Sunday, August 31, 2014

Save Money Using Coupons!

There are various methods available to reduce your expenses. In this economy, saving money is crucial. We’re not going to discuss creating a budget. A budget is definitely beneficial in spend reduction. However, I’d like to touch base on one particular area.

First area of discussion? COUPONS! That’s right, coupons can reduce your grocery spending by several hundred dollars per year. I know what you might be thinking! “Oh, you’re one of those people….” I’m not saying that extreme couponing wasn’t a goal at one time. However, I know that couponing has changed. So no, I’m not “one of those people”. Doesn’t mean that I don’t try!

I’ve heard all the excuses from those who don’t (won’t) use coupons. This is just a partial example of the excuses given.–

“I don’t have the time.”

“You don’t save enough money.”

“I only buy healthy foods and organic products.”

“I don’t know where to find the coupons.”

“Coupons are too much trouble to use.”

“They don’t double coupons anymore.”

Does any of these sound familiar? I want to knock out the second excuse. “You don’t save enough money.” I don’t know about you, but any savings is worth the effort to me. It doesn’t matter if the coupon is .50 or $500. The amount on said coupon is less money coming out of my pocket.

“I don’t know where to find the coupons.” Not a problem! Coupons are everywhere! Magazines, Newspapers (Also known as Sunday inserts), Printable from Websites, mailers, trading, digital, on receipts, neighbors, friends, etc.

Coupons are not just in the form of paper. Many stores now offer the ability to download digital coupons to your shopping card. Be sure to check the coupon policy for each individual store. Some stores allow you to “stack” a paper coupon with a digital coupon, others may not.

Did you know that some stores offer occasional free products? Currently, Kroger offers “Friday Freebies”! Just sign into your account, browse the digital coupons, and download to your card. It’s that easy! The coupon should come off the total when you purchase the item. Be sure to read the coupon correctly to ensure the right product is being purchased.

Coupons are available to print on various websites. You can generally find some type of offer directly on a company website. They might require you to create an account with them. If this happens, you can create an email just for this purpose. It should help reduce email clutter in your personal inbox. I always uncheck the newsletter box. However, this doesn’t always prevent the company from sending an email from time to time.

I’ve learned that reaching out to a company can sometimes result in finding coupons in your mailbox. Those are always a nice surprise! A coupon directly from the manufacture can be higher value. At times, even a freebie is received! Don’t come right out and ask for coupons. They are interested in product feedback. If you love a product, tell them about it! Be specific in your emails. Likewise if you dislike a product. Be completely honest with them. They appreciate honesty! Where would they be without loyal consumers?

Coupons can be printed from various resource websites. Generally 2 identical coupons can be printed via each printer. Here are a few examples:

Be careful when printing coupons from these websites. Only “clip” and print the coupons you will actually use before expiration. I’m guilty of printing several wasted coupons on a regular basis. My intentions were to use them on time.  I either forgot about the coupon, couldn’t find the deal I was hoping for, or financial restraints prevented me from using them.

Printing unused coupons is a waste of ink. The cost of ink is not cheap! Let’s not forget paper waste. Remember: You cannot use both a printed coupon in combination of another coupon. There are exceptions to this rule! Some stores will allow you to use a cents off coupon with a “Buy one, Get one free” coupon. Again, check the coupon policy for that particular establishment.

Sales and/or clearance items are one of the best ways to maximize your coupon savings.

Don’t discount the Dollar Tree as “cheap”! There are hundreds of name brand items sold at the Dollar Tree. Nothing is over $1.00. Did you know that coupons are now accepted at the Dollar Tree?! Potentially free or deeply reduced products are waiting for you!

Remember, be sure to print the coupon policy for each store that you plan on using coupons! Use the coupon policy as a guide, and to show a cashier if needed.
This is one of my favorite coupon forums. The forum is free of cost. Members post deals, tips, suggestions, coupon match-ups, and much more! The forum is not limited to just couponing. There are other discussions as well. Stop by and say, "Hello"!

Enjoy your savings!



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