Top 13 Ways to Save Money with Coupons
Guest Post from Ashley at Become a Coupon Queen
1 ) Match Coupons with Weekly Sales. Always use coupons on items you need when they go on sale to double up on savings. Watch the grocery ads for weekly sales and look for store coupon matchups on my site and others. When items are at rock bottom price stock up on them to last you 3-6 months (typical sales cycle). This is called stockpiling and really is the key to saving as much as possible.
2 ) Know your prices. Just because a store tells you it is on sale does not mean that is the cheapest sale price. Start a price journal and track prices on your typical grocery purchases. We purchase so many different products it is hard to remember what a good sale price is and at what store.
3 ) Seek Out Printable Coupons. Some of the best coupons come from the Internet. Check out coupon websites to select coupons you want to print and cut out to use at your grocery store just as you would coupons from the Sunday paper. Some of the top coupon sites on the web are Coupons.com, Redplum.com and CouponNetwork.
4 ) Make your Store Loyalty Card work even harder for you. Online coupon sites like Cellfire and Savingstar.com allow you to load coupons onto your store loyalty cards for savings without printing or clipping. Just click the coupons you want and they’re automatically redeemed when you use your loyalty card. Many Store Loyalty cards offer eCoupons right on their site also. A perfect example of this is Dillons/Kroger. They typically have a selection of well over 150 coupons to choose from.
5 ) Seek Out Coupons for Sales: If you spot a great sale and want to maximize your savings, go online to a site like My Coupon Hunter or Coupon Carryout to order coupons for a few cents each. Some people may argue that paying for a coupon defeats the purpose but I disagree. It really depends on the coupon and what you are paying for it. Is it economical to pay $0.10 for a $0.30 coupon, not really. Is it economical to pay $0.10 for a $5.00 coupon, yes! You can read more about coupon clipping services HERE.
6 ) Reach Out to Your Favorite Brands. Frequent their websites. You’ll often find money-saving printable coupons right on the sites or you can sign up for special offers by mail or email. If you really like a brand send them an email telling them so. I have received coupons for FREE items numerous times just by sending a short email telling them how much I like their product. Make a list of your favorite brands then once a week pick one of them and send off a short email then sit back and watch the coupons and free stuff be delivered right to your mailbox. HERE is a list of Coupon friendly brands.
7 ) Be Strategic About Buy-One-Get-One-Free (BOGO) Sales. To double your savings, use (2) coupons when a product is on sale buy-one-get-one-free, one for each of the products you are taking home to save more money. Also, if you have a BOGO coupon for the product that is on BOGO sale, both items end up being FREE at most stores!
8 ) Stack Store & Manufacturer’s Coupons. Several national grocery retailers offer coupons that can only be used in their stores. When you purchase a grocery item you can pair the store-specific coupon with a manufacturer’s coupon for extra savings. Target is a great example of this. They offer many Target Coupons right on their website that you can print then use along with a manufacturers coupon. Meijers also offers Mealbox coupons right on their website. Mealbox coupons are Meijer only coupons that can also be paired with a manufacturers coupon for extra savings!
9 ) Hit Double & Triple Coupon Days at Your Grocery Store. To save the most money it pays to know your store coupon policies and be aware of which stores double or triple, and up to how much on each product. One of my favorite stores is Dillons/Kroger. They double coupons up to $0.50 and anything from $0.51 to $0.99 is rounded up to a $1.00. I consistently save 75% off my groceries shopping their sales and taking advantage of their double coupons.
10 ) Take advantage of drug store programs such as CVS Extra Care Buck Program, Walgreens Register Rewards and Rite Aid’s Single Check Rebate and + UP Rewards. Drugstores regular prices are often higher than big box stores but when you pair their sale prices with their store reward offers and add manufacturer’s coupons on top of that, you often can get stuff for FREE and sometimes even make money by purchasing a particular item. Example: at Walgreens Maalox was on sale for $5.09 each and if you purchased $30 in products you received a $10 Register Reward. To make this a money making deal you paired it with using (6) $5/1 Maalox coupons therefore only paying $0.54 out of pocket then you received a $10 Register Reward back making it a $9.46 Money Maker!
11 ) Just because you have a coupon does not mean you have to use it. I think this is one of the biggest mistakes people make and actually end up spending more money. This is the whole reason companies put out coupons. Human nature is to use a coupon just because you have it. FIGHT THE URGE! If it is something you need then by all means use it but don’t fall into the trap of redeeming the coupon just because you have it. It is like playing poker in a way. You have to know when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em. I can’t even begin to tell you how many of my coupons get unused before they expire but that is ok because there are always more coupons.
12 ) Take advantage of the numerous mail in rebates that companies offer. I get around 5-6 checks in the mail on an average month. I have not paid for cat litter in over 2 years by taking advantage of products that are FREE after mail in rebate. To save even more, use a coupon on the item too if available! Some companies will deduct any coupon savings from your rebate but often times they don’t. Even if they do you are at least paying less out of pocket to begin with. I am a mail in rebate fanatic! Just recently I got a $120 toothbrush for $8.00 by combining a coupon, CVS sale and Extra Care Bucks and a mail in rebate. Many people hate mail in rebates because they always forget to send them in. I have in my office a specific shelf on my desk just for rebate stuff and as soon as I get home from shopping I put all things rebate related on the shelf then every Sunday I fill out my forms and send them off. Make it a routine and you won’t forget!