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How I Became one of the Couponing Girlies

Have you ever found yourself scrolling through Instagram and stumbled upon those viral posts of women strolling out of stores with carts piled high, long receipts, and very small totals? Yeah, me too! And I watched with equal parts envy and curiosity. I'd see posts pop up on my feed, showcasing massive hauls from places like Walgreens, Dollar General, and Family Dollar. The couponers weren’t snagging a couple of items or saving a few dollars here and there. They were paying pennies on the dollar for items that normally cost an arm and a leg, especially from a store with such high markups for everyday items as Walgreens.


I was intrigued, but also felt challenged by these sistas, because why was I paying full price for Gain, toothpaste, and dishwashing liquid? I made the jump down the digital couponing rabbit hole myself into the “wild world of digital couponing”.

"I wouldn't trade this hobby for anything."

Armed with nothing but my phone, a few hours of binge-watching “POV: I just scored at Walgreens” reels and a newfound mission to save, I headed out to Walgreens. As a newly minted “couponer,” my initial goal was stockpiling my favorite soaps, deodorants, and toothpaste without breaking the bank. Why these items? From my short research, these items are commonly on special. I started with Walgreens because of @Krystenmitchsaves “beginner-friendly hauls" series on Instagram and Youtube. 

Things escalated quickly. It wasn't long before I was knee-deep in  couponing, anticipating Sunday coupon drops, following my favorite Instagram coupon girlies and their “weekly haul” videos, and scouting out the best deals like the pros. And let me tell you, my first successful deal? It was like a rush of adrenaline. Suddenly, I wasn't just a casual follower anymore. I was a “beginner digital couponer.” Yes, the terms matter.  BOGO (buy one, get one, for the uninitiated among you), stacking, and doubling are familiar terms, but those are from the yesteryears of paper coupons. It's like digital couponing and rebate apps put me in a whole new dimension.


But you know what? Despite the learning curve, despite the occasional coupon mishaps (so embarrassing because, no, I don’t want 16 bags of tide pods if not on sale), I wouldn't trade this hobby for anything. There's something undeniably satisfying about scoring a big deal and walking out of a store with bags full of goodies knowing you saved a small fortune. And the best part? I'm not alone in this. The couponing community owns a whole corner of social media filled with real coupon queens who share tips, tricks, and success stories like it's nobody's business. It's like finding a sisterhood, a tribe of like-minded individuals who understand the thrill of the hunt.


So, if you've ever been tempted by those Instagram posts, if you've ever wondered what it's like to dive headfirst into the world of couponing, it's worth it. Sure, it might take some time to get the hang of things, but trust me when I say, the rewards are priceless.


Here are four things you can do right away to get started:


1. Follow couponers like @Krystenmitchsaves and @couponingwithnicole_ on Instagram. Not only do they post weekly deals and breakdowns, but it’s also a great way to support two Black and Brown content creators while learning the tips and tricks to successful hauls.

2. Choose a store and download correlating store apps and rebate sites. It’s much easier to learn the coupon lingo, rules and sale patterns of one store to get the hang of digital couponing. Once you learn one store, you will have an easier time with new stores and their rules. I’ve found that store coupons, manufacturer’s coupons and rebate apps mirror from week to week.


3. Set aside a designated time for putting together deals. Having a set time to check apps and match your coupons with potential deals, and your needs makes it much easier to go into your store with confidence. I also suggest having a designated folder or notebook to jot down your deals. You can also use multiple email addresses for each app, which gives you access to even more coupons!


4. Go to the store! One of the best things you can do for your couponing confidence (if necessary) is first try a small deal. This will help you scope out deal-friendly clerks. Some will welcome you and act like your score is their score; others may not. But guaranteed, you will notice which store associates are coupon friendly right away.  Just go!


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