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So you have decided you want to start using coupons to lower your grocery bill? You have come to the right place. We will be posting a series of lessons telling you exactly what to do to get started.
Now that you know where to find coupons and how to read them the next step is knowing when to use them to save the most money. The biggest mistake beginning couponers make is thinking they need to use every coupon. That is rarely the case. In fact, I would say that the most experienced coupon shoppers use less than 25% of the coupons they receive. The only time you *need* to use a coupon is if you are simply out of something and have to buy it right away. In that case any savings is better than none. Other than that, use only coupons that will give you a stock up price using these tips.
Match Coupons With Sales and Store Promotions:
Hold on to those coupons until the item goes on sale or there is store promotion to match. After coupon and sale, you want to reduce the cost by at least 50% of the original price. Here’s a few things you want to look for before using a coupon.
- Is it on sale?
- Will the coupon double?
- Is there a matching store coupon?
- Will I receive any “store bucks” back for buying this item?
- Is there a cash back rebate available?
Start with one or two deals at a time. Make sure you understand exactly how the deal and store policy work before jumping in to bigger trips.
Buy When On Sale:
Don’t need toothpaste right now but you have a coupon and it’s on sale? Buy it anyway. In fact buy 2 or 3. This is how you will build your stockpile. There may not be a matching coupon and sale when you do run out. This prevents you from ever paying full price for anything.
Know How Many To Buy:
When you can get things at rock bottom prices (75-100% off) try to stock up on enough to last you at least six weeks.
Plan Your Trips:
Try to not go in to the store and “wing it” on coupon trips. This will leave you unorganized, overwhelmed and more likely to make mistakes. Make a list using matchups from this site or that you have put together yourself. Have a plan before you go shopping. You should be able to calculate exactly how much you want to spend.
Be Prepared For The Unexpected:
Don’t let an empty shelf throw all your plans off. Be prepared that the store might be out of something and have a back up plan. Also always be on the lookout for clearance, closeouts, markdowns and unadvertised deals that match your coupons.
Never become so obsessed with finding a deal or using your coupons that it becomes stressful or makes you uneasy. Try to have fun. Find a couponing buddy if possible. Remember, you will make mistakes. Even veteran couponers still make mistakes. Brush it off. Another deal will come along.
Missed any lessons?