Seven smart coupon tips you should know

Would you believe it is possible to save more than 50% of your grocery bills? Long gone are the days when you would glance remorsefully at your shopping receipts, accepting that the total came out high yet again. It is certainly time to leave the supermarket with a skip in your step and a lot of money in your pocket. The secret to success? Coupons!

Well, coupon experts have learned that in order to successfully use coupons, a bit of planning and extra storage space in your pantry is required. It is important to know how to stock up when deals align and shop for half the price of the goods. Every savvy shopper knows exactly when to use a coupon, and there are various ways to score a deal every time you shop. Before you head out into the world of coupons and deal hunting, keep these 7 tips in mind:


Buy in bulk

Matt White of coupon site Lodlois says: “When I first learned how to use coupons, I would only buy one or two items at a time. However, I quickly learned that buying in bulk would automatically change the way I thought about shopping”. As home groceries are costly for many individuals, do not pass up the opportunity to get half a price. When buying in bulk, you take advantage of a discount not just for the short term but for the long term.


Maximize your coupons

Needless to say, when you use a coupon with an in-store sale, you will be able to save a large amount of money. Remember, coupons are usually valid for 1-3 months after they have been issued. Therefore, it is important to maximize your coupons for all that they are worth. Conduct thorough research, check out sales in different grocery stores and look for the best deals. This will make using coupons an easy process for you.


Purchase multiple Sunday newspaper subscriptions

The best coupons are found in Sunday newspapers. Therefore, the more papers you have, the more coupons you can get. On the other hand, the more coupons you get, the more money you will get. It is advisable to get a maximum of four newspapers or more per week depending on your family size. When you buy four newspapers, you will be able to get at least four items at a good price. Don’t forget there are discounts available on the web. You can print coupons online.


Understand your shopping store’s coupon policies

Just like anything else, you should understand the rules that govern coupons before using them. Familiarize with the coupon acceptance policies of the shopping stores that you go to. Many stores conveniently post their coupon policies online for the public to see. However, other stores will keep you guessing. When in doubt, always talk to the store manager or any other professional who will render useful information. Find out whether you can stack store coupons or use a buy one get one free coupon on big sales.


Forget about brand loyalty

When using coupons, loyalty to specific brands goes out the window. This is because you will only be buying from the brands that have products on sale. It does not matter what your preferences may be; you will only be able to choose amongst the products that are already on the shelves. But if you must have a particular brand, regardless of what it costs, then wait for that brand to go on sale.


Rain checks are your best friend

When you go grocery shopping, there is always a good chance that an item or two may not be on the shelves. So, what are you to do? The answer is easy; ask the salesman or woman for a rain check. A rain check refers to a ship of paper that allows the store personnel to let you purchase the item at a later date. This allows you to stock up on more coupons and get more items than previously intended. I have a number of rain checks that I used three years down the line without any problem.


Dive in the dumpster for more coupons

As one of the most extreme ways to get coupons, searching through newspaper recycling bins will give you an opportunity to get all the coupons that you warn. However, before doing this, check with your local city, county, and state to ensure that you are not violating any laws. If the recycling bins are found on private property, ask the owner before you dive.


Where to Find Coupons Online and Offline

When you are not interested in spending more money than you want to in finding coupons, there are plenty that exists both online and offline. Apart from newspapers, diving in recycling bins and online printing, these are some suggestions that will help you find the coupons that you need:

Search engines
Choose a specific website that you want to buy coupons from and find a valid coupon code. This could save you a great deal of money.

Coupon forums
The internet is full of coupon forums. You have to learn to find the best coupon codes from coupons forums.

Circulars are also a great offline method of finding coupons. When you find a circular in the mailbox, search through it carefully for the best coupons. Cut it out and keep it for later use.

When using coupons, I recommend starting slowly. Do not buy a ton of everything as soon as you get started or you will blow your budget. Know how much you used and buy for the future. Do not go overboard and buy too much of something. It is important to get what you really need and save the rest for the next buying cycle.


Have a story idea or a news tip? Email editor Chris Graham at [email protected] Subscribe to AFP podcasts on Apple PodcastsSpotifyPandora and YouTube.