7 tips to Use Coupons Successfully
We’ve all heard it said: using coupons can help you save money. While many people have found ways to spend significantly less using coupons, they also know some tricks of the trade that have helped them to be successful. Here are 7 tips to use coupons successfully.
When you receive coupons in the mail, newspaper or online, you must make sure that you organize them in a way that makes them ready (and easy) to use. When you clip them, organize them by category in a filing box or envelope. Then, when you go shopping, take a look through those that you’ve clipped to see where you may save.
You may also want to create a special email file for discounts and coupons that you receive online. Similar to organizing your paper coupons, having your email deals ready to use will help you to remember that they are there.
Keeping your coupons organized also means needing to sort through them frequently to get rid of those that may have expired. Making a regular habit of going through your coupons will also serve as an additional reminder that you have them ready to use.
Shop for what you need
Coupons are great for saving money, but they also are a company’s way of encouraging you to buy products that you otherwise may not. Make sure, when using a coupon, that you need the items that you’re buying, rather than buying them simply because they’re good deals. Buying lots of discounted items (because they’re less expensive) will only cost you more in the long run.
Buy in Bulk (if it makes sense)
Many coupons offer greater savings for larger amounts purchased. Some items, such as paper towels, make sense to purchase in greater quantities. Others, such as cereal, only make sense if you know that you’ll use it up before expiration dates. Make sure, when taking advantage of coupons requiring larger purchases that you’re going to use what you’ve bought. Otherwise, you’ll lose money in items having to be thrown away.
Consider Other Brands
Using coupons successfully sometimes means stepping outside of brand loyalty. If you are in need of laundry detergent, for example, going with your favorite brand may not be possible if you’re looking to save. Instead, seek brands that have coupons available as well as those that are on sale.
Weigh Your Options
Similar to stepping out of your favorite brands, it’s also important to weigh your brand options. Consider how many uses you will get out of each brand versus the cost per use. Using the laundry detergent example, if one advertises 65 uses and the other 72, calculate the cost per use (after any discounts available.) Then choose the less expensive option. Making your spending decisions, based on cost per use will save you a lot over time.
Trade with a Friend
Coupons are available for a wide array of items. Some items (such as home improvement items) you may need while others (such as infant diapers or formula) you may not. Getting together with a friend to trade coupons will help you both save on the things that you need, while discarding those coupons that you won’t use.
Combine Coupons with Sales
You’ll find the greatest savings when you combine coupons with sales. As mentioned earlier, keep your coupons organized so that you know what you have when looking at sales flyers. Waiting until items are on sale (and then buying them with your coupons) will help you to pay the lowest amount possible at checkout.
Do you know of other ways to use coupons successfully? Please share your ideas!