How to Save Money with Coupons in 2021
Before there was an Extreme Couponing TV show, there were groups of people who would shop and share using coupons. If you know how to make the most of couponing, you can save a lot of money.
Most people only dabble in coupon usage. They may check out the circulars in their Sunday paper, clip one or two items that look good, and forget to use them at the checkout stand.
Couponing is a well-planned method of shopping and saving, so you’re going to get a guide on how to achieve great financial results from your efforts! Once you get used to it, shopping at the grocery store can be fun.
It is more important than ever to cut costs in the current economy.
With some smart planning, you can get some incredibly good deals that will save you a ton of money on groceries. Saving money by using coupons is worth the effort because you can spend it on other things.
What Can Be Saved Through Using Coupons?
1. You can save up to 50% off your bill when you combine sales with coupons.
2. When you are buying meat, dairy products, produce, etc., you can often find free samples available. These are called “freebies” and they usually come in small bags.
3. Many stores offer double coupons during certain times of year. This means if you have $5 left over after all discounts, you could buy four items instead of just three.
There are many ways to save money at the grocery store and make small changes. Milking your coupon for all of the potential savings that are possible is one of those ways. It’s important to use your coupon when it will pack the most power.
One example is a recent sale at at CVS. They were giving one half off on garbage bags. The savings for the garbage bags were doubled with the use of a coupon as well as the card rewards coupon.
Many savvy couponers know what that is. You save the most money by using your coupons in such a way. Some shoppers end up getting money back from couponing because they know the ins and outs of how to get the best deals and even end up getting free stuff!
It’s possible to use coupons on sale products, but don’t get too creative until you know whether the deals are good and can afford them.
Make sure to research which stores have items on sale when you start couponing. If you add your manufacturers’ coupons to an in-store coupon, you can save more.
One example is when Publix put Lipton tea bags on sale for $2.99 and they were buy one get one free. Since you can use a coupon for both boxes of tea bags, the manufacturer’s coupon brought it down to 99 cents.
Add the $0.50 off from the in-store register receipt coupon and that made the item cost absolutely nothing at all!
That’s why it’s so important once you have all of your coupons clipped that you know which store is the best one to use them at. When you get those coupon inserts from your newspaper, you will notice that there are many savings on everything from food to toiletries to dog and cat supplies – but don’t automatically spend them (think of them as cash) – wait until a store is having a good sale first.
Coupon clipping is not rocket science; it takes time and practice.
Don’t forget about the other forms of discounting like rebates, promotions, and special offers.
Use your coupons strategically.
Look around before making purchases.
Be patient while waiting for the right deal.
Know your local retailers and their policies regarding coupons.
Keep track of your progress toward reaching your goals.
Looking at the Grocery Store With New Eyes
How you view the layout of the stores where you shop is a major clue to saving money on the stuff that you need. The most expensive and the most bought spur-of-the-moment items are going to be on the outer shelf displays of the aisle as well as in specially arranged displays located in the center of the aisles.
That’s a long standing method stores use to get you to part with your money. You should also let go of the belief that name brand is better. Milk is milk – regardless of which cow it comes from.
Staples like salt, pepper, flour and sugar are the same whether they’re the store’s brand or bear the logo of a household name company. Just like you need to alter your view of the grocery store, you need to alter your view of grocery shopping. Look at it as an operation of both timing and skill.
Create Your Shopping Plan
You might not know this, but all of the stores you shop at don’t automatically double the coupon’s face value. In order to get the added benefit of doubled coupons, you need to shop only at stores that will do that for you.
Understand that the coupon will not be doubled beyond that of a $1.00. That means that a $0.25 coupon will be one that’s doubled in value to $0.50. Be aware that if you have a coupon for $0.75 at a store that has the double coupon policy, you don’t get that extra $0.50 in savings.
Key points to remember:
1. Coupons can be used for any product or service that is sold in a retail store.
2. The coupon must have the manufacturer’s name and address printed on it. If you don’t know where to find this information, ask your local grocery store manager.
3. You cannot use coupons from one week to another. They expire usually after 7 days of purchase.
4. There may be restrictions on how many times you can use each coupon per transaction.
Some stores don’t want people using both a store coupon and a manufacturer coupon – especially on a buy one get one free item (or BOGO as they’re called). So know what your store will or won’t allow before you attempt it so that you don’t waste your time.
Your plan means that you select from your coupon stash the ones that will save you the most money. Search to see what store has the item for sale – if it is on sale and it’s at a store that’s coupon friendly including offering a double coupon policy, then you’ve hit the savings jackpot!
You should never leave a store without looking for an in-store coupon. For example, at CVS, you can check to see if there are any deals on the item by electronically scanning your Extra Care Card.
Though CVS is a drugstore, they do have food items and also a lot of grocery stores use their own type of Extra Care Card, but they just gave it another title.
Finally, look through your paperwork and any register receipts to see if there’s any kind of rebate that you can get back if you buy the product. A company that makes ink pens used to do that.
Pens were on sale and rebates were provided with copies of sales receipts. With coupons, you can save by building coupons upon coupons. You should start with manufacturer coupons, then add in store coupons, then membership discounts, and then rebates!
Show Me the Coupons!
Couponing is an art that can save you money and be used as a tool to show others how to save – newlyweds and people living on a fixed income could benefit from having someone show them how to make the most of their grocery budget.
1. Coupons can be used to save money on groceries and other items at the store. However, they should not replace a healthy diet or exercise routine.
2. The best time of year for couponing is during the summer months when stores have their biggest sales events.
3. There are many different types of coupons available including manufacturer’s coupons, grocery coupons, drugstore coupons, etc.
To be a proficient couponer, you need to know where to find the little pieces of paper that put dollars back in your bank account. Where are they right now? Some of the most popular places to find coupons are covered in this article.
Newspapers are the first stop when you want to look for coupons. The Sunday paper contains a nice insert filled with various coupons. But did you know that you can also find coupons in your local gazette type of newspapers?
The gazette papers offer discounts for the grocery store, restaurants and more. They are usually free, but you can usually find them inside of the store itself in a metal holder.
Smart Source is both a print and an online treasure trove of coupons and deals. You can enter your zip code to see what coupons are available for you. The Source will also let you know what free deals you can find, too.
I’ve found this site very useful in finding discounts/freebies from local businesses as well as other stores
RedPlum is also another source for finding coupons that you can search. They have an insert for newspapers but can also be found online as well. Some of the recent coupons they had were ones for $1.00 off a Honeysuckle turkey, $0.55 off Eagle Brand condensed milk, $1.00 off Cottonelle toilet paper, and a huge $7.00 coupon off of NicoDerm.
If you used those products, right there, you would save almost $10.00 from looking through just one coupon savings offer. Pay attention to which companies are prone to put in coupons at what time during the month so that you’ll always know when to grab them.
Websites for grocery stores and drugstores.
Online coupons are now available for download directly from store websites. Coupons for both manufacturers and stores are included. Consider checking for coupons before you arrive at the store. Occasionally, you can even get freebies. Just present your store card at checkout to redeem your coupons.
Print isn’t the only way that you can save money, either. Online resources can be used as a wellspring of coupons to save on your groceries.
Look Right Where You Shop
There are times when coupons seem to appear out of thin air. Well, not quite like that, but you can move an item and then see where a coupon has been left behind by a sweet couponer who didn’t need that product – so they’re kind of paying it forward.
Then you’ll also find coupons actually affixed to items that you can lift off. Another way you can get unexpected savings is by reading your receipts. Not just looking for mistaken charges (though you should be doing that, too) but looking to see if the store printed any savings in-store that are good for your next visit.
If you shop at one place more than others, then you might have a frequent shopper card. Those can be used for good deals, too because the stores will send out coupons for you to get stuff for discounted prices and sometimes free.
That’s just a way that stores reward your faithfulness in buying from them instead of their competitor. If you don’t know if your store offers this, don’t hesitate to ask.
You can also ask at the customer service desk if there are any coupons. Some stores will give out coupons at the customer service desk. A CVS pharmacy store kept discounts offered by companies in a binder and when customers asked, they would give those discount coupons. Sometimes all it takes is asking in order to find great savings.
Know Local Stores’ Best Deals & Sale Patterns
You can get the most out of any coupon when you shop at the stores with the best deals for canned goods or similar items.
You need to pay attention as you shop. You learn about the local store’s prices and sale patterns over time. If your local Walmart’s bakery section sells bread and bagels on certain days of the week, you might be interested. Perhaps your town’s Kroger has better prices and more frequent discounts on frozen meals than your local grocery store.
As you learn this type of information, you can be more selective about where you shop for individual products. You don’t have to waste time and gas shopping at multiple stores for a single grocery trip, but for specific products, it can make sense to coupon at stores that are more likely to have deals or just better prices on that product category.
Learn your store’s coupon policy
Look up the store’s rules for coupons. You can usually find these on the internet or in person.
Here’s what to look out for:
Is it possible to double a coupon? You can double your coupon up to a certain threshold at some stores. If you have a 50-cent coupon, the store will give you $1 off.
Are you required to join the program? If you want to claim some coupons, you have to create a loyalty program account with the store and use your rewards card.
Get Coupons Online
Coupons.com, The Krazy Coupon Lady and RetailMeNot are some of our favorite couponing websites. You’ll find a lot of information on how to save even more. Don’t forget to visit your favorite brand’s website for coupons and promotions, as you can also find them on some manufacturer websites.
Hip2Save.com is another great source of coupons and freebies, including restaurant coupons.
Veteran couponers also know about www.cellfire.com, which shows site visitors how to locate coupons that are focused on their region.
Not all coupons will jump out at you, so look for sites that might be more obscure. Use different phrases to pull up coupon sites. Even the phrase “retail coupons” pulls up a multitude of sites with savings. You can check out http://www.retailmenot.com/grocery/ and see the savings you’ll find there.
Go Straight to the Top – Look up the Manufacturer
Remember that in the beginning especially, you want to get those coupons built up, so you’re going to have to get them from a variety of sources. You want to keep your eyes open.
Besides newspaper, magazine and online coupons, make sure that you go straight to the source – the big businesses that make the products that you like to use. Why do manufacturers like giving coupons to customers?
A customer who saves money is happy and a happy customer morphs into a loyal customer. Usually all you have to do to tap into this source is find the company online. Sign up for their mailing list or newsletters.
Some manufacturers have social media pages, too. Follow your favorite retailers and restaurants to find out about the latest deals.quick
That’s a way that you can get coupons for cents off, and you can often get the item at no charge. To keep a customer loyal, some companies love to send out samples of their products free – so don’t overlook this.
Email, call, or write a letter to do whatever you have to do to get offers for coupons. It will be worth the effort. For example, a simple Tweet to a popular vegetarian manufacturer resulted in five coupons where the shopper got to buy anything in the line of food for absolutely ZERO cost to them.
Time it Right
There’s a reason why extreme couponers buy so many bottles of the same product. They wait for an item to go on sale, and then save big at the check out counter with their coupons. If you can wait a little while to get your peanut butter, you’ll see the savings.
“For instance, if I were a fan of all things vegan, I would need to know that between mid March and April, I should keep my eyes open for Earth Day sales cycles because that is the best time to find sales and coupons,” says one expert. For Thanksgiving sales, grocery stores start their sale cycles late in October, for example. Savings are available year-round and sales differ, but overall they recycle the same way as coupons. In terms of coupons, they don’t change throughout the year. However, they are definitely based on the season. Examples include Christmas, New Year, Easter, etc.
Do Stay Organized to Maximize Savings
It happens to all of us – you can’t find the coupon you need and then you do find it, and it’s expired. Frustrating and not helpful! You have to know where your coupons are if you want to save and you have to know if they’re valid.
It doesn’t matter if you pick up one of those contraptions that looks like an accordion wallet for them or if you have a filing system that’s state of the art – just use something and use it without fail!
Some couponers put off cutting the coupons out and leave them to do the day of use. But that way is too easy to fall into a last minute rush trying to find the stash of inserts – and not only that, but it looks messier, too.
You don’t have to be the Martha Stewart of coupon organization, but you do have to have a system. Create one that suits your method of shopping. Get your canned goods first? Then make a system where you file them by canned goods first.
If you are new at couponing and want to get started with it right away, start small! You can always add more items later on if you find yourself getting overwhelmed or having trouble keeping up with all of your coupons. Start out with just 5-10 different products in each category so you will not feel like you need to spend hours organizing everything.
File them according to how you write your grocery list. The trick is to do what works for you and not try to do what doesn’t because you won’t stick with it. Loose coupons tend to get overwhelming, so have something to put them in.
It doesn’t matter what it is, but one of the more successful ways to organize them is to purchase a binder (you can find one at WalMart for less than $1) and those plastic inserts used to hold baseball cards.
You can file the coupons in the plastic inserts according to category and see at a glance what you have. You have to put some effort into keeping up with the organization of your coupons.
Clip them when you get them or as soon as you can. Toss expired ones on a regular basis unless you give them to an organization that sends expired coupons to servicemen and women overseas, where they’re still viable.
Keep couponing in perspective. It’s about saving money, not stockpiling so many things that you get a hoarder mentality. Buy what you need. Leave behind what you don’t. That way, everyone wins.