Note: This article was included in the Carnival of Personal Finance at Sustainable Personal Finance.
Do you have a coupon strategy? If you’re using all of my 101 Ways To Take A Bite Out Of Your Food Budget, coupons can be a great way to save some serious additional cash. But to save even more, try one or all of these strategies:
Coupon strategies that work:
- Only use coupons to buy products you really use
- Layer your coupons with sales and store specials
- Find your favorite coupon websites and visit them regularly
- Visit those sites early in the month for the best deals
- Don’t neglect the manufacturer’s sites
- Set up a different email address for couponing
- Give the grocery store’s website a visit too
- Grocery stores aren’t the only place to buy food or use coupons
- Inquire about double coupons
- Join the loyalty program
1. Only use coupons to buy products you really use
If you don’t use it or wind up throwing it out, it really doesn’t matter how much money you save. According to the US Department of Agriculture, Americans throw out over 25% of all the food they buy. If you suspect you won’t eat, consume or use it, don’t buy it … regardless of the savings.
2. Layer your coupons with sales and store specials
Make every attempt to combine your savings opportunities. If you run across a 10 for $10 deal and you have a coupon for $1.00 off … that’s layering.
3. Find your favorite coupon websites and visit them regularly
Coupon issuers will offer many more coupons on these sites than those offered on the manufacturer’s sites, but make sure you check with them on a frequent basis. Many coupons are offered for only a short period of time.
But NEVER pay for coupons. Any site that wants you to pay for a coupon is most likely a scam.
4. Visit those sites early in the month for the best deals
When manufacturers do limit the total number of coupons offered, it usually happens early in the month. Be there first and you’ll get your choice of the offerings.
5. Don’t neglect the manufacturer’s sites
Visiting a manufacturer’s site (such as Kraft) may take a little longer but it’s a great way to find coupons on the specific items you want and use.
6. Set up a different email address for couponing
If you provide an e-mail and/or regular mail address, you can often receive additional coupons direct from the manufacturer. Just do this one thing: set up an entirely different email for receiving coupon offers. Trust me.
7. Give the grocery store’s website a visit too
Your supermarket probably has its own website. It may not offer coupons BUT it probably does have the store’s current ad and store specials. Use it with your coupons to layer your savings and save your gasoline.
8. Grocery stores aren’t the only place to buy food or use coupons
Drug stores and other big box retailers also carry food items and other household goods and most accept coupons. Use the information on those websites to match your coupons with the store’s specials.
9. Inquire about double coupons
Just call and ask — it’s only a few buttons on a phone! Some stores double them as a matter of policy while others may double them only on certain days. Ask about double coupon limits, say up 50 or 99 cents. Of course some stores don’t double ANY coupons but you never know until you ask. That 99 cent coupon may be worth a lot more than you think.
10. Join the loyalty program
Usually you’ll get a card and with that card comes benefits – usually a discount on certain products at the register. The downside is that the store tracks your every purchase but it may mail or email coupons to you based on your previous purchases. Some stores will even mail you coupons on things you don’t normally get coupons for such as milk, vegetables, or fresh fruit.
Couponing is hard work
But it’s worth it. My family has saved 25 – 40 percent using coupons on many occasions and when you have 5 mouths to feed, that’s a welcome relief!
Give coupons a try and be sure to pay for your groceries with a Perkstreet debit card to get up to 2 percent CASH BACK. That’s icing on the coupon cake!