Using coupons is a way of life for me. As a single mother, I rely on coupons for everything from groceries to clothing. Finding them is not hard work but being consistent in using them is something you must get used to. However, the one mistake many people make when using coupons is buying items they do not need just because they have a coupon. There is no savings when you purchase something at a discount that you will never use.
There are many ways to find coupons for products you need. This goes beyond the typical coupon section in your Sunday paper. When you like saving money as much as I do, you will scout out as many coupons as you can to make your money go a bit further.
NEWSPAPERS: Traditionally, your local newspaper has been the most popular and reliable place to find coupons for the products you use. The Sunday issue almost always has several sections of manufacturer coupons. Cut them out right away and organize them by type in an envelope or small check file. If you put this off too long, you will end up with a pile of coupons that expire before you can cut them out.
The economy has affected the newspaper industry in such a way that many newspapers are no longer in business. This is why it is important to learn of the many other coupon resources available to you.
MAILINGS: Over the past year, I have noticed that there is an increase in coupon fliers in my mail every week. One such flier comes from a company called Red Plum and it has a good combination of coupons food and household items. You will often find coupons for local restaurants in your area as well. Now that there are less newspapers being printed, keep an eye on your mailbox for these coupons!
GROCERY RECEIPTS: Most larger grocery stores generate several coupons with your receipt. These coupons are typically for things you buy on a regular basis as this is tracked in their computers. Make sure to use your frequent shopper card offered free by these grocery stores because many of these stores send out extra savings coupons by mail to their frequent shoppers! Find their on-line site as well because they typically offer bonus coupons on-line.
PRODUCT PACKAGING: Many products you frequently buy at the grocery store have coupons printed right on their packing. Make sure you look inside can wrappers or products such as cereal. Some companies make these a little harder to find (I am not sure why!) but they are often worth fifty to seventy-five cents off your next purchase. If your local store offer double coupons then that turns out to be a nice savings! Look for Buy one get one free offers on products you frequently buy with coupons for added savings.
FRIENDS: Let your neighbors and friends know you use coupons. Chances are they do, too. Exchange coupons for things that they use and you don’t and vice versa. If you have a pet and they don’t, ask them to save pet food coupons for you. If your neighbor has a baby and you do not, save the diaper and baby food coupons in exchange for coupons she has for items you frequently buy. If you are part of a group such as a play-group, daycare or school sports team, consider asking these people to start a coupon exchange.
ON-LINE: This is the newest craze when it comes to finding coupons. There are so many sites that offer coupons for everything from food to clothing. Be careful not to join any sites that charge a fee for printing coupons. This will almost always lead you to coupons that are for items that you never buy or have all sorts of restrictions on how you can use them. Some of the best sites that I use frequently are:Red Plum, Smart Source, Coupons.com and CouponMom.com.
Look for two-for-one deals, in store specials and read the weekly flyers to make the best use of your coupons. Most fliers are now available on line on the retailer’s site. My most recent trip to the grocery store this week totalled $165.40. Once my coupons were deducted, my final cost was $67.15. There is nothing more satisfying than saving money on the things you need and use every day! Keep your eyes open for coupons and bargains!