Couponing Tips

By Christina J

1. Always check store circulars on every visit. If you routinely go to the same grocery store or if you prefer to go to a variety of different grocery stores to get certain items at each one, checking circulars can help you find coupons for products you need. Store coupons are usually located on the back of in-store circulars.

2. Subscribe to the weekend edition of multiple newspapers. Newspaper subscriptions are generally pretty cheap, and many papers offer weekend-only subscriptions for just a dollar or two per month. If you don’t know which papers to subscribe to, grab a few copies for a local newsstand on a Saturday or Sunday and see which ones have the most coupons.

3. Read websites devoted to coupons and special deals on various items. There are a wide variety of sites that focus on special deals and letting the general public know where they can save money and gather coupons, and most of these sites are completely free. If you find sites that you like and use all the time, bookmark them for future reference.

4. Use coupon clipping services. Coupon clipping services are paid services that gather coupons from around the country, many of which may have a higher savings value than what you can find in your area. Usually, coupon clipping services provide coupons for major national chains because they’re beneficial for almost everybody, or provide manufacturer’s coupons for products that are sold in most markets, like Kraft or Nabisco products.

5. Know your store’s coupon policy. Some stores don’t allow double coupons or allow you to use more than one coupon on a single product. Other stores do, however, and that’s obviously where the biggest savings can be had.

6. Don’t forget about your store rewards program. Almost every major national chain store and many regional stores now offer rewards programs for regular shoppers. While many of these companies offer a card with automatic savings so you don’t have to do any of the work, some stores like CVS print coupons on your receipt. Make sure you take advantage of these coupons, and try to combine them with other coupons you have.

7. Use your coupons at the right time. If you really want to save the most you can, you’ll want to use your coupons when they coincide with a store’s sale. Using the Kraft food examples, if your regular grocery store has reduced a Kraft product by one dollar, that’s the best time to use a generic Kraft foods coupon so you pay the absolute lowest price possible. Very few stores have restrictions about using manufacturer’s coupons with store sales since they’ll be reimbursed by the manufacturer. Just don’t let your coupons expire!

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