How To Do Couponing Like a Pro: A Beginner’s Guide
“I wish I hadn’t spent an hour cutting out these coupons to save $50 dollars while grocery shopping” said no one ever, in the history of retail shopping!
Are you unfamiliar with how couponing works? Or are you already someone who uses coupons often, but wishes to step up their couponing game to the next level? Buckle up and hang on because we’re going to teach you how to save as much money as you can with coupons!
Finding Yourself Some Coupons
If you already know the process and aren’t a couponing beginner, then we suggest you skip this section.
The first step to effective couponing is getting your hands on some nice coupons. Buying the local newspaper with the most amount of circulation would be your best bet. We suggest that you buy at least one newspaper per family member.
Also you could always ask your friends and family to lend you some coupons if they aren’t using them. A good deal of coupons go to waste because some people just can’t be bothered to put them to use. It’s best to ask around before going shopping.
Another way to get coupons is to simply browse the internet. You can start by bookmarking important coupon websites and subscribing to their newsletter. Moreover, some stores have their very own apps and through them you can gain access to a lot of exciting coupons. Save the digital copy and you’re good to go.
Lastly, you should always check every store thoroughly. Couponing beginners should be are that you can find coupon dispensers in some stores. Others have peel-off coupons attached to their products. Don’t you think it’d be a shame if those coupons just go to waste?
Organizing Your Coupons
It’s true that couponing takes a little bit of effort, but we assure you that it’s 100% worth the reward, or 50% depending upon your discount coupon *wink wink*. It’s best to keep a separate envelope for them. You can put them all in the envelope and then eventually graduate to something bigger like a coupon binder once you collect enough coupons. Take our word for it, carrying your binder with you to a store and having all of your coupons ready while you shop will feel really, really satisfying! Try it out for yourself.
Always Do Your Research!
Knowing your store’s coupon policy is very important. Here are a couple of tips we have for every couponing beginner reading this article:
- Always check if your store offers a loyalty card. Sometimes you can get special deals if you’re a loyalty card holder. Loyalty cards are completely free and they usually work together with the store’s app. You can clip coupons digitally with your loyalty account and then use them the next time you check out at the register.
- Did you know that some stores double and even triple your coupons for extra savings? For example, if you have two 50 cent coupons, the store would take them and double them to make it worth $1. The best part is that you don’t have to do anything to take part in this. This promotion – if it’s on offer – would happen by itself. Just imagine getting triple of your coupon’s discount value! Yes, it does happen so it’s always best to ask around.
- Sometimes you can stack your store coupons on top of a manufacturer coupon. This can get you some proper heavy duty savings.
- Be sure to check if your store accepts printable coupons. Some stores do.
- Though it is rare, but some stores even let you use expired coupons. It’s always good to ask instead of giving up.
- You can clip coupons digitally and then use them while purchasing things inside a store. Make sure you find out if your store accepts digital coupons.
Planning = Couponing 101
If there’s one thing every couponing beginner should do, it’s planning ahead of time. Here are a couple of things that’ll help you save even more.
- The first thing you can do is make a list of all the things you need to buy. Lists will keep you focused on what you came to buy and keep you from spending on things you don’t need.
- Make sure you go through the weekly store ads and check out what is on sale. You can also view the weekly ads on the store’s website instead of getting it delivered.
- If you want an even better deal, check if you can match coupons to the sale items.
- Another thing you need to know about is price match. Some stores will give you a discount if you show them an ad of their competitor who is selling something cheaper than them. For example, if eggs are $2.00 a dozen at store A but $2.50 at store B, when you proceed to checkout at store B, show them Store A’s ad and they’ll match their price and lower it down to $2.00. This usually applies only to local competitors, so keep that in mind.
- Some stores facilitate you even further by offering rain checks. If your local store is out of a product you want to buy, talk to somebody in customer service and tell them you want a rain check. The store people would then fill out a piece of paper with the details of the item like name and price etcetera and hand it out to you. You can typically return within 30 days’ time and give them the rain check and they’ll sell you the product on sale price. This would naturally enable you to gather more coupons for that particular product as you’d have more time to do so. This is an advanced tip that most couponing beginners haven’t ever heard.
Be In Control
If you have read all our couponing tips and made it this far, then you are already on your way to becoming a couponing pro. Congratulations! There are just a few more important things we’d like to share with you before finally concluding this article. This is perhaps the most important section and will take you several steps ahead of other couponing beginners. Make sure you’re always holding the reins when it comes to these:
- Beat the rest of the shoppers to it! Get to the store first and use your coupons while there’s still some stock left. After all, the early bird gets the worm.
- However, sometimes it’s best to wait a little before using your coupons. If you use it immediately, chances are you won’t maximize your savings since not all products are on sale all the time. Wait till the product you’re buying is on sale and then combine it with your coupon for insane savings!
- Sometimes you’ll find coupons that stipulate “1 coupon per purchase” and the cashier would tell you that it means you can only use one coupon per transaction. Don’t be fooled by this. One per purchase usually means that you can avail one coupon per item purchased and not one on the entire transactions. So if you have 10 coupons and you’re purchasing 10 items, you can use one coupon on each. Make sure you use this information to your advantage from now on.
- Keep a list of the prices of the items you regularly buy. Making a price list isn’t as hard as it sounds. Just keep note of the prices and this will help you know when the perfect opportunity to buy something is.
- Pay close attention at checkout. Do the math in your head and have your eyes on the price screen to make sure everything adds up. Also see if the cashier scans all of your coupons or not. If they miss one out, politely point it out.
- And finally, before you step out of the store, you should always take a good look at your receipt and make sure everything is in order. If you spot a problem, report it to the customer service immediately since they won’t be keeping your stack of coupons at their desk for long. After some time, there would be no way to prove that you brought all the coupons that you did.
We have great news for you: you are no longer a couponing beginner! You’re now on your road to becoming a real couponing pro! Hope you enjoyed reading this article and best of luck for your next shopping spree.