Knowing where to start can be overwhelming for a new coupon shopper! First, think about your grocery bills today. Make a mental list of what you buy most frequently. This list may include cereal, pasta, bottled juices and other packaged items, fresh meat and produce and personal care items, such as toothpaste, shampoo and razors.
Aim to cut your current budget in half. While some weeks your outlay may be higher or lower, each week's bill should average out to half of what you spend today.
How do you do this? By saving coupons to use during a good sale and by stocking up when prices are lowest. It's crucial to shop according to the pricing cycles at a store. Prices fluctuate from high to low on any given product, typically in a 12-week pattern. Perhaps you usually purchase only what you'll use in a week. As you embark on your first couponing adventure, you must focus on a longer timeframe. Stock up on an item you frequently use when it hits its lowest price.
If you eat one box of cereal every two weeks, buy six when your favorite brand goes on sale.
Here's another simple tip to help you know how much to buy: Any time you see an item on sale, especially if is a half or a third off its regular price, buy multiples that equal the original price of the item. For example, if a jar of pasta sauce regularly priced at $2.99 is on sale for 99 cents, buy three jars. Even if you don't use coupons, you'll pay $2.99 for three jars instead of one. (via Couponing 101: First steps on the saving journey)