Couponing has the ability to save you thousands over the years. It’s a fairly simple way to ensure that you save when you buy items you use every day.
However, just because you use a coupon doesn’t necessarily mean you save as much or are benefiting your finances as much as you might think. While using coupons isn’t a difficult task, there are methods, tips and tricks that many couponers use to significantly lower their bills.
Anyone can use coupons, but if you’re going to spend the time searching for, clipping, and collecting them, it only makes sense that you’ll expect large savings in return.
To ensure you receive full benefits from your couponing, follow these nine tips.
1. Go in with a Mission
You’ve probably heard the phrase “Don’t go grocery shopping when you’re hungry.” The logic behind the phrase is that when you’re hungry, you’ll ultimately end up buying a bunch of things you don’t need. If you’re hoping to save with coupons, you should go into the story with a similar mindset.
Have a set plan and list of things you’re going to purchase with coupons, get them, buy them, and get out. By doing so you’ll keep yourself from purchasing extraneous items, which would ultimately hinder your money saving abilities.
2. Research Your Store
Before using or searching for coupons for your favorite grocery store, look into your store’s policies on coupons and discounts. See if they allow you to stack coupons on top of one another, if they’ll allow you to use coupons from another grocer, or if they price match. You also might want to check into their policy about expired coupons; some store will allow you to use them up to a certain point, where others tend to be stricter. By doing so, you’ll know how to get the best deals possible and whether or not it might be more financially beneficial for you to shop for some things elsewhere.
3. Stock Up on Coupons
One of the best things you can do if you’re trying to master savings through coupons, is accumulate as many as you can. You’ll give yourself more options and possibly ensure that you have a coupon for whatever you might buy.
4. Organize Them
When you clip coupons, organization is key. Don’t just throw them in a pile somewhere, but instead, take the time to organize them in a way that gives you easy access. Try using an accordion folder, or even better, a binder with clear, divided inserts. You can organize your coupons by item or brand name so you know exactly where the ones you need are. You’ll also want to put them in order according to expiration date so you can use older ones first and eliminate any that have passed their date.Couponing can be an easy way to save on things you need and use in your home everyday. Click To Tweet
5. Stock Up on Items You Use Every Day
The biggest way you save when couponing is by amassing some of those household items and groceries that you use a lot. If an item you use frequently goes on sale for a significant amount, use this as an opportunity to buy multiples. You’ll have a supply of said item for a while and won’t have paid full-price for it.
That being said, however, some stores do place a limit on the number you can purchase, so you’ll want to check that first.
6. Don’t Use Every Coupon
A key to saving with coupons is to oddly not use every coupon you come across. Just because an item is on sale doesn’t necessarily mean you should purchase it. Some coupons don’t really save you much in the end and it’ll actually cost you more in purchasing the item.
Moreover, if a coupon’s about to expire, but you don’t need that product at the moment, then let it go. Don’t just buy things because it’s on sale; it’ll ultimately hinder your savings.
7. Learn How to Stack Coupons
Many grocery stores allow you to use more than one coupon at once. While any way you do so will save you money, knowing how to stack them to your advantage can save you even more. Sometimes using a percentage off first and then a certain dollar amount off is better, or be sure to use a larger percentage off before a smaller one. It’s also a good idea to do this in case one coupon before another could limit you from using an additional coupon.
Moreover, look multiple places for coupons, since you can often use a store coupon and a product coupon simultaneously.
8. Be Flexible
Sometimes the key to saving with coupons is being flexible with the products you purchase. Although you’ll likely find coupons for your favorite brands, stores might be more prone to offer bigger savings on generic or store-brand items. If you can be lenient and stray from say Jiffy or Charmin, you might be able to find far better savings and possibly find a less expensive brand you like just as much.
9. Open a Loyalty Card
While it can be a pain to open another card, rewards or customer loyalty cards can in many cases be used to your advantage and help you save. While I’m not suggesting you open any sort of credit card, many stores, for example Hy-Vee grocers, have rewards or fuel saver cards that can save you money in many ways. One major perk to many of these cards is additional and exclusive coupons that they often send members. By opting for one of these programs you could receive all the coupons online, in your paper, and even more.
For some, all the extra time put into couponing can seem like hassle. However, by putting in the time and effort and following along with a few tips and tricks, you might find major savings in your future. Just think of all the ways you could save, invest, and put that extra money to use!
Do you clip coupons? Where is your go-to place to find great coupons and deals?