Monday, July 20, 2009

Tuesday's Thrifty Tips - Maximizing Coupon Savings

Maximizing Coupon Savings

If you are like most people, you clip a coupon here and there and feel great about saving your 50 cents. You probably have also seen those die-hard coupon clippers in front of you in line at the grocery store who have a coupon for everything. Have you ever wondered to yourself, "How do they find all those coupons and save so much?" Here are the keys to couponing success:

1) You need to take the time to match your coupons to items you buy. Maximizing your savings means matching the coupons to items when they are on sale. If you save 50 cents off Ziploc bags, it is a better deal to save that 50 cents off the sale price than full price!

2) Horde all the coupons you can find! Coupons are found in more places than just your Sunday paper. Look for coupons online, magazines, at the grocery store, attached to products you recently bought (called peelies), attached to bottles of wine (winetags) and through coupon clipping services. If you horde all the coupons you find, you'll be able to trade away coupons you'll never use for multiple copies of ones you will use. I've just discovered trading coupons and it's wonderful! A great resource for finding coupons and trading coupons is Since the membership is free, it is a great one-stop shop for all your savings needs (and not just at the grocery store)!

3) Stockpile items that have a long shelf life or things you use every day. Shampoo, razors, canned goods, soda, soap, laundry detergent, diapers, toilet paper, toothpaste, lotion, cereal, the list could go on and on. When a good sale pops up, get a fistful of coupons and go stock up! When cereal goes on sale and I have coupons - watch out, I will buy as many boxes as I have coupons for!

4) Rebates are the frugal couponer's dream! The triple threat: sale, coupon, rebate! Partial rebates definitely add to the savings and sometimes combined with the coupon and sale actually end up being full rebates. Find an item on sale, clip the coupon, send in the rebate. I just participated in the Fuel For School Rebate and got 10 items for less than $10 and will get a $10 check in the mail in a few weeks.

5) Don't be loyal to one store. It is so tempting to save some time and shop only at one store; however, this mentality keeps you from maximizing your savings by having multiple sales available to you at once-after all, not all sales are created equal! Shop the weekly ads or check prices online for at least 3-4 stores near you. Don't forget CVS and Walgreens. There are many places to find all of the stores' deals online but 2 of my favorite places are: Abundant Food Savings and Southern Savers.

6) Ask for the coupon policies at your store. Some supermarkets double coupons. If yours doubles up to $1, a .50 cent coupon (which can be doubled) is more worthwhile than a .55 coupon (which will not double) for the same item. Some supermarkets takes expired coupons up to 6 months old! Maybe yours takes competitor's coupons!

The more you coupon, the more you save. It is an investment of time, but just like most things in life the more you put in, the more you get out! The more you coupon the better you get.

~ Written by Elizabeth

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