Everybody loves a good deal, and finding a coupon for an item you want or need is pretty easy, especially in 2020. In fact, according to a recent report — 31 Billion digital coupons will be redeemed worldwide in 2020, up from 16B in 2014 and there will be 1.05 Billion mobile coupon users worldwide by 2020, up from 560M in 2014.
But does that even surprise you?
If you ever purchased something online you know that coupons can be found in a variety of locations including the newspaper and saving sites like SavingLoop or Referral Wallet — among others. But what are some other ways to save money by couponing? And what are the best tactics?
Let’s find out.
The Art of Couponing: A Beginner’s Guide
Ready to get started couponing? Here’s how to adapt the life of an extreme couponer.
1. Stay up to date with the stores you visit
Stay up to date on the coupon policy and programs offered at the stores you shop at. Some of the things you need to know, include whether or not they accept competitor coupons, if they double your coupons or if they accept online coupons. If you are unaware of the answers to these questions, you might not be saving as much money as possible.
One thing that people should always do is put coupons to good use when a store has a buy one, get one free deal (BOGO). You are able to get an item for a great discounted price, and another for free. Many times, you’ll be paying less than 25% of the original purchase price.
Just remember to never buy an item exclusively because you happen to have a coupon. Sometimes people are so eager to make use of their coupons that they make purchases they don’t need and actually wind up spending more than they would have without the coupons. Just stick to the items that were already on your list and you will save more!
Pro-tip: To help save the most amount of money with coupons you should use them during sales. On some occasions, you will need to stash your coupons for a future sale instead of your next grocery shopping.
2. Use coupon and discount sites
Search the web to find coupon codes or promotional discounts for websites you shop from frequently. Many times, you will find a code that will offer either a discount or free shipping. You can also learn how to get free coupons by mail.
You do not have to use coupons right when you get them. Provided your coupons don’t expire, it’s a great idea to hold onto them until you can make use of them during a sale on the same items for which they offer savings. This will really multiply the benefits of using coupons, often reducing the price of your purchases significantly or even making them free!
As popular as the Sunday paper used to be to find coupons, the Internet is the best resource nowadays. There are many money-saving coupon opportunities online with regard to food and clothing. The key feature of this avenue is not having to clip coupons endlessly. Now they are print and go.
For the online stores where you buy things from, search for coupons and discounts using a search engine. Many times, you will find a code that will offer either a discount or free shipping.
Pro-tip: Before you go shopping with your coupons in tow, make sure you have a thorough list to follow. Also, make sure that you take all of your coupons with you, as you can double-check that it applies to the item.
3. Check out store ads before your visit
Peruse the store ads before you clip your coupons. You might decide to shop multiple stores in order to reap the most savings.
As you check out, watch carefully to make sure your coupons are applied properly. A lot of coupons won’t scan properly, and this can leave you on the hook for a lot more money than you have planned on spending. So keep your eye on the cashier and make sure that everything is going through just as it should.
Many people find that dollar discount stores are an excellent source of steals and deals. You can often find brands that match coupons with dollar stores. These are usually products that are overstocked and delivered to “low end” retailers to recoup production costs. This pays you in the end as you can take the coupon off the deeply discounted price.
You can sometimes get free coupon books by postal mail or cheap by calling the newspaper’s office to ask for a discount. Some newspapers will let you get the weekly paper for as little as a dollar an issue if you have a Sunday subscription.
Pro-tip: If you have a coupon for an item that is going to go on sale, then you could save even more money by making use of coupon-clipping services for ordering numerous copies of the coupon. A coupon website would probably be your best bet here.
Don’t purchase anything online until you do a coupon search. You can use any search engine to locate great deals by searching for the term “coupon” along with your retailer’s name. If there are any coupons available, you should be able to find them. Remember to check your options on your browser for the most recent results also. There may be free shipping available, or a percentage off of your total purchase.
Clipping Coupons 101
When you are learning how to coupon, do not let couponing monopolize your time. Looking through circulars and clipping coupons can take up a lot of time. Figure out how much money you can save and decide if clipping coupons is worth your while.
Use your coupons in line with the sales at the stores that you use them in. That will help you save the most. Generally, coupons will not expire before the item goes on sale at a store near you. Coupons, when combined with sale prices, can save you upwards of 90 percent on your total grocery bill.
Pro-tip: Make sure that your coupons do not take more time than you can allot. It can take up a whole lot of time clipping and organizing all those coupons.
You should not be ashamed of using coupons. No one has money to waste in these economic times. Many people are doing what they must to stretch their money. There’s nothing wrong with being savvy to save money.
Be respectful about your coupon use. Use the coupons for what they are meant for, and do not attempt to get away with using expired coupons. Lots of stores adjust their policies if a large number of people exploit them, which can cause everyone to lose out on savings.
The information in this article will help you organize and develop strategies for maximum savings. Use what you have learned to save as much money as you can. There are even coupons to help you travel at times as well.
Familiarize yourself with coupon acronyms. “BOGO” is an acronym used to indicate that if you buy one, you will get one free. Another one ‘MIR” has a meaning of mail-in rebate. Understanding these acronyms is critical to becoming a savvy shopper. If you are not familiar with them, you may not be aware of the value of the coupon.
Pro-tip: Don’t feel embarrassed by using large amounts of coupons at your store’s check-out line. Trying to save money can make you take a little more time, but it is worth it.
Next, you can learn more about money management to better manage your money, and life.