Learning how to effectively use coupons can save a household hundreds, sometimes even thousands, of dollars every year. Some feel that they are too time consuming to deal with but this is totally untrue. Even spending 15 minutes a week sorting, searching for and cutting coupons can be very cost effective. Some basic rules to follow to ensure a successful grocery shopping trip are:
Choose coupons for items that you normally use
Don’t clip coupons just for the exercise of clipping them. Only choose coupons for items that you would normally use. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t change brands when the pricing is right. In some cases coupons also allow you to purchase more expensive brands if, with the use of coupons, they match the price of the brands you normally purchase.
Know store coupon policies
Some stores allow customers to “stack” coupons. This is the practice of using a manufacturer’s coupon plus a store discount coupon at the same time. Some serious couponers make a point of bringing a copy of the store policy with them in their coupon files in the case of being challenged or turned down for legitimate transactions.
Match coupons to sales
When your grocery store flyer comes out in the mail or at the store, make a point of matching your coupons to the sales of that time period. This will allow you the ultimate in savings. It is also a good time to stock up on items if you have several coupons for the same sale item. This practice is what will save you the most money in the long term.
Monitor expiration dates
There’s nothing so frustrating as having the perfect coupons ready for favorite items only to find that the coupons have expired. When sorting your coupons, always be sure to place those nearing expiration toward the front of your file.
Treat your best coupons like cash
The very best coupons you clip can actually be placed in your wallet right next to your cash to ensure that you will not forget about them and fail to use them during a sale or before they expire.
Knowing how to get the most bang out of your coupons will go far in providing your household with inexpensive, and sometimes even free items. All it takes is a small amount of time, a good filing system and a commitment to getting the most value from your dollars.