Coupons have been around for a very long time. In fact, they go as far back as 1887, when the Coca Cola company offered a free sample of the drink in exchange for a coupon. For some people, using the odd coupon is a great way to save on a specific item. However, many people have taken it a step further and perfected the art of couponing. You can save an incredible amount of money using coupons, so why not give it a go? Here’s our useful guide on how to start couponing!
How to Start Couponing
If you want to join the major couponing league, there are a few basic things you need to put into place before heading to the store and filling your cart. Let’s look at a few!
You need to allocate time to couponing. Set aside time every week to get all of your ducks in a row. You’ll need time to find the best deals and sales, find your coupons, prepare them, and plan how you’re going to execute your next shopping spree.
Organize Your Coupons
There are many different approaches to organizing your coupons. You just need to find a system that works for you. Having your coupons ready at checkout is important. The last thing you want to do is hold up the queue because you have the wrong coupons for the wrong items, or because you’re trying to use coupons you didn’t realize had already expired.
How Do Coupons Work
Businesses offer coupons because they want to promote and push up sales for specific products. The concept is simple: a coupon offers a deal for a specific item.
There are two types of coupons: store coupons and manufacturer coupons. If you get lucky, you’ll find one product with coupons offered by the store and the manufacturer, and you can save even more! If on top of that the item is on sale in the store, you’re looking at a very, very good bargain.
It may sound crazy, but when you use coupons with items that are already on sale, you can get them for free. For example, if a tube of toothpaste costs $1.99 at a discounted price, and you have a coupon offering $2 off that same product, you won’t be paying a single cent for that toothpaste. It’s incredible!
How to Use Coupons
Once you’ve found a coupon for the item you want to buy, the cashier will simply scan the code on the coupon or swipe your loyalty card with the coupon loaded on it, and bob’s your uncle, you’ve saved some money.
You really need to read the fine print of every coupon you want to use. Most coupons have an expiration date (though there are some that don’t). Some will limit you to one coupon per item. Stores have their own coupon policies, and many only allow you to use a specific number of coupons per transaction. They may also have a policy against coupon stacking, so it’s worth shopping around to find a store that will allow you to stack your coupons.
Where to Find Coupons
You’ll find printed coupons on store bulletin boards or coupon walls, on flyers from the store, and in newspaper inserts. There are also digital coupons you’ll find on websites and apps.
What are the Best Sites for Printable Coupons?
Swagbucks: Swagbucks Magic Receipts serves up traditional style print coupons in a modern, digital way. Instead of printing a coupon to save $3.00 on 2 boxes of General Mills cereal, Swagbucks will pay you $3.00 for purchasing those 2 boxes of General Mills cereal. All you have to do is snap a pic of your receipt after making the purchase. Find hundreds of similar cash back offers like this for all sorts of grocery items. You can even earn cash just for scanning a receipt (of any purchase inside of any store), or buying certain featured category items, like any brand of bread or of dairy.
Ibotta: You can find sweet deals with Ibotta. They allow you to “stack” rebates and coupons by manufacturers.
Coupons.com: This website is a couponer’s heaven. You will find a plethora of printable coupons on this site.
CouponSurfer: Much like Coupons.com, this website has a long list of printable coupons.
Checkout51: This app is much like Ibotta. You can save by taking a picture of your receipt and earn cashback. It’s that simple.
RetailMeNot.com: On this website, you’ll find coupon codes for all your favorite retailers, such as Walmart, Target, and Macy’s.
TheKrazyCouponLady.com: This site is another hub for printable coupons from a long list of retailers.
SmartSource.com: This site offers loads of manufacturer coupons for all sorts of products on your grocery list.
Rakuten: Rakuten offers coupons and cashback. Browse their extensive list of offers for a variety of different retailers.
Groupon: What we love about this site is that the deals extend to more than just groceries. The site is a great place to find deals on entertainment, restaurants, and more.
Amazon: Amazon offers manufacturers coupons for a large range of products for sale on the site.
Are Coupons Worth It?
With couponing, you get out what you put in. It does take a fair amount of commitment to get to a place where you are paying $50 for $2000 worth of groceries, but it is possible. Regardless of the scale on which you are couponing, using coupons can make a huge impact on your budget.
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