Cutting coupons is not just for your grandmother anymore! Especially in this economy, you can't afford not to learn how to use coupons. And with the many deals out there today, you can get them almost everywhere. It's like companies can't seem to give them aways fast enough. Corporations are dying because people don't have enough money to buy their product, so they are giving away coupons like candy. And you need to avail yourself of the deals they offer.
Grocery stores also want your business, and they often give specials of double and even triple off the value of your coupons. That means today you can not only use coupons to SAVE money, but you can also use coupons to MAKE money!
All it takes is a little time, a little know how, and a little planning. But with the right tools, you can cut your weekly grocery bill down by half, and possibly even three-quarters!
So what do you do? The following will help you with your coupon clipping.
1. Get a Sunday Paper and cut the coupons
Most Newspaper companies are now advertising upwards of $200 to $300 dollars worth of coupons included in their weekly Sunday Papers. These are a good start to your coupon arsenal. Go through and cut all the coupons that are products you are used to buying. Often they are good for several months, so don't feel pressure to buy that week. Use them as needed and save as much as you can.
2. Do some dumpster diving!
If you don't get a Sunday newspaper, then get ready to do some "dumpster diving!" Some people say, "I'd never dive into a dumpster!" And I must agree with them. I myself would never dive into a "dirty" dumpster. But there are many paper recycling places all over America where people throw out their Sunday papers full of coupons. And these are usually very clean. So, what's wrong with jumping in them and grabbing some extra coupon booklets? Nothing! Especially if you have a grocery store offering double and even triple coupon pricing. This is a good way to get as many coupons as you possible can. And what's great about most stores is they have more than one cashier. So if you are turned away for using "too many coupons" then just go out to your car and come back in and then check out with a different cashier!
3. Find Coupon books for your community!
Most communities in America have what's called an "Entertainment Book" for that area. In it are many coupons that are not only for groceries, but also for movies, dinners, amusement parks, and more. These books usually cost money (around $25 dollars) but they will save you in the long run, as they usually run over 100 pages, and have a total value of thousands of dollars. If you are used to going out and doing things, you will need this book, and in a years time, it will pay for itself 20 to 30 times over!
These books are often found in drug stores. You can also look them up online. Groupon.com is a great site.
4. Print coupons online!
Most people don't realize that coupons are not just printed on paper by manufacturers, but they can also be printed on your computer from the manufacturer's site. That's right, there are many companies that will allow you to go to their site and actually print a coupon. However, they often have a one or two coupon limit, allowing each computer to print only one or two coupons. This is why it's great to have multiple computers and multiple printers in your home or business. This way you can print as many as you want!
For example, my wife and I love the Welch's Sparkling Grape Juice. But it's always so expensive (usually over three dollars a bottle). But the other day we found a coupon online for 2.00 off of two. We then found the bottles on sale for $2.97 each. So we ended up getting them for 1.97 a piece. But because we had multiple computers, we were able to buy 8 bottles! And we stocked up for special ocassions.
5. Take advantage of Websites that teach you how to save using coupons!
Down South, we have an amazing website called Southernsavers.com. On that site, you can take a tutorial on learning how to shop with coupons. You then can click on the supermarket nearest you and see the weekly specials and then be directed to certain places to print coupons that will get you the best deal on those specials. If done right, you can even get money back that will come off of other items you buy at the same store! Potentially, you can gain a lot of money if you take the time and energy necessary to save!
There are many more sites out there, and you can take advantage of them at your leisure. Or, you can do like many Moms today, and make it almost a full time job to save money as you stock up on items you'll need in the future. With inflation and economic uncertainly on the rise, this is a much needed task. And it never hurts to be "overstocked" rather than "understocked."
6. When Buying Online, make sure you get a discount!!!
More and more people are buying things online. But they often don't realize that there are many sites out there devoted to saving them money. These sites offer PROMO codes which at the checkout will save you chunks of change. All you have to do is type in that company and that product in your search engine and see if there's a site out there with a valid PROMO CODE that will save you money. Sometimes you can get up to 20% off an item, just for entering the code!
Also, there are numerous companies that if you go through them before you purchase something, they will give you between 1% and 3% back on what you buy. A good example of this company is ebates.com. Go through them before you buy something, and you might just save a bundle.
7. Take advantage of extra awards
There are many companies now that have programs that will save you money, but you must enroll. One example is Winn-Dixie, which gives you special discounts if you sign up with them. They in turn give you a small card with a barcode on it, and when you check out you scan it at the register. It will save you a lot.
Autozone, also has the barcode card. At one time their promotion was that if you spent over 20 dollars five times in a row then you would receive a 20 dollar bill in return.
Office Depot has a deal that if you sign up for, you can get money back on each empty printer cartridge you take in. (Usually three dollars for each one). You can also get cash back on certain qualifying items you buy. They usually pay you quarterly, and send you a debit card for the full amount in the mail. This is like cash in the mail, and often it's a VISA card, which you don't even have to spend in their store. It can be used anywhere for anything!
One of the best promotions is Walgreens Bucks program. They too have a small card with a barcode, and as you go into the store you scan the barcode. A small printer then prints you out coupons. And, if you bought certain products before that qualified for their "bucks" award, then you will receive a coupon with that many bucks. It's just like CASH to spend on whatever you want in the whole store! How could anyone not take advantage of such a deal!
Further, if you know what you are doing, you can use a coupon to get a discounted item, and then use your bucks and get that item without dipping into your wallet at all. It's like getting the item free!
8. Look for discounted items and use coupons on those.
This is a little more tricky, but almost all stores have a discount section where they sell old and discontinued items. Sometimes, you might find an item that a coupon will work on, and it's possible to get the item cheaper than you expected with the coupon. That will always put a smile on your face! Paying less than you expected!
9. Look for coupons on the actual items themselves
Every now and again, you'll pick up an item at the store that will have a coupon sticker on it. Usually, it will tell you to peel the sticker and present it to the cashier for so much off. Most people don't do it. But you'd be a fool not too. It's extra money in your pocket!
Once, my wife and I went into a store and saw some charcoal on sale. There were two 10 lb bags wrapped together, and there was a sticker on it that said, "Save $10 dollars off your next purchase of this brand." My wife and I looked at each other and devised a plan. We then each took a bag to a separate cashier and paid for it, but we took the sticker off first, and then asked to cashier to scan it. Sure enough, it gave us the discount. We then took the stuff out to the truck and then came back and did the same thing over again, not once, nor twice, but three times! We figured it out later that we got each bag of charcoal for something like two dollars a bag! You just can't beat a deal like that!
10. Use coupons on more than just food and groceries.
Most people think coupons are only for food items, drug store products, or typical merchandise. But there are coupons for virtually everything. You can even get coupons off of services and maintenance.
For example, I now never pay more than 20 dollars for an oil change. It's because I've found coupons for a 14.95 oil change, and I've made it a point to always use that. Before, I was paying over thirty dollars to get my oil changed, but now I've cut that in half!
There are also coupons on virtually everything. When we go to the mechanic, we make sure to take a 10% off pamphlet we grabbed last time we were there. When we go office depot we make sure to take our $10 off of $50 coupons, and that saves a lot.
11. It even pays to BUY coupons!
Believe it or not, there are people out there who actually SELL coupons. That's right, they SELL THEM!!!
And, it actually pays to buy them. One example is that of the Lowes Home Improvement Store. My wife got online and bought us 10 coupons that say "10% off your next purchase at Lowes."
Armed with these, my wife and I remolded our house, making sure to take at least one coupon with us each time we went to the store. And even though my wife paid a few dollars for each coupon, we saved four or five times that amount with our big purchases for ceiling fans, cabinets, carpet, etc.
So with all the coupons out there today, there is no excuse for anyone to not use at least one coupon everytime they go to the store. Why buy retail when you can get at least something off? Why give them all your money? Wouldn't you like to save a little for yourself? Well with coupons you can save a little or a lot! It's all up to you. So get started couponing, and then let us know what deals you got! We'd love to hear some stories in the comments box below!