September is National Coupon Month, a time to embrace great deals and everyday savings. The good news is that you don’t have to be an extreme couponer in order to save money. Here are a few tips to cut costs using coupons.
Start the hunt.
There are several places you can find coupons, but your best bet is the Sunday paper. Grocery stores can also be a treasure trove of coupons if you know where to look, as many stores will have manufacturer’s coupons or store coupons in their weekly ads or have special coupon fliers in the store. Usually you’ll find them on display near the entrance. If your store has a loyalty card, sign up for it! Many stores will only allow you to get their sale prices if you have a store card, so make sure to ask next time you are there.
There are also plenty of online resources and blogs that will give you access to hundreds of printable coupons whenever you want—no scissors required. Sites like The Krazy Coupon Lady, CouponMom.com, and Money Saving Mom will make finding a coupon and saving money a breeze. Lastly, there are also mobile coupons – making it even easier and faster to get coupons through your mobile phone. Programs and apps like Ibotta, Checkout 51, Cartwheel, and Shopmium allow you to download coupons to your phone and redeem cash back savings after you’ve purchased a product. This is a great way to save – especially for the busiest of us all.
Wondering how to store and easily find all of these coupons you’ve just collected? If you’re new to couponing you might want to start out with a small, simple coupon organizer that you can find at the dollar store. These are small plastic or cardboard accordion style coupon holders that will fit right in your purse. You can sort by type of food, brand or expiration date so you don’t miss the savings. Having your coupons organized saves time at home and in the store.
Now get shopping!
Be sure to plan ahead and check your store’s weekly ads for sales and match up your coupons. Make a list before you shop so you know which coupons you’re going to use. This will keep you from forgetting anything or buying something you don’t need. Also, make sure to choose the time of day wisely. The less crowded the store, the less stressed both you and your cashier will be.
- Buy one get one free! You’ve hit the savings jackpot when you find a buy one get one free coupon.
- Buy multiples! If you can get 5 tubes of toothpaste for free or really cheap, get them! By the time you go through those 5 tubes of toothpaste they’ll probably be on sale again. If it’s something you don’t use, buy it and donate!
- Don’t forget to price match. Some national retailers will price match competitor’s ad sale prices, but keep in mind that the items must be identical to get the price match. In other words, if one retailer is selling a 4.0-oz. mint flavored toothpaste on sale for $2.00 then you can get the same toothpaste at another retailer for $2 if you show them your ad.
Celebrate National Coupon Month by taking advantage of the savings that stores and manufacturers offer. In just a few minutes a week, you can find many ways to save on items that you buy regularly.