Are you trying to cut down on everyday expenses? An easy way to save money is by using coupons, but a lot of people don’t bother with coupons because it can be somewhat time-consuming and the savings might not seem very significant. But by planning strategically, the savings can add up, and can even mean getting certain products and services for free. If the concept of couponing is a bit overwhelming to you, try the following tips to learn more about getting started and maximizing your savings:
Know regular prices for items you purchase often
If you are going to go through the trouble of clipping coupons for your favorite products, make sure that you are using them in a store that will actually save you money. Even if you pair them with a sale and save a good amount at one store, there’s always the possibility that a competing retailer sells the same things for much less and as part of their everyday price. By researching prices for the items you frequently purchase, and comparing the prices offered at different stores near you, you could be sure you’re getting the best deal possible.
Look for coupons in various places
You can find coupons in a variety of places, and the Sunday newspaper is a good source to start with. You can also find coupons on the Internet (like on their social media pages or the store’s official website), in magazines, and even on the actual packaging of a previous purchase.
Set up a system
Once you begin coupon clipping, it can be easy to get disorganized and lose coupons, or forget about expiration dates before you have a chance to use them. Simplify things by setting up a system for your coupons that keeps them organized, such as a filing cabinet or binder. You can then categorize them in a way that’s easy and convenient for you, such as by grocery store aisle, brand name, or in alphabetical order.
Don’t purchase items you usually wouldn’t
When you find good coupons that offer terrific savings, it can be easy to get a little carried away and begin purchasing things you don’t even really need, just because it’s a good deal. Unless you plan on giving items to charity, you have to consider the time and effort it takes to clip coupons and find good sales to pair them with. Even if you’re getting the item for free, it doesn’t make sense to waste that time and effort for something you probably won’t use.
If you have a family member or friend who’s also into couponing, suggest that you swap coupons each week. This way, you can trade away the coupons for things you won’t use, and get some extra coupons for the products you really want.
Research coupon policies
When planning out your purchases, make sure you already know about the store’s coupon policies ahead of time. Some stores have much stricter coupon policies set in place that won’t allow customers to combine coupons with certain sales, which can derail your shopping plans entirely. To avoid any unwanted surprises at the cash register, plan ahead.
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Nothing above is meant to provide financial, tax, or legal advice. You should meet with appropriate professionals for such services.