Shopping smart with coupons

Shopping smart with couponsRecently, my sister in law showed me her stash of free or almost free stuff. A cupboard full of tooth brushes, toilet rolls, gloves etc. She then let me in on her secret system of coupon saving strategies that help her shave off over 400$ each month on groceries and daily needs.

There are three sources for coupons, the Sunday paper, sites which offer coupons you can print out and mailing lists for stores. So the first step is to go out and gather the coupons. Buy a Sunday paper and then religiously go through the thick stack of coupons that come with it clipping out the coupons for items you use in your daily routine. Before you go shopping to a store, check if there is a sale or event on at any local stores or coupons available online of any product you need to buy. And finally put yourself on mailing lists for stores where you usually shop.

Once you have your coupons in hand, you need to strategize further. There are ways to make your coupons worth a whole lot more than their face value. This is done by pairing them up with other offers. For example, some grocery stores have events when many items are marked down heavily, you may get 10 cereal boxes for 10 dollars each, if you were to collect coupons for your favorite brand of cereal and use it in conjunction with such a promotion you could end up paying less than 10$ for 10 boxes of cereal, when each box usually costs upwards of 2$ at latest. It may also be a great idea to plan out your weekly menu based on the coupons you find in the Sunday paper, or save coupons that you know will come in handy for an upcoming kids birthday party.

Once you begin using coupons and see the substantial savings they offer, it is easy to get into the trap of buying things you don’t need just because you have the coupons. That is why it is imperative that you are ruthless about discarding coupons for stuff you do not see yourself using. Resist the temptation of a 5$ coupon on a 25$ face cream that you do not use and don’t see yourself using as that is a smart way for the manufacturer to have you spend 20$ on a product you do not need.

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