When you are beginning to put together a household budget, couponing should be an excellent resource for cutting expenses. When you are trying to eliminate debt, save for a vacation, or pack money away for retirement, reducing household expenses is usually one of the first thing people look at for saving money.
Cleaning items, grocery items, over the counter medicines are things we purchase regularly but could be overpaying. Often brand name merchandise, when purchased on sale and with a coupon, can be considerably cheaper than a generic store brand.
Whether you are a couponing beginner or a seasoned vet looking for a refresher, we have put together a list of couponing hacks that you can begin today and help save money.
Not Just the Paper
When we think of couponing, we usually think of the Sunday paper or circular. While this is a great place to start, there are many coupons in different magazines, newspapers and store circulars. A great place to begin your search is online.
Many companies like MiraLAX, offer savings coupons on MiraLax online that you can use on everyday purchases. Google different brands that you regularly purchase and see what is available to you. There are many sites dedicated to helping you find the best deal.
Use Their Apps
Many grocery stores and drug stores have an app or reward program. Some grocery stores allow you to store the coupons on your phone for expedited checkout and will even remember your preferences and alert you when special deals come up. Drug stores often have great reward programs where you can earn cash back on particular purchases and coupons on future items can be combined with brand coupons for ultimate savings. This is where extreme couponing can pay off.
Purchase Larger Quantities
This is especially beneficial for toilet paper, paper towels, etc. When the price drops low, and you have a great coupon, this is the time to stock up. Buy as much as you can because these are necessity items that you always have a use for. This way you can avoid purchasing at the full retail price when the need arises to replenish your stock, and you are left without a coupon. A word of caution, make sure you only buy what you have room to store, so your house doesn’t begin to look like a grocery or drug store.
One of the most important things in an extreme couponer’s arsenal is getting organized. You do not want to miss a great deal because you can’t find the coupon you printed or cut out last week. Make sure you have a process in place for keeping track of app coupons, online deals, and paper coupons.
Decide early whether you want to organize by category or brand and stick with that system. Some people use baseball card plastic inserts for their couponing binders, others us accordion folders, the choice is yours. Just make sure the system you pick is one you will follow through with.
Planning is key to couponing. While this requires some extra work, it pays off in the long run. When making a trip the grocery store, you should have already studied the circular and evaluated what you need to purchase.
Have your coupons and deals printed and ready so that when it comes time to check out, you can speed through the process with minimal hassle. Make sure you read the fine print on the coupons that can limit purchase amounts, and make sure you know the store’s policy with regards to couponing.
Couponing can save a significant amount of money on everyday shopping. With the proper systems in place, this money saved can be put towards retirement or to pay down debt. Couponing and especially extreme couponing can take time. It takes time to go through all the papers and online searches to find what you are looking for. This can be overwhelming at first. But with practice, it will take less and less time as you become more efficient at doing it. Try out one of your favorite stores first, master that and then expand out to other stores and products.