Couponing: How to Save up to 90% on Your Grocery Bill
For some people, using coupons is a “sometimes” thing. They might use the coupon they got off of a box of cereal or frozen dinner to save a dollar or two the next time they buy cornflakes, but that’s about it.
On the other hand, there are people who consider couponing to be serious business, and with good reason. These shoppers regularly use coupons to save 20%, 50%, or even 90% on their grocery bills.
The popularity of couponing is growing by leaps and bounds. When you watch a television show in which someone gets four carts full of groceries for just 12 cents, it leaves an impression. And it’s probably made you wonder how you can do the same thing.
The truth is that how much you save couponing will depend on how much time you can devote to it. And while not everyone will be able to get hundreds of dollars worth of groceries for just pennies, saving even 20% on your monthly grocery bill can make a huge difference to your budget.
So what do you need to do to become a champion couponer? First, you need coupons.
Stocking Up On Coupons
As anyone serious about couponing knows, the more coupons you have, the more money you can save. But exactly where do you get these coupons?
The Newspaper. When most people think of coupons, they think of the Sunday paper. If you aren’t already a newspaper subscriber, consider getting a weekend subscription to your local paper. In fact, if there are several papers in your area with weekend coupon inserts, consider subscribing to more than one. Yes, it will cost money. But the money you’ll save from the coupons will soon make up for the cost.
Magazines. Many magazines, especially home and garden magazines, have coupons in them. You shouldn’t subscribe to a magazine you aren’t interested in just for the coupons. But if you’ve made a habit of ignoring the coupons as you read your magazines, it’s time to take another look.
Online. There are many websites that offer printable coupons. Some sites are free, while others might require you to pay to become a member. While most stores accept printable coupons, some don’t. To find out which stores are which, visit their websites and check out their coupon policies. You might also want to print these policies out, just in case a new cashier doesn’t know that he can accept your printed coupons.
In the Stores. As you walk down the aisles in your local grocery store, you might notice coupon displays attached to the shelves. Grab some of those coupons, even if they are for products you aren’t buying that day. Don’t go overboard and take them all. But it won’t hurt to take two or three.
From the Manufacturer. If there is a specific product or brand you favor, visit the manufacturer’s website. Some will have printable coupons for your favorite products directly on the site. And many manufacturers will even send you coupons by mail. All you have to do is send them a letter or email and make a request.
Friends and Family. There are some people who couldn’t care less about couponing, so the coupons they get in the newspaper or by mail go to waste. So why not ask if you can have their coupons? You might get a funny look or two when you do. But you’ll also get more chances to save money.
Organizing Your Coupons
Next to collecting as many coupons as you can, organizing them is the most important part of couponing. Having hundreds of coupons won’t do you much good if you can’t find the one you need when you need it.
Two of the most popular types of coupon organizers are coupon wallets and coupon binders.
Coupon wallets are about the size and shape of business-sized envelopes. They open like an accordion, and different categories of coupons go into the different sections. For example, there might be one section for personal products, one for pet products, one for dairy products, and so on. Coupon wallets are very portable. But, the more coupons you have, the harder they are to use. For example, to find that one coupon for a specific brand of yogurt, you’ll have to rifle through all of the coupons in that dairy coupons section.
Coupon binders are very similar to the binders kids take to school. However, instead of being filled with loose leave paper, they are filled with clear plastic sleeves into which you’ll slip your coupons. Coupon binders are bigger and bulkier than coupon wallets. But they allow you to find the specific coupons you need a lot faster.
Whether you use a wallet or a binder, take your coupons with you wherever you go. After all, you never know when you might have a chance to save.
Couponing is the hottest new craze, and with good reason. Who doesn’t want to save money on groceries? And by collecting coupons, organizing them, and taking them with you wherever you go, you can drastically slash your grocery bill.
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