So as a beginning couponer, you wonder. When do I use a coupon? I have this great coupon, so should I use it now?
Over time, here's what I've started doing: If a super coupon comes out, I print it (if it's a printable, which many of the REALLY good ones are) and hang onto it. If it's an item I really REALLY need then I'll go ahead and use it, but I will try to hold onto it and wait for a good sale to pair it with. Most coupons I will hold until right before expiration and then use it the day or so before it expires.
Think of it this way, you can always use a coupon on a regular priced item, so hang onto that sucker and if you don't get a sale, then you can use it before it expires on the regular priced item.
A good example: I received some of the Vocalpoint mailer q's for Kashi Heart to Heart cereal. In the pack was a "free" box coupon and some $1.50/1 coupons. I could have run right out and used my free box coupon, but I chose to wait. A couple of weeks later I found the new Whole Foods booklets which have a $1/1 Kashi product coupon and several of the Publix stores here accept Whole Foods as a competitor. Then, the Kashi cereals went on sale 2/$5. So stacking the Whole Foods coupon with the $1.50/1 coupons gave me free cereal. And when I stacked the Whole Foods coupon with the "free" box coupon, I got a dollar overage.
And here's another example:
A month or so ago, some printables were out on cookingwithkraft.com for the Oscar Meyer Deli Creations sandwiches. There was a BOGO Publix coupon and a $.75/1 Publix coupon printable. I could have gone out and used those for a good deal, buy two and use the $.75/1 and the bogo. But I thought I would wait.
Then a coupon came out to save $1 on Publix brand water wyb a deli creations sandwich. Alright, now we're getting there!
But today, there's a coupon HERE for $1/1 Deli Creations sandwich manufacturer coupon. Aha! Now, the last time I was in, I price checked and these were 2/$5. If these are the same price, I can buy two and use one Publix bogo coupon, one $.75/1 Publix coupon and two $1/1 manufacturer's coupons as well as save $1 on Publix brand water.
Now I've gotten water, and two sandwiches for a moneymaker of $.25.
That's what I call a good deal.