Are You New Here?

Welcome to Pocket Your Dollars! I’m glad you are here. We’ve compiled a set of tried-and-true tips that help newcomers get started on a rewarding money-saving journey.

Stay Connected to Pocket Your Dollars

Over 1.3 million visitors to this website and its community in 2011 can’t be wrong. We will help you save tremendous amounts of money with a limited investment of your time. In fact, I’m confident you can save at least $25 bucks by next week.

Additionally, ensure you never miss a time-sensitive deal that might be sold out before tomorrow’s email. Like Pocket Your Dollars on Facebook or follow @CarrieRocha on Twitter to get deals in your feed as they are shared here on the site.

You can join thousands of others and visit our website itself, time and again, to get the latest money-saving tips. Links to our most recent articles appear on the homepage in one of the three main categories “Find Deals & Freebies”, “Print Shopping Lists” or “From the Blog” that sit beneath the scrolling image box.

Stop Clipping Coupons

Did you hear that? You are using a website that advocates the use of coupons, but you are encouraged to stop clipping every coupon that comes in the Sunday paper. Instead, you will only clip the coupons you need that correspond with sale items for the week or other household necessities. The shopping lists on Pocket Your Dollars cross-reference which coupons you need for the different sale items, so clip what you need, or find coupons for non-sale items in the Pocket Your Dollars’ coupon database.

Each Sunday pull the coupon insert magazine thingys out of your newspaper and write the date of the Sunday paper they came in on the front (if you forget to mark them you’ll find the date in teeny print on the exterior spine of the insert). You’ll notice that the insert’s publisher’s name is printed across the top – whether Procter & Gamble, Smart Source, Red Plum, General Mills, Unilever, or Kellogg’s. Taken together, you’ll be able to find any coupon you need using the date and publisher’s name.

Every few months you’ll want to purge your collection of coupon inserts following Carrie’s coupon purging system. You don’t have to throw out your expired coupons, instead re-purpose them following these ideas.

Round Up Extra Coupon Inserts

Talk to your neighbors, friends, co-workers, to see if they receive the weekly newspaper and are willing to give you their coupon inserts. Otherwise, consider purchasing 2 or 3 home-delivered copies of the paper since one $2 in coupons pays for the pay itself. Having multiple copies allows you to buy a couple of any item that is on sale at an amazing price. There’s no need to buy enough to get through to the end of time, but it is nice to buy enough on sale to get through to the next sale. Rearranging your grocery shopping so that you move to buy everything on sale at rock bottom prices, then buy enough quantity to get through to the next sale, is an important strategy to reducing your grocery budget.

If you want to order more Sunday papers, check out Discount Newspapers or, if you live in Minnesota or Western Wisconsin, order a Star Tribune or St. Cloud Times subscription via Pocket Your Dollars to get a free gift with purchase (our offers change over time, but we always share the best ones available in our weekly Sunday Coupon Preview posts).

Create a Second Email Address

Set up a new e-mail address that is dedicated to online deals, offers and coupons. Use this email address when websites require you to register as part of a freebie offer or in exchange for providing you a coupon. It keeps your primary email account from getting bogged down.

Besides an email address you may need to enter a phone number in some online forms. Use Google Voice to create a new number that you’re comfortable giving out.

Bring (a few) Extra Coupons to the Store

Yes, I already said that you only clip the coupons you need that correspond with items on your list. No more lugging around a big coupon file box. However, you may find value in allowing yourself to bring a few, and I literally mean a few, extra coupons with you. This is particularly important if you shop at a store where a certain number of coupons are doubled in value or you need to buy $xx of product in order to qualify for a particular promotion. If something is out of stock, then you can come up with a substitute.

I am a rule-follower at heart and like black and white limits, so I don’t keep more than 5 extra coupons in my binder at any time. In addition to those five, I allow myself to carry around any coupon for a completely free product that requires no additional purchase.

Print Coupons As They Are Available

Coupons that are available for printing from the internet are almost always available in limited supply and/or on a time-limited basis. If you hear of a coupon that you’d love to have, then you may want to print it right then and there. We provide printable coupon round-ups throughout the week that highlight the newest printable coupons.

Learn Rock Bottom Prices

Not all sales are created equal. There’s only way to tell the difference between a great sale price and a mediocre one and that is to learn the rock bottom prices for items. I recommend printing out a copy of Aldi’s everyday prices, found in any Aldi shopping list, and bringing it to the store. It will help you know if something truly is a good deal. Carrie aims to beat Aldi’s price with a sale combined with a coupon. Aldi’s regular prices are updated twice per year.

We’re More than Grocery Coupons

Our weekly shopping lists are our most popular feature, but we share timeless money-saving advice and deals across dozens of different categories. Online shoppers can use our cash back site, PYD Rewards, to earn a percentage of cash back when they shop online (for real, it’s no gimmick. Promise).

Ask Questions

This is a community, not just a website. After each blog post you can leave a comment or ask a question. If you’re uncomfortable sharing your name, then create an alias. Your email address, which is required to leave a comment, is safe with us. Carrie and the Pocket Your Dollars’ team are the only ones who see it and we will never ever share it with anyone. Ever.

You’ve got other options for communicating as well:

  • Once per week we have a blog post entitled “Open Mic”. Open Mic posts are an opportunity for readers to ask whatever money-saving questions they have and others in our community respond and answer; sort of like an online forum, but no login required.
  • The Pocket Your Dollars’ Facebook page is an active place and a great place to ask time-sensitive questions (or upload photos of your great bargains or deals).
  • Ask Carrie a question by mentioning @CarrieRocha on Twitter.
  • You can always send an old-fashioned email to Carrie using our contact form.

Understand How Pocket Your Dollars is Supported

I am very transparent in explaining how Pocket Your Dollars, as a free website, generates income. It’s important to me that you understand how we make money.

Read the Frequently Asked Questions

Read through Pocket Your Dollars’ Frequently Asked Questions to learn even more about the most commonly asked questions.

Your turn: What other tips should those just starting out with Pocket Your Dollars know?