has improved my coupon storage and retrieval, and I bet it’ll do the same for you.
Do your friends ever question the amount of time and effort you put into saving money, couponing, bargain hunting, and frugal living? While it is important to be moderate, it helps to remember that the money you save is worth far more than the money you earn. Check it out; you may be surprised at how much per hour you’re really making.
If you can’t view this video in the blog, you can watch it directly on YouTube.
New PYP members often want to jump right into the nitty-gritty of how to use the forums to find the best deals online. This video shows you how to do just that. If you want to view it in higher quality, you can download it here.
If you have trouble viewing the YouTube video in the blog, you can watch it directly on YouTube.
Always use a coupon on the item its intended for. You’ll know what it’s intended for by reading it. Just because a coupon “works” on an item it wasn’t intended for, doesn’t make it valid or ethical to use on that item. If you get a reputation as a dishonest couponer, it will stick with you forever. Also, FYI…Coupon fraud is a felony, not a misdemeanor.
Always honor the guidelines and policies set by your grocery store. Trying to get around set guidelines or limits will hurt you in the long run.
If a coupon says “One per customer” or “one per transaction” then you may only use ONE at a time. Most coupons say “one per purchase” which means you can use one coupon for each item you buy. If you have 5 coupons for Ragu spaghetti sauce, you can purchase 5.
Many people agree it’s ok to remove a peel-off (peelie) coupon from an item and use it on another ELIGIBLE item. Others think its not OK. It’s a personal choice….But most of us agree that it’s rude to remove more than a couple peelies. It can be frustrating to see a whole shelf of items that someone removed the peelies from.
Be reasonable in your expectations of a store. Remember stores don’t get reimbursed for honoring other stores coupons. So one at a time is a good guideline. Don’t expect them to hand over hundreds of dollars in merchandise that they won’t be reimbursed for.
NEVER be rude to a cashier. Always be polite, even if the cashier is clearly wrong, rude to you and/or dumb as a post. This way you can go over his/her head and get the matter resolved, and they will take you seriously because you kept your cool and were polite.
It’s VERY common for newbies to get overzealous and want to get anything and everything they can for free. PLEASE remember that there will be more deals, and you don’t have to get everything on the shelf right now. We’ve all been newbies. Spare yourself the embarrassment you’ll feel later for your “overzealousness.” The worst thing that can happen is for cashiers to start recognizing you for your excessive couponing adventures and talking about you in the break room. These store managers and cashiers can be your best friends or your worst enemies. Make sure they are your friends.