Maybe you like the idea of using coupons, but can’t quite commit to “extreme couponing” – that’s OK! There are so many ways you can save with coupons that don’t require you to spend hours going through the newspaper or stockpiling tons of stuff you don’t need. Here are some simple ways to use coupons that won’t be extremely time-consuming:
1. Buy name-brand
If you want to get some real savings, you should really try to buy name brand items. Usually there aren’t coupons for generic brands, so only buy generic if you don’t plan on using coupons. If you have a coupon, see how much it will save you off the name-brand item and make sure you’re getting the best deal – usually this will save you more than if you were to purchase the generic brand.
2. Look for coupons online
You don’t have to just browse through flyers and newspapers to find coupons – there are tons of websites devoted to helping you find coupons and excellent deals at your favorite stores. Some of the top coupon websites on the web are RetailMeNot.com and eBates.com. There are also some websites that will even do the hard work for you by telling you about items that are on sale at certain stores and where you can find additional coupons for these items to get you the very best savings possible.
3. Put your coupons to use in stores
Have you ever seen the television show where “extreme couponers” walk up to a cash register with a large stack of coupons to pay for their items? Well, you don’t necessarily have to take things this far, but you most certainly should try to shave down your shopping by as much as you possibly can by using coupons. For some people, it takes a little time to get used to using coupons, but once you realize the savings you can amass by using them, you’ll never turn back.
You might be reluctant to use a stack of coupons for fear of the cashier being annoyed, but don’t worry about that. Stores actually like when customers use coupons because they will be able to buy more from the manufacturer and it encourages customers to buy more.
4. Know your prices
Start a spiral notebook with the prices of your favorite items at a couple different stores. Keep track of it for one or two weeks. Knowing this, you can track when your favorite items hit their lowest price and at that point you can stock up.
5. Match coupons to sales
You’ll find the most extreme savings by matching your coupons to items that are already on sale. Look at your coupons and try to compare to store ads to see if there are any matches.