I have been seeing quite a few stories on coupons lately. I have to make a confession right up front, I have never been one to use coupons. My wife was a big coupon clipper during the years that she was a stay-at-home mom. In more recent years, she has abandoned coupons as well. My opinion of coupons has been that they are too much trouble to use and probably not worth the hassle (and a real pain in the neck if someone in line in front of you has too many of them). In recent months, I have agreed to take on the responsibility of preparing the evening meals for my family. I don’t do any major grocery shopping, but typically go out just to pick up what I need for one to two nights of the family dinner. Last week while I was in the 10 item or less lane, the man in front of me saved nearly $25 with coupons. $25, now that is not chump change….. I asked the cashier if this was an unusual circumstance seeing someone save so much with coupons on just a handful of items. Since there was no one in line behind me, she took a couple of extra minutes and gave me a mini-seminar on couponing. As surprised as I was to hear it, saving $25 on just a few items was not unusual for her to see. Additionally, she shared with me that she is noticing more and more people using coupons (likely due to the softening economy). Today’s blog is what I learned from the cashier at my local Winn-Dixie. Using this advice, the next day I came back and saved $20.49 on just a few items myself! (pictured below).
Savings of $20.49
1. Be Flexible With Your Grocery List
Be willing to go with what is on sale or what you have a coupon for when possible. I agree with the notion of having a list before heading into the grocery store, but take advantage of your opportunities. If chicken is on sale, that may be a better option than steak. Build your meal plans around sale items if you can.
Watch This Video Below, This Lady Makes My Couponing Look Like The Minor Leagues
2. Get A Rewards or Discount Card
Many grocery chains now offer a rewards card which qualifies you for a variety of discounts throughout the store. I did very well using my reward card to get three items free (buy one get one free offers).
3. Get A Store Circular When You First Enter The Store
If you don’t get store circulars with your newspaper, ask for one at the service counter. This will contain the current advertised specials and some fantastic coupons. Take a couple of minutes to review the circular to see what bargains make sense for your current trip. Look for exceptional discounts that might provide an opportunity to stock up. Be careful though not to buy items that you don’t really need just because they are on sale. Another way to get coupons while at the store is to look for ‘hang tags.’ These coupons are offered right in the grocery aisles. Even if you don’t need to buy one of these items that day, grab the coupon for future use. These coupons are usually good for several months.
4. Get Coupons Online
I was a real skeptic on this one, but I tried it just to see what would happen. The two websites I was given by the cashier:
I brought in a handful of coupons I printed out on my computer at home and they were accepted with no problem (this was like printing money I thought to myself).
While I was checking out the online coupon sites, I noticed that the coupons were not for just groceries. I plan to write a future blog on using restaurant coupons. I have to admit that saving $20 on a just a few items was a really great feeling. If I did that just once per week, that would be about a $1,000 per year in savings! Now that’s real money.
Please take a minute and post your coupon stories in the comment section below.
Helping you make the most of God’s money!