When you are on a budget, coupons can make the difference between hot dogs and steak, used or new.
It used to be that coupons were only found in magazines or papers. You cut them out, went to the store, got the item and handed them to the cashier. At least that is all I knew about coupons growing up.
Now there is ways to use coupons that can literally take your total purchase from $100.00 – $20.00 in a matter of scans. There is also things like price matching, digital coupons, double coupons and stacking coupons and that is only naming a few.
While some of you could probably teach me a lot about extreme couponing, there is other people that are like me and late in the game. With those people, I wanted to share some coupon basics.
1. Find a coupon organizer.
This can be one you make yourself or a store bought one. As long as it makes it easy for you, that is all that matters.
2. Start collecting your coupons.
Sunday papers is always the best place to start. They are full of coupons! Be sure and ask your family to save any papers or magazines they may have. This is a good start.
You can also find coupons at the store. Stores are now using machines on the aisles, be sure and grab them as you are in there. Even if you aren’t purchasing that item at that moment, you may want to later. I have been known to lay coupons I don’t want, next to the product on a shelf for customers. Watch out for other people to do that.
Another way to find coupons is by searching the internet. Going to the companies websites and printing them out. Another tip might be to like a companies Facebook page. They sometimes give special coupons.
You can always email/write a company and request coupons. Sometimes they are more then happy to send coupons and special offers to people that take the time to reach out to them.
3. Organize your coupons.
This could be a whole post in itself! You have to figure out a system that works best for you. A lot of people just use regular 3 ring binders that they can carry to the store with them. No matter what system you are using, you might want to make sure that you have categories for coupons and file them by expiration dates.
4. Sign up for loyalty cards
Most stores offer these now and they can save you quite a bit. These even can lead you to the new world of digital couponing. That is where you sign in to a site with your loyalty card and add the coupons right to it. Once your at the store, and the cashier scans your card, those coupons go off instantly. One tip I would strong advise on adding digital coupons to your card, is to write what you add down. The size, the name brand. If you get the wrong thing, your coupon isn’t going to work right.
5. Learn different ways to use coupons.
You first need to find out which stores double and even triple coupons. This is where the store takes your .75 cent coupon and takes off $1.50 or more if they triple. The only thing you have to do when doing this is finding out the stores that do this, the time and day they do this and if they have a special policy. Some stores do restrict the amount of same coupons you can use at one time. For example if you bought 5 sunday papers and are using all 5 coupons on double coupon day, they may only allow you to get double off the first 3.
For example. You have a coupon for .50 off of paper towels from the Sunday paper. You also have a .50 coupon from the company for that same roll of paper towels. Some stores will allow you to use both of those coupons at the same time. This is different then double coupons, but you can get a $1.00 roll of paper towels for free when using this method.
While there is much much more to learn about the coupon world, too much info at once tends to get overwhelming. At least for me. I will stop here for today. I do hope you can take something valuable away from this post.
Do You Coupon? If so, be sure and add any tips, comments or suggestions in the comment section below. This Shopping Wife always loves hearing from you Shopping Wives!