Smart Coupon Strategies for Saving Even More
By Shannon M. Medisky
Many people forgo coupons entirely because saving only 25 cents here and maybe 75 cents there isn’t all that appealing compared to the effort needed to find, clip and use coupons. After all, time is money. But the good news is there are a multitude of strategies to help turn those few cents here and there into a significant amount of savings and fast. Whether you still need convincing or just want a quick course on how to multiply your coupon savings, here’s a rundown to help get your costs down courtesy of coupons.
Double your coupons when and where you can. Some stores will double or even triple the value of a coupon as a way to lure more customers in. If this is the case in your area, by all means take advantage.
Stack your coupon discounts to increase the savings. Even if you don’t live in an area where retailers double coupon values, there’s still ample opportunities to increase the coupon savings by stacking your discounts. With a bit of research on your part, you can use your coupon on an already low sales price or opt to use a manufacturer coupon in conjunction with a store coupon on the same item. Or, capitalize on a coupon coupe de gras, use a coupon on a product marked down on clearance.
Count on rain checks to stretch your coupons further. Chances are very likely that you’re not the only one in your area looking to snag a steal. If despite your best efforts sale items continue to be elusive, be sure to request a rain check for said items prior to the sale expiration and be sure to request the maximum amount allowable so that you can max out your coupon savings potential. With this powerful piece of paper, you can return at your leisure and have your pick of the abundant stock well after the sale ends but at the still low price, made even lower courtesy of your coupons.
Grow your coupons with a coupon swap. Find friends and family that also use coupons. Don’t be shy about sharing the specific brands and products you purchase and use most often, and ask them to do the same. Keep an eye out for money saving opportunities and coupons for one another, and you’ll both reap the savings. Another option is to join a coupon swap or train for just this purpose.
Don’t get sucked into the siren song of a name brand. If the store brand is cheaper, stick with it. Even if a coupon has a high face value, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best deal. Opting to shop with a small calculator in hand (to help you calculate “per pound” or “per unit” pricing) is a great way to ensure you’re getting the very best value for your dollar.
Don’t limit yourself to paper coupons. Now days even coupons can take on many forms, including the form of retailer loyalty cards. Stashing significant discounts can be as easy as swiping your card or loading virtual coupons directly to it.
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