These days, many of us hope to stretch our dollars. Getting the most bang for the buck is important if you don’t want to break your budget. One way to save money is to use coupons when you make your purchases. Before you clip just any coupon, though, here are 5 tips to keep in mind:
1. Only Buy According to Your Plan
While couponing can help you save money, it’s important to avoid the temptation to buy something because you have a coupon. Instead, you should create your shopping list and look for savings on what you already plan to purchase. When you buy something you hadn’t intended, you are spending more money – not saving anything. Stick to your planned purchases and only apply a coupon to something you would have bought anyway.
2. Learn How to Stack Your Savings
One of the most effective couponing strategies is called stacking. With this strategy, you use more than one coupon for an item, or you use a coupon for something that is already on sale or discounted. If you have an in-store coupon and a manufacturer’s coupon, you might be able to use both to boost your savings. The same is true of buying on sale. If the store is selling something at a discount, and it’s advertised in a flyer, you can bring in a coupon and get another discount.
3. Know the Store’s Coupon Policy
It’s important to realize, though, that not every store will allow you to stack your savings. Additionally, sometimes an offer will come with fine print. You might not be able to use a coupon on an already discounted item or in conjunction with another sale or offer. Before you bring in your coupons to save on your shopping list, be sure to understand the store’s coupon policy and the specifics of the offer in question. That way, you won’t be stuck at the checkout counter paying more than you had expected.
4. Search Online
Coupons aren’t just for clipping anymore. The Internet has brought out a number of opportunities for saving money. After you create your shopping list, figure out which items don’t have coupons, and then look online. Often, you can print out a manufacturer’s coupon right from the brand website. Additionally, there are plenty of sites like Coupons.com, Coupon Sherpa, and Coupon Mom that can help you find savings on thousands of items you buy each day. This strategy is especially effective if you can use stack savings for the items on your list.
5. Use a Smartphone App
Your smartphone can help you with your couponing as well. One of the easiest ways to organize your shopping list and your coupons is with the help of you smartphone. Many online coupon sites will send the savings right to your phone, and all you have to do is hold your phone for the checkout person to scan at the store. It’s also possible to take pictures of your hard copies and allow them to be scanned at the store. Using your smartphone can be easier than carrying in all of your bits of paper and trying to keep them organized.
A good coupon strategy can save you hundreds of dollars a year, and with these tips you’ll be well on your way to savings.
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