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Thread: Making Couponing Work For You

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    Stephanie's Avatar
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    New2 Making Couponing Work For You



    This is from our AWESOME member Kayline!

    Making Couponing Work for You
    There’s really no big secret or mystery to couponing, and it’s not as complicated as one might think. It’s as simple as checking the weekly store ads and matching what’s on sale with the coupons available to you in order to achieve the lowest out of pocket (OOP) expense.
    Many retailers require the use of a customer loyalty card in order to receive the advertised sale prices. Therefore, the first step to lowering your grocery bill is to make sure you’re registered for the customer loyalty programs for all the places you shop.
    Next, begin collecting coupons for the products your family uses. The most common sources are the inserts found in the Sunday newspaper; coupon clipping services such as thecouponclippers.com; and websites such as coupons.com, which offer printable coupons.
    How you organize your coupons is completely up to you; there are about as many methods as there are couponers. Find the method that works best for you; after all, you can’t use your coupons if you can’t find them! Many people clip only the coupons they know they are most likely to use, but save the inserts for a few months just in case they come across an unanticipated deal later.
    Now it’s time to familiarize yourself with your stores’ coupon acceptance policies. These can usually be found on the retailers’ websites. It’s a good idea to print them out and take them with you on your shopping trips, just in case there’s any confusion at the register.
    Another way to avoid confusion at the register is to make sure you read and fully understand the fine print on the coupons you intend to use. I can’t stress enough the importance of adhering to the specific terms of each coupon. For instance, some coupons are limited to one per customer or per transaction.
    Although I am horrible about this, I strongly urge you to make a list and stick to it. You might even want to jot down the item prices and total amount you’re expecting to pay. This will help you determine if something isn’t ringing up at the correct price, or if a coupon wasn’t deducted. Always check your receipt before leaving the store so that you can get any problems taken care of without having to return to the store.
    Stockpiling: It’s what takes couponing to the next level. Stockpiling is simply purchasing in multiples when an item is on sale and you have coupons for it. While store sales are not 100% predictable, they typically occur in 3-6 month cycles. If you are able purchase a 3-6 months’ supply of staple items combining a sale with coupons, you won’t have to purchase those items until they go on sale again. Building a stockpile can (and should) be a slow process, and it may not seem as if you’re saving much money at first. However, once it’s established you will no longer be forced to pay full price because you will rarely run out of staple items before the next sale. That’s when you’ll begin to see the most benefit. Of course, you’ll be limited by the storage space you have available, and common sense (no one needs 100 toothbrushes).
    If the store is out of stock on an advertised sale item, go to the service desk and ask for a rain check, which will allow you to purchase the product at the sale price at a future date. Not all stores offer rain checks but many do.

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