Looking for bargains, no matter how small, can be a way to save money on the things that we need every day. Prices are inching ever upward, wages are stagnant, the dollar is weak and companies are selling smaller packages of the same product, at the same larger price. Manufacturers are cutting quality to save costs, but aren’t passing the savings on to you.
Even if we have no say with how companies market their products, we can have a say in what we buy and how much we pay for it. By using coupons, we can save money and find a subtle way of letting big business know that their prices are too high.
Be a Coupon Crusader
Anyone can be a coupon crusader. The first thing you need to do, of course, is get coupons. But don’t pay to get them. That would defeat the purpose. Sign up for circular coupons online. Scout free local papers. Swap coupons with other crusaders. Soon you’ll have a stack of coupons waiting to save you money.
Make sure you shop at stores that offer coupon doubling. Understand that coupons are only doubled up to $.99. $1.00 and up only go for face value. Some stores, however, will offer occasional triple coupons and dollar doublers. Pay attention to weekly circulars for these bonus savings.
Kick Them When Their Down
When prices are down for a sale special, kick in a coupon. You maximize savings when you take advantage of store specials and use doubled coupons on top of them. Sometimes you can even make money on the deal. Cereal is one of the best places to find such savings. You may get three boxes of cereal for $6, throw in 3 $.75 coupons, doubled to $1.50 each, and get a $3.00 free gallon of milk to boot. Total cost to you? Zero. You actually earn $1.50 on the milk. Just make sure you sign up for the store card first. You don’t get the sale price if you don’t have a store card.
Grab Extra Coupons
When you purchase items, look on the packages for coupons or offers. Many packages and labels will have coupons on the inside or under the labels for you to use on your next purchases. You can also find great coupons online for the things that you use. By going to their websites, you can find valuable coupons and free samples.
Stop by the Pharmacy
Pharmacies charge a lot for everyday items, but when they have a sale, they really know how to knock down a price. Bring your coupons over to the pharmacy store and pick out some grocery deals on milk, ice cream, cereal and cookies. Many of the staple food items you buy every week can be found there almost for free, when you add in consumer rewards programs.
You can’t use coupons that you can’t find. No one is using photo albums anymore, so grab an old one or find one on clearance. Get the kind with pockets that let you slid things in the side. Organize your coupons by type, savings and expiration. Use sticky tabs to help you find the ones you expect to use on each shopping trip.
Using coupons alone can save you $20 or more on your groceries. Couponing on top of sales can save you $60 or more. To really get the most out of your grocery dollar, scale back your portions to make the things you buy last longer. When used together, these techniques can save you a bundle on feeding your family.