Posted: 12 January 2018
Need extra cash in your pocket? Who doesn’t?
This article focuses on saving money on groceries. However, the good news is you can use coupons to save on all kinds of products.
Are you ready to learn more? Let’s dig into the couponing tips.
Where to Find Coupons
You can find coupons in the newspaper, online, in stores, and in your mailbox. Whether you’re looking at Victorian wedding dresses for your upcoming wedding, or want to save for retirement, there’s something for everyone.
The Sunday edition usually includes several inserts with manufacturer coupons. The inserts are Smart Source (SS) and Proctor and Gamble (PG). Some coupons are in the regular sections of the paper, too.
If you subscribe to the newspaper, pull out the coupon inserts and use them. Yet, don’t buy a subscription just for coupons. The manufacturer coupons in the Sunday paper are available digitally.
Almost everyone with a traditional mailbox receives a bundle of ad circulars once a week. Look inside for a Red Plum (RP) circular. These coupons also are available online.
There are many websites with printable coupons.
Coupons.com is popular because it constantly adds new coupons. RedPlum.com and Smart Source.com are the digital versions of the printed circulars.
If you print coupons from the website, you must download the site’s printing software. The software limits the number of coupons you can print.
Digital coupons are on brand websites, Facebook pages, and in grocery store applications.
Many stores allow you to load digital coupons from the store website or app. It’s an easy way to get more manufacturer and store brand coupons.
If your store has this option your coupons are applied to your purchase at checkout.
Rebate apps are like coupons. In this case, instead of deducting money at checkout, the app credits your account after proof of purchase.
After you buy groceries you scan the sales receipt and the barcode on eligible products. Next, you upload your receipt to the rebate app to credit your account.
Popular rebate apps include Ibotta, Savings Star, Checkout51, and Mobisave.
Now that you know where to find coupons, let’s talk about using them.
10 Smart Couponing Tips
1. Know the Difference Between Manufacturer and Store Coupons
Manufacturers distribute coupons to promote their products. All manufacturer coupons have “Manufacturer Coupon” printed on them. Only one manufacturer coupon is allowed per item.
Store coupons are redeemable in the issuing store unless a competitor accepts it. Some store coupons let shoppers buy more than one item with a single coupon. The terms are on the coupon.
2. Read the Small Print
A coupon may only work on a certain size or quantity. Always check for stipulations.
Check the tiny end date to make sure your coupon is current. It’s a terrible feeling to learn four of your five coupons are expired.
3. Stack Coupons
Stacking is one of the best couponing tips around. Stacking coupons means that more than one coupon is applied to the purchase.
Many stores let shoppers stack a store coupon with a manufacturer coupon.
The best stacking scenario is a manufacturer coupon, a store coupon, and a rebate used on a single item.
Check if your store permits stacking coupons. Not all stores allow stacking, and not every type of coupon is stackable.
4. Check The Store Coupon Policy
Each store has their own rules on coupons. Visit the customer service desk or website to learn your store’s policy.
A store may accept manufacturer coupons, store coupons, internet coupons, and coupons from nearby competitors. A list of accepted competitor coupons will be posted at the store or online.
Competitor coupons may be for specific products, cash off a total, or a pharmacy prescription.
5. Visit Coupon-Sales Matching Sites
Thanks to technology, you don’t have to spend hours matching store circulars and coupons to find deals. Instead, surf on over to websites that match coupons and sales for you.
Sites like The Krazy Coupon Lady tell you which stores have sales that match current coupons.
Similar coupon match-up sites include Favado, I Heart Publix, Grocery Coupon Network, and Coupon Divas.
6. Use Grocery Store Apps
The best couponing tips save you money. Grocery store apps save you both time and money.
You can create a list, flip through the circular, select digital coupons, and match sales to coupons on your phone or desktop.
Plug your store location into the app and it organizes your shopping list to match the aisles in the store.
The store app tells you where to find the product, and if there’s a coupon for it.
7. Stock Up When It Makes Sense
Buy multiples of items when they’re on sale and you have coupons to go with them.
Many coupon websites announce when a product is on sale at its rock-bottom price. If possible, buy enough to last you until the next sale.
Most products with coupons go on sale every 3 to 6 months.
8. Use Coupons to Plan Your Meals
Look at the circular to see what’s on sale and matches your coupons.
Choose those less expensive groceries as a starting point for your weekly menu.
It’s easier to plan meals and you’ll spend less money.
9. Buy Produce in Season
Produce coupons are rare. Very rare.
Some apps like Ibotta, Savings Star, and CheckOut51 may offer rebates for produce.
If you want to spend less on fruits and veggies, buy them in season.
Check the USDA seasonal produce guide to see what is in season and likely on sale.
10. Request Coupons from Companies
Many major brands will send coupons in exchange for your email address.
For example, Betty Crocker will send up to $250 in coupons each year when you subscribe to their newsletter.
If you’re brand loyal, visit the company website. If you don’t find coupons on the website, request them.
Save Money With Couponing Tips
Couponing doesn’t have to be extreme to be effective. You can save money with coupons without making it a full-time career.
Search for coupons before you buy anything. Coupons are available for everything from groceries to dental work to furniture. Plan before you shop, and you’ll have extra cash each month.
Another way to save money is to sign up for our premium giveaways. You could win free products. That’s even better than a coupon, isn’t it?