With the rising costs of groceries and other goods, there is no time better than now to start cutting coupons to save money. Taking advantage of coupons really does work. Developing advanced coupon strategies, sometimes referred to as extreme couponing, is, in many ways, a job. How well it pays depends on your strategy. The more you plan, the more money you will ‘earn,’ i.e., keep in your pocket. Those funds can be redistributed into your household budget or applied wherever you want–a savings account or to pay down a credit card. Here are several ways to jumpstart a coupon strategy of your own. You will be amazed at what you can save:
Learn About Couponing
Part of an effective coupon strategy is in learning about the products you buy and the language or lingo of ‘sales speak.’ For starters, it’s important to know the regular prices of products. One store’s sale might be another store’s regular price. Once you have a handle on regular prices, you’ll know whether or not cutting that coupon is a good deal.
Knowing the language of couponing is just as important. Words and phrases like stackable coupons or double deals, or acronyms like BOGO and OYNO are all part of coupon lingo that you will get accustomed to. A stackable coupon allows you to use a manufacturer coupon with a store coupon at the same item. Does the store offer double coupon deals? If so, it’s worth double the face value. Is that coupon BOGO, i.e., “Buy One Get One” free, or is it OYNO, “On Your Next Order”? Some BOGO coupons can be combined with BOGO sales for even more savings.
Where to Find Coupons
The weekend newspaper is a good place to find coupons. Weekend editions are loaded with flyers and pages of printed coupons. Going through the paper for coupons is a sure way to find good deals. However, don’t simply settle for one newspaper, subscribe to several weekend editions or visit coffee shops to find tossed newspapers. If you find a coupon for something you really like at a great value, buy a few copies of the newspapers.
Advantages of Digital Couponing
Newspapers are not the only place to find coupons. One of the prime advantages of couponing in the digital age is the convenience it offers. You save money, but also a lot of time searching for what you want. Online resources for couponing are available at your fingertips.
Websites like Honey and Cently, and many others, are dedicated to finding deals. They offer ease of searching, printable or digital coupons, or promo codes to use during online transactions. Register your email for alerts on any daily or weekly deals. You can also download apps for your favorite stores to start using digital coupons at checkout. Nearly every store offers digital coupons, but by having that store’s app allows you to select preferred products and store them in your profile to be alerted when coupons on them are available.
Buy Quality but Only What You Will Consume
Saving $5 on an item is a wasted $5 if it is something that you will never use or breaks after a few uses. When couponing, look for quality in the items you shop for and only buy the products that you use. Manufacturers and stores will cut prices on items to reduce bulk or move static inventory. There’s a reason it may be static. It’s not much of a deal if you’re buying unhealthy food or cheaply made products that don’t last.
Understand How Coupons Work Before Shopping
Every store and manufacturer has their own policies in place for couponing. Some stores may stack coupons or offer double and triple deals, while others do not. There may be expiration dates and other limitations on coupons to follow. Before shopping, read through the coupon policies at the company or manufacturer websites. Coupons may have limitations and exclusions on size and quantity. Don’t try to buy BOGO half gallons of OJ with a BOGO coupon for a quart. Save yourself time and heaps of frustration by knowing how the coupon works before using it.
Be Aware of Where You Get Your Coupons From
Finally, digital couponing does have a few risks. Never accept or use copies of coupons. It is against the law that could lead to a hefty fine. Each coupon comes with its own barcode that uniquely identifies it and limits its use to one time. Also, never pay money for bulk coupons from unauthorized distributors or from blind solicitations. First, the coupons are likely counterfeit, if not expired. Secondly, authorized coupon distributors would not ask you for money. They earn money from the store or manufacturer when you use the coupon.
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