6yr old Kaylee helps her mom locate a bottle of shampoo at RiteAid.  It was top on their coupon game plan because it was FREE after use of a coupon and RiteAid's UP Reward program!
6yr old Kaylee helps her mom locate a bottle of shampoo at RiteAid. It was top on their coupon game plan because it was FREE after use of a coupon and RiteAid's UP Reward program!
ADA - Couponing has become a go-to strategy for many families trying to save money or free up some room in their budget. While the show 'Extreme Couponing' tends to paint an unrealistic picture of how much money can be saved, there are many couponers who are successfully saving a decent amount of money each month. By taking the time to plan your shopping around sales and clip or print corresponding coupons you can often cut your bill in half!
If you have children you can use couponing as an opportunity to teach them important skills as well as keep them busy during your shopping trips! There is more to couponing then just the financial part. Small children can practice their cutting skills by helping to cut coupons from the sale fliers. Just be sure the barcodes remain intact!

Older kids can help create shopping lists. When you are trying to match coupons with sale items it is important to make a shopping game plan or itemized list so you don't get mixed up and grab something that doesn't match your coupon. Note brand, size and quantity on your list. You can ask your kids to help you organize the coupons by sections in the store - food, laundry, cleaning, etc. This will make finding the deals easier plus it let's kids practice their categorizing skills.

For older kids, have them help you call the store ahead of time to inquire about their coupon policy. Since policies change often it is important that you always check with management in advance. Having your teenagers make this call for you, of course saves you time, but it also teaches them skills about planning ahead and gives them experience dealing with customer service.

The final step in couponing is using them. It can be smooth or stressful or sometimes both! The more you plan in advance the easier your shopping trip will be. While its normal to want to shop alone without the distraction of kids, its better to take them with you and have them help. If they have contributed to your coupon game plan they should get to help with the shopping too. Looking for sale items, sorting through coupons, and trying to remember policies can be stressful. Use this time to ask your kids to help you locate your items. Teach them about the importance of being calm and patient.

Couponing is a great way to cut costs during your shopping trips. It also poses an opportunity to teach kids many life skills such as planning ahead, how to communicate with customer service and remaining patient during busy or stressful situations. If you would like to learn more about how to save big with coupons join local coupon specialist Stephanie's Savings Class at the Ada Public Library on Saturday, Nov. 2, from 12 to 2 p.m. The class is free and open to the public. Stephanie's Savings will have a coupon support packet as an optional $5 purchase. Visit her website at stephaniesavings.net