Knowing how to use coupons to save money isn’t my cup ‘o tea, but this writer knows what she’s talking about! This beginner’s guide to clipping coupons is a guest post by SEO consultant Ann Smarty.
“A lot of people don’t bother collecting coupons because they just don’t understand how much money they could actually be saving,” says Smarty. “They look at a dollar off here, fifty cents off there, never realizing that the real bargain hunters are using coupons to cut as much as fifty percent off the total price of their groceries.”
Can you imagine saving twice as much money every month, by cutting your grocery bill in half? It’s possible! One of the first steps to using coupons to save money involves organizing your coupons — and that’s where a coupon organizer comes in handy.
And, here are Smarty’s tips for achieving your financial goals by cutting coupons…
How to Use Coupons to Save Money
Coupon clipping is an excellent way for budget conscious shoppers to make real savings. It takes a lot of effort to make sure you find coupons that apply to all the major items on your shopping list, but it’s an investment most find well worth the time when trying to save money without having to give anything up.
Find the Right Coupons
The first thing you need to do is figure out where you’re going to get your coupons from. Most local Sunday newspapers provide sections for major manufacturers and local retail stores to promote their coupons.
When running promotions, many companies will send out special offers in the mail, which can include coupons. Scan through your “junk mail” to see if any coupons have been delivered. Some businesses provide printable coupons that can be found online. Taking time daily to check through coupon websites like CouponSherpa.com and Freeshipping.org is a great way to come across deals you didn’t even know you were looking for.
Organize Your Coupons
Once you have identified a couple of sources for gathering coupons, you need to start collecting and saving those coupons. The best way to do this is to cut (or print) the coupons out as soon as you find them, so they can be stored in a safe location. Most coupon collectors prefer to use containers like address boxes or folders for storing their coupons , as they can be easily divided into sections relating to the various offers available, making the coupons easy to reference before each shopping trip.
Make sure you organize your coupons in an easily accessible manner — it’s vital to using coupons and saving money!
Make the Most of Your Coupons – Find Special Offers
Making the most out of your coupons involves finding special offers to use in conjunction with any coupons you may have on hand. Some special offers will prohibit the use of coupons to reduce the price further, but many will not. Learning to spot deals that will let you use your coupon discounts in addition to any in-store offers is a surefire way to save money.
At first it will be difficult to match up special offers with the coupons and promo codes you have on hand, but don’t get tempted to spend your coupons on regular purchases (unless they are close to expiring). Over time you will build up a very impressive catalog of potential discounts, which will enable you to take full advantage of real bargains as they crop up. It can take a month or two to get to the point where you are using coupons every week, but don’t get discouraged. Keep collecting coupons and you will be saving money on your grocery bill in no time.
Don’t Forget to Get Rid of Your Expired Coupons!
Coupons can last anywhere from a few weeks to a year. In order to make sure you only keep active discounts on hand, you should devote ten or so minutes a week to going through your coupon collection and removing any expired offers. If you do this regularly you should be able to use all your coupons before they expire, though obviously don’t go out of your way to buy items you otherwise wouldn’t have bought.
If cutting coupons isn’t your bag, read Money and the Law of Attraction – 4 Ways to Attract Wealth.
Ann Smarty — founder of SEOSmarty.com — also contributed How to Use Your Credit Cards Rewards Program for Realistic Rewards here on Quips and Tips for Achieving Your Goals.