Some shoppers appear to have taken a stand against using coupons, whether for time’s sake, the confusion of it all, or, perhaps, just to avoid being that crazy coupon lady (a title which I, for one, embrace!) The fact is that coupons can save you a lot of money– particularly at stores that double coupons. To help simplify the clipping, here are 5 easy steps that I encourage you to try for at least a few weeks to build this good money-saving habit:
1. Organize the coupons
Find a method of organization that works for you. I filed in the mini dividers and I lugged the huge notebook- and failed at both. Read this post on how I save all the inserts and organize with an envelope each week.
2. Plan ahead
Look at coupon match-ups before you go, enabling you to make a list according to sale items paired up with coupons for tremendous savings. Sometimes I am not sure when I will make it to the stores, so the best plan is to make that list, put the coupons with it, and place it in the car at the start of the new sale cycle: Sundays for drugstores and Wednesdays for grocery stores.
3. Keep it simple
Since I tow a toddler and have a 20 minute drive into town, I keep my lists down to only sale and coupon items and I work errands into other outings.
4. Stock up
By taking advantage of each store’s weekly rock-bottom prices, the sales cycles are never missed, so we have a variety of foods stocked in our home. And “stock up” we do- buying up to the coupon or store limit when prices are at their lowest. I’d much rather buy and freeze plenty of $1.50/lb. meat than pay a hefty full price later.
5. Keep your eyes peeled at the register
Look for what may be (hopefully) a friendly cashier to help you through the coupon stack. Have your store card and coupons at hand, sorting through them before you enter the checkout to make sure you selected the right sizes, quantities, and, yes, the actual items! If someone files in line behind us- to avoid the ensuing checkout stress- I tell them I have coupons and would be happy to let them go ahead of me. Ask the cashier for needed rainchecks (to place in next week’s envelope) and, lastly, watch the checkout process and check the receipt afterwards- mistakes are common and often correctable.
And please do share your easy couponing tips in the comments!