10 Secrets of Coupon Shopping
Coupon shopping takes strategy and a little luck. If you are willing to take the time to learn how to use coupons and plan your shopping trips, you can save 50 percent or more off your grocery shopping each week. Here are 10 secrets to help you use coupons to save the maximum amount of money.
1. Know the Prices
The trick to coupon shopping is buying products at their lowest prices. Start keeping a price book with the price of each item and the date. The rock bottom price is the lowest the store will ever offer it, and this is when you should buy.
2. Creating a Stockpile
When you see an item at its lowest price and you have coupons, buy as many as you can. When you need the item, you will have it. Eventually, nearly everything you buy will reach its lowest price, so you will never have to pay full price.
3. Meal Planning
Most people plan their weekly meals and then create a shopping list, but serious couponers make their meal plan based on the sale ad. They buy items that are on sale and use items from their stockpile to create frugal yet delicious meals for their families.
4. Stacking Coupons
Stacking coupons means that you combine a manufacturer’s coupon with a store coupon or a rebate. You can not use more than one manufacturer’s coupon per item, but you can stack deals on most items.
5. Finding Coupons
The Sunday paper is the most common place to find coupons, but there are many other sources that you can use. Printable coupons are popular because they are easy to print at home and take to the store.
6. Shop Around
In order to maximize your savings, you need to shop at many stores. Each store has different products on sale, and some stores rarely put certain items on sale. By shopping around, you can take advantage of the sales in each store.
7. Rain Checks
Couponers love rain checks because they are good for several weeks. This gives you time to find coupons and rebates to pair with the sale price to maximize your savings.
Many food manufacturers offer mail-in or internet rebates when you buy a certain amount of their products. Pair a rebate with a sale and a coupon, and you can get very cheap or free food.
9. Fine Print
Read the fine print on coupons carefully. If there are no size restrictions available, you can use it on the smallest size available. But do not use expired coupons unless your store accepts them because the store will not get reimbursed.
10. Don’t Overbuy
It is tempting to buy things you don’t want or need just because they are cheap. But if you never use it, you’ve wasted money on the item. Some couponers donate excess food to a food pantry to avoid waste.