So money is a little tight, and you need to stretch every penny? Couponing is an excellent way to do just that, and here are 4 easy tips to help you save big at the register!
Acquiring the coupons
Most people just clip out coupons from their Sunday paper. It’s a good start, but not enough if you want extreme savings. Don’t settle for just one paper though, subscribe to multiples. You can also ask friends, family, and coworkers if they use the coupons from their paper, and if not, ask for them! More coupons equal more savings! You might check local businesses on Monday morning and ask them if you can have the ads from the paper before they toss them. If you become friendly enough they might even start setting them aside for you!
It’s also beneficial to check-out websites like Canadian Savers for printable coupons for use in store. These websites tend to aggregate a lot of coupons making the hunt for more savings a little easier.
Also, before completing an online purchase do a google search for coupons for the retailer your shopping with. You can often find codes for free shipping, or $X off a purchase of $Y or more, $25 off $100 for example. If you use Firefox or Chrome you should get Coupons Helper. It’s a wonderful little add-on that remains completely unobtrusive until you go to purchase something. Then it kicks in, searching and alerting you to any coupons it finds for whatever you are purchasing, saving you from any manual searching. Pretty neat.
Once you’ve collected and clipped all your coupons, organize them! The two typical ways are by expiration date and product category, or both. Keeping your coupons organized is key, that way whenever you find a deal you can quickly check and see if you have any coupons that could elevate it from a great deal to extreme savings! Organization also helps at the register, streamlining the whole process, making you less of a bother to the other customers in line, though if you have a truly prodigious amount of coupons you might want to let them know to try another lane if possible, and try to avoid shopping at peak hours. Courtesy never hurts!
Get familiar with the stores
Some stores will allow certain coupons to stack, others might have double coupon days where they double the face value of the coupon, some will price match their competitors, and others will have their own ad pages. Get familiar with the stores in your area, learn what they do and don’t offer. Also make sure to keep a copy of the stores policies with you in case a cashier or manager attempts to dispute a sale. The easiest way to win that argument is to show them the policy in writing. Remember though, you should always remain polite and friendly, as in most situations the cashier or manager is simply unfamiliar with the policy in question, and you’ll be much likelier to achieve positive results!
Buy only what you’ll use
If you don’t like sauerkraut, and none of your family or friends do, then you probably shouldn’t buy 20 cans, even if it only costs you a dollar. The exception is when the item in question will actually bring down the cost of your entire purchase. In that case buy it, but make sure to find a home for it! You can always donate it, and then you get to feel great about getting a great deal AND being a great person!