Ready to start smart couponing but not sure where to begin? Extreme couponing, despite its name, isn’t quite as challenging as you might think. Here are our 7 top tips for smart couponing, so you can get started today.
1. Combine Coupons With Store Sales
One of the top rules of smart couponing is never to use a coupon on a full-priced item. Always look for items that are already discounted, to which you can apply your coupons instead. If you have a $0.50 off two boxes of name brand cereal, for example, that means you only save $0.25 per box. This doesn’t get you real savings and only increases the hassle of printing out coupons.
2. Track Sales Cycles
Smart couponing also involves tracking when your needed groceries go on sale. Not every product will be on the same cycle, either. Some things could be every few weeks, others every 12. Start taking note of when you see your favorite things on sale and how much time passes in between cycles. This way, you can stock up when it’s on sale, so you have it when you need it later.
3. Bring Only Coupons You Need
One of the pitfalls of coupons is buying something you normally wouldn’t, just because you have a coupon. Goat cheese might be half off at the supermarket this week, but if you don’t eat goat cheese anyway, you’re wasting money. Eliminate this problem by creating a list of what you really need and only bringing the corresponding coupons with you to the store.
4. Smart Couponing With Rewards Programs
While rewards aren’t technically the same as coupons, you can still find great deals with store loyalty programs. Most programs will give you points that you can you use on future purchases. Use coupons to lower the prices on your items, then pay with fewer of your rewards points.
5. Subscribe To More Than One Sunday Newspaper
Sign up for at least 3 or 4 editions of the Sunday newspaper, or subscribe to multiple newspapers in your area. Most high-dollar coupons are still run in newspapers, as opposed to digital format. If you don’t subscribe you can always buy Sunday or weekend editions individually. Save your Sunday coupon newsletters in case one of your sales cycles starts in the next week.
6. Don’t Buy Things Just Because They’re On Sale
In the same way you shouldn’t use a coupon just because you have one, you also shouldn’t buy something just because it’s on sale. Discounts are always great, but if you really don’t think you’ll use the item, then you’re just wasting money.
7. Avoid Clipping And Printing Every Coupon
A similar mentality to refraining from buying something just because it’s on sale, is avoiding clipping and printing every coupon you see. Smart couponing includes making a list of what you need before going through your coupons. You’ll only print out or clip what you need this way. You’ll also save yourself time and hassle when preparing your coupons.
If you want to start saving money, then you should consider smart couponing. Hopefully, these top tips have shown you that couponing isn’t a huge challenge or a ton of work. Smart couponing just takes organization and commitment to a plan. Before you know it, you’ll start seeing savings.