Though couponing can be a pain, there are great (and not-so-great ways) to use them. As many of us know, using coupons takes time and organization. How many of us have had good intentions, clipping, printing, and setting those coupons aside, only to find that we have left them at home?
There are ways to use coupons and save money. Here are some suggestions about how to use coupons to save money.
- Look at what you consistently make for your family. When poring over ad slicks or online sites, those are the coupons you want. This is a "no-brainer," but to assess your menu continuity and be cognizant of what you use frequently, is key.
- Put coupons in a rolodex or collapse-able file folder for efficient use. Look it over before you hit the store with your grocery list. As you gather your items, put the coupons on top of each item at the cash register.
- Find out if the store "stacks" coupons. This means that you can take a manufacturer's coupon and use it with an in-store special. Also, determine whether or not your local store has double-coupon days, meaning that any coupon you have can be used twice on an item.
- Watch expirations dates. Do not cut off the date, try to erase or scratch it out. If the coupon is unusable, another will come along soon! Also, don't photocopy coupons, as it is illegal.
- Don't purchase something just because you have a coupon for it. Do you use the item? Also, are there generic items options available that are still, perhaps, less expensive.
- Don't feel ashamed that you are a coupon clipper. People can wait in line as you purchase your items or have to remove/revamp a purchase. Coupons exist for a reason and you are saving money.