How To Use Coupons to Cut Your Grocery Budget
Do you want to get in on the coupon craze that seems to be sweeping the nation in these money-conscious times? Couponing may seem overwhelming to consider at first – who has time to clip, organize, and calculate coupons? You do! It doesn’t have to take a tremendous amount of time, and the money saved (if it’s done efficiently) is said to be worth it. Here are some tips.
How Do I Do This?
“Organization” is the key to effective couponing. Experienced couponers suggest the following organizational tips:
* Get a coupon book or notebook. Organize it alphabetically, by item type, according to your store’s layout, etc. You might want a special section for items that are on special on shopping day. Do whatever works for you and helps minimize time spent standing in the store trying to fish through coupons.
* Know your store’s specials, discounts, and coupon policies. Some stores routinely double coupons; others do so periodically or for certain items.
* Count on anywhere from 25 minutes to an hour to prepare for your shopping trip – this includes clipping, downloading, printing and organizing your coupons and studying up on your store’s deals.
Where Do I Find Coupons?
You can find coupons at a surprising variety of places. There are electronic ones, paper ones, coupons stuck to the outside of products or printed on the inside of boxes, and so forth. Here are some ideas.
Coupon websites can offer printable coupons, sometimes in conjunction with your store’s current deals. Here is a partial list of some well-known coupon sites:
If your store has a website, visit it and see if there are places where you can sign up or join. Some stores offer electronic coupons that you can upload onto a card that is scanned at check-out. Also, when you begin participating in a store’s coupon program and upload various deals, they may send you coupons in the mail or electronically. You can even sign up for electronic notice of store specials.
Your local newspaper and other local publications are a great place to look for coupons. Flyers are also a great way to see what’s on special at your store.
3. Product Sites
If you visit your favorite products’ websites, look for coupons offered there. If, for example, you like sauce made by The Hot Sauce Company, you can do an internet search for “The Hot Sauce Company coupons.”
Know When It’s Not Worth It
The point of couponing is saving. If you find yourself spending a lot of time and gas money driving long distances between stores just for that great deal, or if you are uncomfortable having to go to stores whose business practices you don’t agree with, then you might want to back off a bit. If you’re not clearly saving, then it’s probably not worth it.