Couponing 101: Learn the Right Time to Use Your Coupons
If you've been following our Couponing 101 series, you now know Where to Find Coupons for Products You Use, How to make a Coupon Binder and The Beginners Guide to Coupon Usage. Now, it's time to learn when to use all those coupons. I'm going to list these out then use separate posts to go over some of them in greater detail.
Most coupon users simply cut the coupon out of the paper on Sunday and hit the store Monday with their lists. However, what I'm suggesting is a bit more strategic than that. If you want to save hundreds of dollars a month, you'll have to know the perfect time to use those coupons.
1. Track Sale Prices: Make a list of your items and every single time you go to the store, write the price of the item next to it on your list (Do a different one for each store and write down the price even if you're not buying it then). Don't overdo it, start with your top 20 items you purchase on a regular basis. After you've been tracking for a few weeks, you'll start to notice how much the prices fluctuate.
You'll also notice there's a regular price, a sale price and then a rock-bottom price. You're looking for the rock-bottom price. That is when you use your coupon. The great thing about this is you'll also notice your price will come back around again every 6-8 weeks and if you're tracking, you'll know exactly when that price will drop.
It is important to be strategic with your coupons and combine them with rock-bottom prices to save the most money.
2. 'Stack' Coupons: Couponing stacking is pretty simple. This means to 'stack' your manufacturers coupon with a store coupon. Target, CVS, Walgreens and other stores offer 'store' coupons. You can find these by looking at the coupon itself and it will specifically say, 'Target Store Coupon' or 'Walgreens Coupon'. These are basically special store promotions that can be combined with manufacturers coupons (coupons from the newspaper or printables). This is my favorite way to save as it will give you double the savings!
3. Use Coupon Matchups: We provide weekly coupon matchups for the most popular stores in this area, both national stores and local. This means, we take your sales flyer and literally match it up with the coupons that are available right now then tell you the final price. SO, we make it super easy for you to plan your weekly grocery trip. Simply check out the coupon matchups and make your list around the sales and coupons. Seriously, it's savings made simple.
4. Pick the Right Store: You DO NOT need to shop at 20 different stores per week. That's not realistic at all. But, you do need to make sure the store you're shopping at is the best for savings during the particular week you're there. For example, if I only have time to hit one store this week, then I'll check out our Coupon Matchups and decide which store offers the overall best savings. Maybe it's Target or maybe it's Walmart, I'm not store-loyal, I'm open to savings.
This also means you need to know the store coupon policies so you save the most money. Visit our Money Saving Queen Forums and click on the store you're looking for. The top thread in that store forum will have the Official Coupon Policy for your particular store.
5. Pricematch WITH Coupons: Many of you have taken your competitor ads to Walmart but have you used coupons with them? The idea here is to apply as many savings methods as humanly possible to get the price of your item down as low as it can go. That means, if you visit Walmart or Target to pricematch a competitor ad, be sure to take your coupons with you too. For Walmart, this simply means taking in a competitor store ad and telling the cashier (when they're ringing up the item) what the price is being matched to. At Target, this typically means you have to visit the Customer Service desk after you checkout and they'll reimburse you for the difference.
These are just a few basic coupon usage tips that will help you save the most at the register. Stay tuned, I'll be telling you all about BOGO strategies, more coupon trip tips, rebates, rainchecks and more!