What do you do with the coupon and sale inserts that come in your Sunday paper every week? Do you comb through and pick out only the coupons for products you use? Do you take them and use them at the grocery store the next day? Do you throw them out altogether? If you do any of these things, you could be missing out on hundreds of dollars in savings every year. A coupon is essentially cash in your pocket, and you want to accumulate as much extra cash as possible. You don’t have to be an “extreme couponer” to put your coupons to good use. You just need to learn some techniques that will help you use your coupons more effectively. Here are some ways you can use coupons to save money.
If you use a coupon as soon as you get it, you are probably missing out on savings by using it too soon. Coupons bring you the greatest savings when they are combined with sale prices. You should always try to wait until the product you want to buy has naturally hit a low, or lowest, price on the shelf. Then, buy it and use a coupon on top of the store savings. For example, if you have a $1 off coupon for a tube of toothpaste, don’t use it when the toothpaste is at its regular price of $4. You will still be paying $3 for the tube. Wait until it goes on sale or clearance for a $1.50. Combined with your coupon, you’ll only pay 50 cents. That’s maximizing your savings!
Tip: Grocery stores and drugstores have weekly sale circulars. If you shop at a particular store, Google “store name + coupon matchups” before you go shopping. There are tons of dedicated coupon bloggers who will do the work for you by providing you with a list of sale items and where to find the coupons that go with them.
Combining with Store Coupons
Most of the coupons you get in the mail are manufacturer coupons. They are provided by the company that makes the product, and you can use the coupon anywhere the product is sold. Many different stores also offer their own coupons for use in their establishment only, such as Target, Rite Aid and CVS. Most of these coupons are available online, and they have a different type of bar code. While you can only use one manufacturer coupon per item, you can also use one store coupon. If you find a manufacturer coupon for toothpaste, check to see if Target or another store of your choice has any coupons for the same product, and then use them together for greater savings.
Tip: Make sure you check the coupon policy of the store you are shopping at. Every store has different rules on coupon use that you will need to follow.
You can find many more coupons than just the ones you get in the newspaper by searching online. Coupon databases will provide you with additional coupons. Try Coupons.com, CoolSavings, CouponDealsDaily, Coupon Network, RedPlum.com, and SmartSource.com If you want to buy a particular product, you should always search the product’s or manufacturing company’s website. Lots of times there are coupons available on the website only that you can print.
Tip: If you want to buy a product and there is no coupon available, try emailing the company and asking them for a coupon. Many companies are more than happy to send you some coupons if it means you’ll buy their products.