Say the word coupons to some people and they just groan because they think its just not worth the time and effort it takes to cut them and use them. However, there are people who have turned coupon clipping and saving into an art form!
Learning how to save with coupons is really not difficult. Yes, youll spend some time clipping coupons and matching them up with sale items in the weekly flyers, but the savings youll reap will be well worth your efforts. Here, well look at some basic ways to save on food, household items, and personal items by using coupons to your advantage.
Where do I get coupons?
The Sunday paper is most likely to have coupon inserts each week. Check with your local newspaper however, as some areas put coupon inserts in their papers on Thursdays. Most newspapers offer discount subscriptions for one-day delivery.
Talk to your neighbors and tell them if they dont like clipping coupons, youd be happy to pick up their inserts each week. Then, to say thanks, show up at their door with a baked good or home cooked meal.
Keep your eyes open in the store coupons are sometimes placed in the aisles or on end caps to promote a certain item. In-store flyers are also a good resource for coupons.
Visit the manufacturers website. Theyll often have free printable coupons on their site. Sign up for free newsletters and theyll alert you to coupon savings via e-mail.
Coupons can be purchased on eBay, but make sure youre saving more money than youre spending.
Coupons for beauty products, pet supplies, restaurants, movie rentals, and clothing are also available in newspapers, online, or in flyers delivered to your door.
Online coupon websites are a great way to save, and are a wealth of information because their sole purpose is to alert you to the sales and coupon deals for that week. Most of them are free, or some can have a small membership fee, which can prove to be worth it.
How do I organize my coupons?
A three-hole binder with baseball card or business card plastic holders holds several coupons at once and can be seen at a glance.
Expandable files work well for some people when clipping coupons.
Divide coupons into categories so you can find a specific coupon quickly.
Keep your coupons in the car so you have them on hand for those impromptu visits to the store
Store inserts at home in a file folder or expandable file in order by date.
As you make out your shopping list, match your coupons to the sale items and then attach the coupons to the list for that particular store.
How do I get the best prices when clipping coupons?
Double coupons find out if your grocery store doubles coupons. For example, if you have a coupon for $.35 off a product, a store that doubles coupons will honor that coupon up to $.70. A coupon valued at $.50 will be worth $1.00. It may pay to wait until an item is on sale at a store that doubles your coupons in order to get the best price possible.
Competitor ads Stores such as Wal-Mart will honor a competitors price if you bring in the ad and show it to the cashier at checkout. Some stores will even honor another stores coupons. For example, JoAnn Fabric Stores will honor coupons from Michaels Crafts and vice-versa. Be sure to ask about your favorite stores coupon policies.
Store Sales always, always try to match a coupon with an item already on sale for the best price.
Brand Conscious if youre going to start clipping coupons to get the best prices, you must allow yourself to change your mindset about the brands you use on a regular basis. Perhaps Crest toothpaste is on sale this week, but you only use Colgate. If you also have a coupon for Crest, now is the time to give it a try.
Comparison Shop look around for the best prices. Consider stores like Aldi, Save-A-Lot, and Dollar General in addition to your larger grocery stores.
Stack Em Some stores offer their own coupons and will allow you to use manufacturers coupons in addition to theirs. For example, Target has coupons for grocery items on their website you can print for free. Match up manufacturers coupons for the exact item with the Target coupon and youll save a bundle at checkout.
e-Coupons several grocery stores offer e-coupons on their website. These stores almost always offer a shopper card as well. You can load your e-coupons onto your card via the website and then when you check out at the store, the coupons automatically are deducted from your total bill. Now, one note about the e-coupons; they are not doubled, so take that into consideration when looking at the price. However, you can use a manufacturers coupon in addition to the e-coupon and get additional savings that way.
Check Expiration Dates stores will almost always have unadvertised specials, especially on health and beauty products. If you have coupons that are about to expire (and its an item youd use), see if that product is on sale. Dont however purchase an item just because you have a coupon for it. Make sure youre getting the best price or else pass it up and send your expired coupons to a military base (they can use them up to six months past the expiration date).
Drugstore Rewards and Rebates many drugstores will offer rebates and rewards when you shop in their store. Stores like CVS, Walgreens, and Rite Aid have specific savings programs that allow you to sometimes walk out with items you received for free or were, essentially, paid to purchase. Look for savings booklets in the store, as these will often reward you for purchasing items not advertised in the regular flyer, but are on sale.
As you learn how to save while clipping coupons, youll look forward to the thrill of seeing how much you saved each visit.
If you can do it financially, take the amount you save with coupons at the store and put it into a savings account. Youll be shocked and pleasantly surprised at how much that savings account grows. Thats motivation right there to keep using coupons and saving money each month.