We sat with Stephanie Nelson to get a deeper understanding of what one needs to successfully 

Couponing is becoming quite popular, what are some ways that you’ve noticed couponing change?

There has been an increase in the number of coupons distributed digitally, in the form of printable coupons, digital coupons saved to loyalty cards, cash back offers and coupon phone apps.

What are the top three things that new couponers need to know?

New couponers need to know the coupon and loyalty card policies for the stores they use, the price ranges of the items they purchase regularly to be able to recognize if using a coupon is a good deal or not, and how to combine store policies and coupons to maximize savings.

How do you recommend staying organized when couponing?

“Grocery and drugstore loyalty programs have dramatically increased the number of digital coupons.”

Use the “whole insert” method of couponing and only cut out the coupons you need for each shopping trip, using the grocery deals websites’ directions. You should print the coupons you need before each shopping trip. Plan your shopping list and gather the coupons needed before you shop to avoid confusion and disorganization in the store.

What are three tips you can give to our readers who are looking to stick to a budget?

Know the prices of your common items so you can identify when they hit their lowest price, then stock up on the items then. If you wait until you run out, you may get stuck paying full price. Always make a detailed shopping list before going to the store, using your stores’ sale items as the basis for planning your week’s menus. Inventory your current supplies so you do not overbuy.

Stick to your list. A comprehensive list also results in fewer shopping trips each week which will help save.

“Cherry pick” the best grocery deals at two or more stores each week. Two well-organized shopping trips will take less time than one disorganized trip, and you’ll maximize your savings by getting the best deals at multiple stores.

How do loyalty and rewards programs use coupons?

The grocery and drugstore loyalty programs have dramatically increased the number of digital coupons, automatic rebates, store coupons and cash back offers available to shoppers who take advantage of their easy loyalty programs.