The Dos and Don'ts of Couponing
The art of couponing seems simple enough, right? You clip the coupon, buy the product, and enjoy the savings. However, with a little fine tuning, you could take your couponing skills from amateur to expert and watch your savings multiply. Just follow these easy tips and you'll step up your coupon game in no time!
- Do sign up for coupon sites. Get thousands of printable grocery coupons at your fingertips by joining sites like CoolSavings. Here, you can sign up for free and then enjoy exclusive member access to printable, brand name coupons. CoolSavings also provides an option to send the coupons directly to your savings card, when eligible. Just go to the Printable Coupons page and click on the "Savings Card" tab above the coupons. This is a great resource to find many valuable coupons in one easy place, versus spending precious time searching through circulars and newspapers.
- Do keep your coupons organized. If you can't find a coupon, you can't use it, and you can't benefit from the savings. You can pick up an inexpensive coupon organizer on a shopping site like Amazon, and it will go a long way in your quest for savings. How you choose to organize your coupons is up to you, but it's always a good idea to keep an eye on the expiration date, because you also can't use a coupon that is past its date.
- Do bring your coupons to the store with you. Okay, this one may seem like a no brainer, but how many times have you forgotten your coupons at home, and didn't feel like turning back to get them? Every missed coupon is a missed opportunity to save, so make it a second nature to grab them before you hit the grocery store.
- Do view coupons as cash: Coupons are essentially cash in your pocket, and the more you realize that mindset, the more determined you will be to continue the coupon clipping.
- Do see if you grocery store stacks coupons. In case you unfamiliar, "stacking" coupons means using a manufacturer coupon with an in-store special—which is considered coupon gold! Pay attention to your store policies to see if you can take advantage of such deals. And while you're at it, check to see if your store offers any kind of reward programs.
- Don't buy just for the coupon. Just because you have a great coupon for something doesn't mean you have to buy it. It's easy to get tempted by the allure of a good deal, but if it's something you don't really need and/or normally buy, you are just spending extra instead of saving. Just remember to stick to your grocery list when clipping those coupons. Of course, if it's a product you have been wanting to try, it's okay to make an exception now and then.
- Don't buy more than you need. Some coupons require you to buy a certain amount of a given product in order to obtain the discount. If this is the case, make sure you can and will actually use all of what you are buying, or you run the risk of wasting money.