How To Coupon Like A Pro
By using free coupons, many people save between 40 and 50 percent every month on their grocery bills alone! Good couponing is a result of leveraging the coupon system, while staying honest.
It all boils down to a good, sound coupon strategy (free coupons and coupon codes are the way to go, but only if they are free coupons!).
The following are some coupon areas that are key to focus on, and some that are not. Sounds like a straight forward statement, but there truly are good, and bad strategies when it comes to using coupons and coupon codes.
This site is dedicated toward sharing the best of those coupon strategies, as well as those that are not so wise.
The following strategies, as straight forward and full of common sense as they may seem, are ones that are either unknown, or are often ignored. We have placed these strategies into two categories of Wise… and, well… not so Wise!
- Try to purchase from stores that will double or triple your coupon value when you act on a certain day or time. Only participate with brands that you like and will use. A great deal is a horrible deal if it is with something you either don’t like, or won’t use. Be realistic with yourself!
- There are times when stores will issue a special store coupon, which can then in turn be used in combination with manufacturer’s coupons. This equals double coupon trouble for the seller!
- Unit cost is key. Large sizes can mean better value than buying small sizes, but you can also then end up with bulk that you can’t use. Sometimes using multiple coupons to purchase multiple smaller sizes can actually result in a cheaper price than buying in bulk.
- Look for combination bargains. Check if you can get an item for a reduced price by using a coupon and also sending in for a refund/rebate on that item. Refunds and rebates are actually where much of the savings can be found.
- Comparison shop. As long as the distance is not too far, check around. Prices can vary from store to store, and from item to item within a geographical distance.
- Do keep your coupons organized. Separate by category and keep in an organizer or in envelopes. Twice monthly, sort through them and pull out those that will be expiring soon, so that they can be used, if possible, before they go bad.
- Find others who coupon and trade with them; they can be on the lookout for coupons you can use, and vice versa.
- Be willing to switch brands to take advantage of lower prices and/or coupon offers.
Not so Wise…
- Don’t buy items you normally would not just because you have a coupon for it. I know that sounds like straight forward common sense, but you would be surprised at how often people will buy stuff simply because it was ‘a deal’.
- Don’t buy brand name items if the store/house brand is cheaper unless you have both coupons and rebates for the brand name item to justify the higher initial cost.
- Forty three sticks of deodorant is never a good purchase decision, even if you only paid twenty cents per stick. The only time it is wise to ‘stock up’ is with items that you actually use, have the space to store them and the item can actually be stored without going bad (like canned food or laundry detergent).
- How often have you kept a coupon in your wallet or purse, only to have it expire? It is not wise to keep your coupons in an un-cataloged system. Get a system to file your coupons by month and category. Rotate the expired coupons directly into the trash!
- Never keep your coupons stored at home. They do you no good sitting in the drawer when you are at the store. Find a place to keep your coupon file in your car, right where you need them, when you need them.
Try not to limit your coupon resource to one, or even a handful of sources. Keep your eyes open for multiple sources beyond the traditional newspaper, internet, product insert type coupons. I once was at a car wash, having my car washed, and I simply asked the cashier if she had any coupons for future car washes. She promptly gave me 10 coupons that were each worth $10. each! The best part was that my car wash was $18. (it was a full inside and out job). That meant that I only had to pay $8. for a full wash the next ten times. What a deal… now that is couponing at its finest!
- Don’t keep your couponing to yourself. Share and share alike! There actually is such a thing as good couponing karma. Give, trade and share your couponing with others. You will be surprised as to how many cool opportunities that will open up for you when you generously share with others.
- Try not to get too carried away. There are times when a 2 cent coupon savings is not worth the time and management it takes to manage the coupon process. It is wise to keep your couponing in perspective, there is a difference between a healthy, and obsessive hobby!