1) Match Coupons with Weekly Sales. Always use coupons on items you need when they go on sale to double up on savings. Watch the grocery ads for weekly sales. When items are at rock bottom price stock up on them to last you 3-6 months (typical sales cycle). This is called stockpiling.
2) Know your prices. Just because a store tells you it is on sale does not mean that is the cheapest sale price. Start a price journal and track prices on your typical grocery purchases. We purchase so many different products it is hard to remember what a good sale price is and at what store.
3) Seek Out Printable Coupons. Some of the best coupons come from the internet. Check out coupon web sites to select coupons you want to print and cut out to use at your grocery store just as you would coupons from the Sunday paper. One of the top coupon sites on the web is Coupons.com.
4) Make your Store Loyalty Card work even harder for you. Online coupon sites like Cellfire allow you to load coupons onto your store loyalty cards for savings without printing or clipping. Just click the coupons you want and they’re automatically redeemed when you use your loyalty card. Many Store Loyalty cards offer eCoupons right on their site also. A perfect example of this is Giant Eagle. They typically have a good selection to choose from.
5) Seek Out Coupons for Sales. If you spot a great sale and want to maximize your savings, go online to a site like My Coupon Hunter or Coupon Carryout to order coupons for a few cents each. They usually have a minimum though. You can order weekly coupon inserts from this site and always have a stock pile ready to use. It is even more economical to split the cost with family or friends. Some people may argue that paying for a coupon defeats the purpose but I disagree. It really depends on the coupon and what you are paying for it. Is it economical to pay $0.10 for a $0.30 coupon, not really. Is it economical to pay $0.10 for a $5.00 coupon, yes!
6) Reach Out to Your Favorite Brands. Frequent their websites. You’ll often find money-saving printable coupons right on the sites or you can sign up for special offers by mail or email. If you really like a brand send them an email telling them so. I have received coupons for FREE items numerous times just by sending a short email telling them how much I like their product. Make a list of your favorite brands then once a week pick one of them and send off a short email then sit back and watch the coupons and free stuff be delivered right to your mailbox.
7) Be Strategic About Buy-One-Get-One-Free (BOGO) Sales. To double your savings, use (2) coupons when a product is on sale buy-one-get-one-free, one for each of the products you are taking home to save more money. Also, if you have a BOGO coupon for the product that is on BOGO sale, both items end up being FREE at most stores!
8) Stack Store & Manufacturer’s Coupons. Several national grocery retailers offer coupons that can only be used in their stores. When you purchase a grocery item you can pair the store-specific coupon with a manufacturer’s coupon for extra savings. Target is a great example of this. They offer many Target Coupons right on their website that you can print then use along with a manufacturers coupon. Meijers also offers Mealbox coupons right on their website. Mealbox coupons are Meijer only coupons that can also be paired with a manufacturers coupon for extra savings!
9) Hit Double & Triple Coupon Days at Your Grocery Store. To save the most money it pays to know your store coupon policies and be aware of which stores double or triple, and up to how much on each product. My Store – Giant Eagle doubles up to 99cents. I try to make sure I use coupons that will double and a product and try to wait until the product is on sale too. This really maximizes your savings.
10) Take advantage of drug store programs such as CVS Extra Care Buck Program, Walgreens Register Rewards and Rite Aid’s Single Check Rebate and + UP Rewards. Drugstores regular prices are often higher than big box stores but when you pair their sale prices with their store reward offers and add manufacturer’s coupons on top of that, you often can get stuff for FREE and sometimes even make money by purchasing a particular item. Example: at Walgreens Maalox was on sale for $5.09 each and if you purchased $30 in products you received a $10 Register Reward. To make this a money making deal you paired it with using (6) $5/1 Maalox coupons therefore only paying $0.54 out of pocket then you received a $10 Register Reward back making it a $9.46 Money Maker!
11) Just because you have a coupon does not mean you have to use it. I think this is one of the biggest mistakes people make and actually end up spending more money. This is the whole reason companies put out coupons. Human nature is to use a coupon just because you have it. FIGHT THE URGE! If it is something you need then by all means use it but don’t fall into the trap of redeeming the coupon just because you have it. It is like playing poker in a way. You have to know when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em. I can’t even begin to tell you how many of my coupons get unused before they expire but that is ok because there are always more coupons.
12) Take advantage of the numerous mail in rebates that companies offer. To save even more, use a coupon on the item too if available! Some companies will deduct any coupon savings from your rebate but often times they don’t. Even if they do you are at least paying less out of pocket to begin with. I am a mail in rebate fanatic!
13) Don’t be fooled by Sales Ads.
- 10/$10 promotions. You do not have to buy 10 items to get the $1 price! The only exception to this rule is if the ad states that you must! Those times are rare and are usually for items that are buy x get y free, final price 2/$5, etc.
- Limits. Stores will sometimes put limits on the item to make you think it’s a great price! If cereal is just on sale 2/$4 you might not even notice it. But if it’s on sale 2/$4, limit 2! then you will likely think it’s a great price since they had to put a limit on it!
- “One per Purchase.” I’ve heard this so many times! Most coupons say “one coupon per purchase” somewhere in the fine print. Cashiers will try to tell you that that means you can only use one coupon per transaction/day. This is NOT true! One per purchase means that you can only use one coupon per item purchased! So if you are buying 10 items and have 10 coupons then you can use them all!
- “Bigger is better.” The cost per unit of the bigger box of cereal may be less than the smaller one but with coupons and sales the smaller box is likely a better deal.
***These ideas have been collected from many blogs and my own habits. If you have an idea you would like to share, email me at capriservices09 @ gmail (dot) com. and I will take a look.