How to Make the most of Coupons

With the prices of groceries skyrocketing out of sight, many more families are turning to coupons as a viable means of not only getting by, but to save money. While couponing does take some time, it is well worth it for the savings. With minimal effort, you can be on your way to becoming a Coupon Queen, and proudly wear your “crown”.

Many Sunday editions of the local paper will carry one to three collections of coupons. But don’t rush out just yet to use those coupons. There is a better way to save using them, thereby netting you a bigger savings.

It should be understood that just having a coupon for an item is not a reason to buy that item. If the store brand is still less, even after having your coupon for that item doubled or tripled, you might want to stick with the store brand rather than the name brand for that particular item.

The first step is to check local papers for sales at the grocery stores or department stores, where you will be shopping with your coupons. Make a list of items that you need that are also on sale. In order to get the best possible savings, shop at stores that double and triple your coupons. Some stores do this every day of the week, but others only on certain days. If your store only does certain days, be sure to try and shop those days to maximize your savings.

The trick to saving big time is to buy on sale, clearance, reduced along with your coupons. Once you have your list made, you will want to go through your coupons for any name brand items on sale. It helps to keep the coupons grouped by category. This gets you in and out of the grocery store quicker, meaning you are less likely to impulse buy. Impulse buying can quickly dethrone the best of the coupon queens.

Items that require you to buy two or more of the same item in order to get so many cents off should be used as a last resort, and only if the items are on sale. Generally, these type coupons are not as good of a deal as the normal ones, where you only have to buy the one of that particular item. However, if it is for something your family uses a lot, then it might be worth the money to use it. But still wait for a sale to enhance the savings.

An example of the money you can save would be if you want to buy Hamburger Helper. One box costs $1.30. You have five coupons, cut from the local newspapers, for .45 cents off one box. Your local grocery store triples coupons on Tuesdays only, for coupons up to .55 cents, so you shop on that day. Since the coupons are going to expire soon, you opt to use all five of them on this shopping trip.

Let’s do the math here:

5 coupons for Hamburger Helper at .45 cents each

Triple each of those coupons for .45 cents each.

.45 cents x 3 (triple) = $1.35 off each box of Hamburger Helper.

Each box of Hamburger Helper is priced at $1.30.

You are buying 5 boxes. $1.35 savings per box x 5 boxes = $6.75 savings.

5 boxes of Hamburger Helper priced at $1.30 a box. 5 x $1.30 = $6.50.

$6.75 savings – $6.50 store price for 5 boxes = you MAKE .25 cents just for buying these five boxes!

Don’t let anyone tell you that you cannot save money on groceries and still eat about the same way. It can be done! I have a family of five, and we spend about $100 a month on groceries, and we eat fine. We even buy Pepsi, and often! As a matter of fact, just this week we got four free 12-packs of Pepsi!

It is true that clipping coupons and organizing them does take time. But the few minutes it takes to do this will be well rewarded as you proudly wear your Coupon Queen crown!