Today we have a guest post by Susan Yoo-Lee.
One of the easiest ways to save money today is by using coupons. If you can get in the habit of checking for coupons online and printing coupons out for in-store purchases, you can save 10 percent or more on your purchases. It takes very little time and energy once you’ve gotten the hang of it, and in the end, you’ll be saving so much money you’ll be kicking yourself for not having started earlier!
If you’re new to the couponing scene or you want to brush up on your couponing skills, here are some of my tips that I’ve learned along the way:
Sourcing Your Coupons. Coupons come in all forms. You can get online coupons that you use toward your online purchases, printable coupons that you use toward your in-store purchases, downloadable digital coupons from your grocery rewards cards, local coupons sent via Smart Saver and Valpak, store apps like Cartwheel for Target, and manufacturer coupons you find in magazines, newspapers and on sites like Coupons.com. They all have their place in the couponing world.
Loyalty Doesn’t Always Pay. Don’t make the mistake of using only one couponing site. Every site will negotiate with the merchant to get the best savings for their users, which means that you should shop around before you settle on the best discount you can find.
Price Comparing with Coupons. Let’s say a department store is offering a printable coupon with $10 off your in-store purchase over $25. When you go to the store to make your purchase, you see that the prices are cheaper online. Unfortunately, the store doesn’t price match their own online prices. At that point, you have to determine what the better deal is.
You should always compare what it would cost you to purchase online, shipping included, and what it would cost you to purchase in-store with a coupon. While the $10 off coupon may seem like the better deal, if the item is on clearance online, but full price at stores, you need to do the final math to see which is truly the better deal. Don’t let the coupon fool you.
Stacking Coupons. Use more than one coupon for a purchase you are making. Not all stores allow this, but many do. This is most relevant for your grocery store purchases. Let’s say that you downloaded a digital store coupon to your grocery store rewards card for a name brand canned corn. If you have a manufacturer coupon for canned corn, you can use the manufacturer coupon and the store coupon together to maximize your savings.
Smartphone Couponing. If you don’t like doing the research to find the best prices on items you’re interested in purchasing or finding coupons for them, let the apps do the work for you. Apps like Favado will find the best prices on items you could purchase at the grocery store while letting you know if there are any available coupons that will lower the price further.
If you’re a shopper who shops without planning, you can always rely on apps like Cartwheel for Target to save money. If you are a Target shopper, just bring up the app while you’re in stores and see which coupons are available to use.
While there are other couponing tactics for the couponing pro, these are some of the basics that can help you maximize your savings and integrate couponing into your life.
Susan Yoo-Lee is a mother of two and the editor at The Scratch, a Savings.com blog where professional funny people take a crack at saving you a buck. She founded Mommas in the House in 2009 when she was pregnant with her 2nd child. Currently, you can see some of her published work on LHJ.com, More.com, WomansDay.com, AJC.com, ClarkHoward.com, US News & World Report, Military.com, LearnVest.com and more.Save money, time and get it done, go ahead and subscribe! Often my posts contain affiliate links. Affiliate link purchases help us to pay for this blog and for our curriculum. Thank you for using them when you are able.