There are many tips that I have learned while couponing and as I think of/learn more, I will be adding to this list. Below are some of my favorites.
Join a Coupon Forum – I cannot stress this enough. It takes a village to really get the most out of your coupons. No one person can find every deal and by joining a coupon forum, you are recruiting the help of thousands of other couponers who are looking for the same deals you are.
Be Patient! – As I mentioned in the first post on this topic, Keys to Couponing, patience is one of the most valuable tools to saving money. You don’t want to use a high value coupon for a free item this week if it is going to be on a B1G1 sale next week and you could have gotten two. Always check couponing websites that will give you the ad scans for future weeks and make sure that there isn’t a better deal coming up before your coupon expires.
Don’t use a coupon just because you have it. If the item is something that you are never going to use, can’t donate and don’t know of anyone to give it to, don’t bother with chasing down that deal unless it is going to either make another deal sweeter or they are going to pay you to take the item home. There have been times when I had so much toothpaste that I refused to bring anymore home, even for free, unless they were also paying me something to take the item home.
Look for bonus packs! – This is possibly my favorite tip for couponing. Just last month when I first started couponing again, there was a coupon for $2 off any Tide liquid. There was also a sale at Family Dollar where the smaller bottles were on sale for $5 each, making the 19 load bottles only $3 each. When I got to the store they had countless small 19 load bottles of Tide for only $5 each, but when you looked at all of the available bottles, there were also Tide with Downy bottles that had a bonus 25% more detergent for the same price. So I made sure that I grabbed only these bottles, giving me 24 loads for $3. I got 10 of these bottles which means that if I had gotten the 19 load bottles, I would have ended up with 190 loads for $30, but instead, I got 240 loads. That was like getting an approximately 2.63 more bottles for free! This worked out to a total savings of $39.47 ($5.50 x 12.63 bottles = $69.47 – $30 = $39.47)!
Always check store apps for more coupons than what they post in their ad. For example, from the same week as the above scenario, Dollar General had an ad for a 3 pack of Schick Xtreme3 razors on sale for $4.85, and there was a $3 off coupon in the Dollar General digital coupons, making it only $1.85 per pack or 61.6 cents per razor. I have a couple female friends that wouldn’t use these razors because they were for men so they allowed me to use their digis and I was able to get 10 packs of these razors. But when I went to load the coupons on to my account I found that there was another digital coupon for the same item, but if you bought two packs you would get $7 off instead of just $3/1. That brought the price of the product down to $1.35 per pack or 45 cents per razor. And then to add some sweetness to the deal, when I got to the store, at the back of the hook there were bonus pack that gave you 1 additional razor for free! I made sure to snag these, making the razors only 33.5 cents each! That is nearly half of what was already a really good deal and also gave me 10 free razors, or 3.33 packs for free on razors that were regularly priced at $5.85 per pack of three. My total savings on this deal, with bonus razors worked out to $64.05 (13.3 packs x $5.85 = 77.81 – $13.50 for 10 packs = $64.05 in savings)!
Check the Clearance Section! – Stores usually have a section where they have items on clearance. This is especially true around the holidays where they will have limited edition holiday fragrances and such. These items are usually deeply discounted and your coupons will normally work on these items, making them free or nearly free.
Roll Your Store Rewards! – Over the next few weeks we will be posting about different drugs stores and how their coupon policies work. With store rewards and catalinas and a small initial investment in order to get these rewards, you can use what I call “store money” to make more store money and end up getting thousands of dollars per year in free items.
Don’t forget Dollar Stores – Don’t forget that you can coupon at many different places. In addition to grocery stores and drug stores, the various discount stores will also accept coupons. Dollar General, Family Dollar and Dollar Tree all accept coupons. Check with other Dollar (type) stores in your area and see if they accept coupons and ask if they have a coupon policy that you can have or print or take a picture of so that you have it on hand when you are prepping and working out all of your deals for the week.
Learn One Store at a Time – If you try to jump into every store and chase every deal at once, your couponing days will probably be numbered. Couponing can be very overwhelming at first and trying to learn everything all at once will make things even more confusing and overwhelming. Start with one drug store or Dollar Store and one grocery store and learn the ropes of that particular store. Once you have mastered that store, then move on to the next one. This way you will know everything that you need to know and can keep up with the latest changes in policy on the ones that you already know while making your way through all of them.
If you haven’t had the chance to check out the posts from the previous six days, take a look! If you have already looked and feel that couponing is for you, take this new knowledge and get to saving! If you have any tips, please add them to the comments below so that we can all share in the wealth!