It’s a Sunday afternoon, you’re sitting in your pajamas sifting through the mail that you’ve been postponing for a week. You come across a large newspaper full of coupons and toss it aside without a second thought. But wait! There could be coupons in there that can help you save at least 80% of your money on your next grocery bill.
Much like a game of poker you need to know when and how to play your cards, or in this case your coupons. We’ve talked to the pros and we have compiled a comprehensive list of the coupon tips and mistakes to you need to avoid to get the most out of your coupons.
1. Never Use A Coupon On A Full-Priced Item
Using your coupons on full-priced items violates the rules of the extreme couponing club. Several women have to lead the way and provided us with helpful couponing tips that will help us spend wisely. There are only two rules so remember these at all costs.
- Only buy items that are on sale.
- Only combine that sale with one or more coupons.
If you use a coupon on a box of cereal that gives you $2 dollars off the full price of $6, you don’t save as much money. You are better off waiting for the cereal to go on sale before you use your coupon.
For example, say your favorite cereal is on sale and you have an eligible coupon. if the store has a two for $4.00 promotion, charging $2.00 for one box of the $4.99 cereal, you can buy your favorite cereal, use the coupon, and only pay $1.00 for the box. This is one of many couponing tips that will result in 80% savings off of the original price which is a great deal!
2. Avoid Buying Everything Just Because It’s On Sale
Just because an item you use is on sale doesn’t mean that it is the best time to buy it. Typically when an item first gets marked down it will not be at its lowest sale point. Play it cool and wait it out for a better sale before you decide to splurge and use your coupons. When you use your coupons for items that are heavily discounted, you will save the most money which is the main goal.
3. Pick & Choose
When it comes to cutting out or printing your coupons, it may be tempting to save everything you could possibly imagine yourself using. This is a slippery slope and it will often lead you to a mess of coupons that you will never use.
Not only is this wasting your time, but it is also keeping you from exploring your true couponing potential. When it comes to making the cut, think first and plan out what coupons you actually need and will benefit from.
Now that you know some of the most common couponing mistakes lets go over the most important couponing tips from the pros.
4. Know Your Price Points
Before you even step foot into the store it is important to know the price points for every item in your pantry. You will need to know the:
Average price point: in order to score killer deals you will first need to know what your typical everyday items cost you when they are not on sale. This will help you navigate the best deals and When the items go on sale, you will Have the knowledge to know if the sale price is worth using your precious coupon on it not.
The max price: Meaning the maximum price you would ever pay for the item.
The Deal price: This is the price that you will want to pay for an item when the item is on sale, and you have a great coupon. If the sale and the coupon are perfectly aligned, then stock up with enough of this item until the next sale is here.
The perfect deal: This deal is when the item drops to the lowest point that It will ever go and the even better news is that you have a coupon in addition to this amazing price. When your item hits it’s all-time low it is time to stock up and get as many as you can afford to.
5. The Overage
When your coupons exceed the sale price of an item, it produces an overage. Many stores do not give you cashback for this overage, but oftentimes they will apply the overage towards other items in your shopping cart. You can stock up on your basic necessities and only have to pay pennies for the entire cart. Which is amazing!
6. Organize, Organize, Organize
You can maximize your savings by handing the cashier your coupons in the best order possible. For example, if you have a coupon for $5 off of a $20 purchase then it is in your best interest to use this coupon first. If you use others before it, it may result in the total balance dropping lower than $20 before you have the opportunity to use it. Organizing your coupons is important when it comes to couponing tips but if you do you will find that you will reap all the benefits.
Organizing your coupons in a binder before you ever get to the store can be helpful as well. Sort the coupons by alphabetical order or separate them by the section of the grocery store the items are found in. Choose what works best for you, and remember to sort coupons before you go shopping.
7. Stack Coupons
For each item that you purchase, use one of the manufacturer’s coupons and one of the store coupons to maximize the sale price. Using two forms of coupons usually results in free products. Doubling up on coupons is a great idea if you are looking to save some money which is why it is one of our favorite couponing tips.
You probably don’t need 40 cans of tomato soup but if the coupon allows you to get it then be generous with your free items. We are firm believers in paying it forward or donating to people in need. You do not need to do this but it would be a kind gesture for people who are struggling and a great way to give back to your community.
With these couponing tips, you now have the same information as the pros. Remember that extreme couponing is hard and usually results in several different visits to the store. Implementing a few of these couponing techniques can help you if you aren’t ready to commit to a full blow coupons career.