You did it! You made it through the Beginner’s Coupon Guide. Well, almost. You learned where to find coupons, how to understand the language of coupons, and how to navigate store policy. Now you need to learn how to put it all together. I mean, there’s no point in learning all these things without learning how to save money with coupons. Are you ready? Let’s get started!
Pairing coupons with sales
This is one of the most common ways to save the most with coupons. You save the most by using the sale the store gives you and then using a coupon on top of that.
Example: Cereal is on sale for $2/box. You have a coupon for $0.75 off per box. By using the coupon with the sale, you will only pay $1.25/box instead of the standard $3.50/box. Instead of just saving $1.50 by buying on sale, you are now saving $2.25. If you buy four boxes and have four coupons, you just saved $9. Where I live, that’s two gallons of milk! If you store doubles coupons, that would be a $12 savings, only 50 cents per box!
Your savings may not always be so high but all savings are good savings. The trick here is to pay attention to both the sales flyers and the coupons. You’ll start to learn the sales cycle at your local stores. You’ll also start to learn to look for coupons for the things you know go on sale every 4-6 weeks are and the things your family eats. As you go through newspaper coupon inserts, online, and on coupon clipping websites, you’ll start looking for coupons that you know your family will use, even if not that week.
Quick note: Pay special attention to the expiration date if you are doing a coupon clipping service. Don’t buy too many if you don’t know of a sale yet, know a sale isn’t likely going to be soon (once you know your sales cycle), and the expiration date is in a couple weeks. Only get the amount you are comfortable using if a sale doesn’t happen along before the coupon expiration date.
Stacking coupons is when you have a store coupon and a manufacturer’s coupon for the same item. Not all stores allow this but some do. This is an excellent way to save more with coupons. Even better if you can do both with a sale but this is harder to do. It’s something that should be considered a bonus and not something you expect to happen very often.How to use #coupons to save as much money as possible! Click To Tweet
Combine with apps
Do you like getting things for free? Then you really need to be using couponing apps in addition to paper coupons! Some of the best apps are: Ibotta, Checkout51, SavingStar, and MobiSave. I personally use at least one each week, typically multiple ones. Here’s an example on how you can use these with coupons.
You have a coupon for $1 off a certain brand of ketchup. The ketchup is $2. There is a Checkout51 offer for $1.50 off that brand of ketchup. There is also an Ibotta offer for $0.25 off any brand of ketchup. You can use all three coupons/rebates. You will pay $1 out of pocket at the checkout but you will get back $1.75 in rebates once you upload your receipt to those apps. In the end, you will get paid $0.75 to buy that bottle of ketchup. Paid! Not just free.
Yes, this is perfectly legal. You won’t find these type of deals every week but at least every couple of weeks.
Learn “drugstore game”/ Target deals
These are both things that I fully admit that I do not know much about. I don’t have these stores near me. However, I have heard many success stories of people using coupons at CVS combined with their ExtraBucks Rewards program to get things for free. Target often does deals where if you buy a certain amount of something, you get back a gift card. You can do multiple orders to get the gift card to then pay for your next order, which you can use your coupons to make it even cheaper.
With Target, you can also use their Cartwheel app in addition to a paper coupon, just like you would with Ibotta or another app. I don’t shop Target often but when I do, I check out Totally Target first.
You did it! You made it to the end of the Beginner’s Coupon Guide! With the skills and information you have learned, you are well on your way to knowing how to save money with coupons. As you learn more, come back and tell me how you’re doing! Or if you have any questions, be sure to ask them. Coupons don’t have to be confusing and can be an excellent way for you to save your family money. If you need a refresher on what you have learned so far, here are the other parts in this series.
Part 1: Where to Find Coupons
Part 2: Understanding Coupon Lingo
Part 3: Knowing Store Policy
Part 4: Using Coupons to Save the Most Money
Looking for more ways to save money at the grocery store? Check out my post, Everything You Need to Know About Budget-Friendly Grocery Shopping.
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