Day 1: We all have to shop! Why not save money while doing it?
Day 2: The Language of Couponers – Translated!
Day 3: Where Art Thou Coupons?
Day 4: Know Thy Coupon (What does that fine print mean?)
Day 5: When to Use Your Coupons
Day 6: Buy Groceries, Pay for College with Upromise eCoupons
Day 7: eCoupons the Alternate to Clipping
Day 8: Don’t Get Mad, Get a Rain Check
Day 9: Advance Your Couponing Skills with Rebates
Day 10: Stockpiling
Yes, I missed Saturday – We had a very exciting high school basketball game to attend to. I apologize to anyone who was waiting for this!
So now that you know the basics of coupons, when do you use it? One of the biggest complaints about couponing I hear is the items with coupons are more expensive anyway. Usually, they are – regular price. So don’t just use a coupon because you have it or because it is about to expire. Use it when the item is on sale for a low price, there is a CVS Extra Buck Deal, a mail in rebate, or another offer! This is how you can get brand name items cheaper than their generic counterparts.
For example, I had a (3) Free Cheerios coupons, which didn’t expire until 2010 but I was itching to use them. Though, I knew there would be a CVS General Mills Extra Buck deal at some point. Luckily, I save it and was able to completely rock a “Buy $20 of GM products, Get $10 back” with that coupon. So even “Free” Coupons can be maximized even further.
Don’t feel bad about letting other coupons expires. You may be tempted to use that $1/1 coupon just because it expires today but usually when it expires, another one will be coming in the paper! So unless, it is a free coupon or a coupon that makes an item very cheap, don’t use it because it as about to expire.
ROCK BOTTOM PRICES
Use your coupon when the sale price is the lowest possible price. This will maximize your coupon usage. Some track their 30 top items with a spreadsheet. I have my lowest price I will pay for certain items all stored in memory. For example, I never pay more than .25 for a tube of toothpaste. Even that is too much anymore when we have 15 already in our stockpile. If you are not brand specific, almost every week you can find a toothpaste for free at one of the drug stores.
Use your coupons at stores that double to make your coupons go further. Check your store for details but many stores will double coupons up to .50 – valuable for those lower value coupons!
Many stores allow “stacking”. This is the coupon terminology used to associate using a Manufacturer’s Coupon with a Store Coupon. This allows for a deeper discount on a product. You can tell if your coupon is a manufacturer’s or store coupon by looking at the top of the coupon. CVS and Walgreens as well as other stores allow this type of stacking.
The 15 Days of Couponing will guide you through the art of couponing. It is a skill that you can learn and maximize to the full potential to help your family and help others. So if you are interested in cutting your grocery budget in half or more, read yesterday’s edition and stay tuned for tommorrow’s edition.