Getting the most out of the coupon value can prove challenging. Or maybe you’ve tried the process but doesn’t seem to work on your bills. In that case, the time has come to put some effort and follow our comprehensive guide for smart savings. Whether you are looking for buy-one-get-one-free or $5 off deals, we are here to show you how to save wisely.
Consider our shopper discounts and rewards review to get acquainted with multiple couponing strategies. Our ultimate goal is to help readers use coupons effectively and tackle any financial difficulties they might have. After all, these are tough times, and everyone needs a hand in the fight for pure survival.
Table of Contents
- 1 Why Use Coupons?
- 2 Where To Get Coupons, Deals, and Offers?
- 3 How to Use Coupons Effectively
- 3.1 1. Get Rewarded For Your Loyalty
- 3.2 2. Download Coupon Apps
- 3.3 3. Focus On Freebies
- 3.4 4. Get The Sunday Newspaper
- 3.5 5. Use Cashback Sites
- 3.6 6. Check Your Receipt For Future Savings
- 3.7 7. Focus On Deals At Stores You Shop
- 3.8 8. Take Advantage Of New Customer Discounts
- 3.9 9. Shop At Stores That Double Coupons
- 3.10 10. Price Match At Target or Walmart
- 3.11 11. Do The Math
- 3.12 12. Stack Coupons
- 3.13 13. Pick A Day To Organize And Clip Coupons
- 3.14 14. Know Your Store’s Policies
- 3.15 15. Avoid Crowded Shopping Days
- 4 Bottom Line
- 5 FAQs
Why Use Coupons?
The answer is simple: to save money. People who took resort to couponing and learned to save 50% of their usual grocery bills will never go back to life before couponing for sure. Anyway, though extreme couponing might seem surreal and a little bit exaggerated for your liking, it can be worthwhile. Indeed, we are not advocating of insane and long-hour searches for coupons since there are more feasible ways of achieving significant savings.
Avoid myths such as having to buy anything on sale or using any coupon that you come across. Clipping every single coupon or printing discounts that you don’t use is a waste of time, so stay away from such scam advice. If you want to turn massive discounts into reality, you’ll also have to be aware of average and deal prices to get the maximum out of coupons. Finally, you can always use coupons if you wish to donate some goods to homeless shelters.
Digital Versus Physical Coupons
The age of newspaper dominance has long been gone. Though I love the picture of people sitting in their homes and cutting coupons out of Sunday papers, we are now living in the digital era, and that means only one thing. Everything printed can be found online and much more.
Most grocery shops offer coupons that can be either printed out or loaded to your shopper’s card. So, the next time you check out, the amounts will be automatically deducted from the bill. If you’re not the kind that believes in virtual couponing, print any available coupons and use them as usual.
Where To Get Coupons, Deals, and Offers?
Have you ever wondered “What is a promotion code”? Do you know how and where to find such codes, deals, and offers? A good starting point is to compile a list of items and brands that you regularly buy. These are the best places to look for various coupons and discounts:
- Newspapers – Printed newspapers are tucked with Smart Source and RetailMeNot coupon inserts for various brands. Buying the newspaper for the inserts only or ordering the inserts only is a strategy pursued by many extreme couponers.
- Magazines and coupon books – Maybe not so frequently, but most magazines carry manufacturer coupons. Thus, the magazine subscription can pay off several times the cost. As of coupon books, the name says it all.
- Online – Among other benefits of the Internet, it can serve you as an endless recourse of discounts and coupons. The mediums for reaching vast pools of coupons are wide-ranging. From regular and producers’ websites to online coupon databases, your options to find discount codes or printable discounts are limitless.
- Coupon apps – This is probably the easiest way to snag ‘buy one get one free’ coupons for things you’d buy anyway. Download the well-known free grocery apps and enjoy shopping for reduced prices like never before.
- In-store – Some coupons might also be found on the packaging of your favorite products and used on future purchases. Store shelves are another spot for finding great deals. Look for “Try Me Free” stickers on products, too.
How to Use Coupons Effectively
You haven’t used a coupon so far? Or you’re using them once in a blue moon and have no idea how to benefit from couponing? That’s why we are always here for you, to arm you with the best couponing strategies and hints to use them to the fullest. Read our 15 smart tips on how to coupon the right way, and you’re ready to have a blast.
1. Get Rewarded For Your Loyalty
Regular and frequent shoppers avail themselves of customer reward cards. This means they can earn points each time they shop and then use those points on further purchases. There are loyalty cards that often calculate and grant the discount at the register before paying the total amount.
What is more, such reward cards allow you to add coupons onto the store savings. In other cases, you earn points on your debit or credit card that can be later redeemed for gift cards for your favorite shopping places. When customers sing up with their favorite stores, they get to receive coupon mailers delivered directly to their homes.
It is no fantasy that manufacturers love when you appreciate their products and use them regularly. A friend of mine often writes thank you notes to producers of her favorite items. Sometimes, she receives free stuff or coupons in return. All this for being a loyal customer, and showing respect to manufacturers for what they’re doing.
2. Download Coupon Apps
Coupons apps will become your best friend in the pursuit of great shopping deals. Never underestimate the power of free apps such as iBotta and Checkout51. Do you wish to save even more? Look for ways to pair app deals with other coupons you might have collected (store or manufacturer coupons). This is an excellent opportunity to snag some moneymakers.
With online apps, you won’t need to spend extra time on printing, clipping, and meticulously organizing your coupons to have them available when needed. The great thing about apps like iBotta is that you mark the products that you’re buying in the app and then proceed as usual. At home, you opt to redeem the coupons and scan the barcodes of the items purchased and the receipt. In a few hours, you get the credit, and everything above $20 can be cashed out via PayPal.
Download the Groupon app to get excessive savings of up to 50% in places that you regularly visit. This can refer to restaurants, outdoor activities, zoo, and theme park admissions. With Shopkick, you earn points or ‘kicks’ by doing the usual shopping. Afterward, you can redeem the collected points for a gift card.
3. Focus On Freebies
A 50% discount on your favorite items seems perfect, but a free product is even better. Companies often give freebies to promote new products or to boost the sale of seasonal goods. This is a word-of-mouth strategy that encourages people to try out new items and tell their friends about them.
Freebies are most likely offered at grocery and drugstore websites. A useful square one is to like their Facebook page and check it frequently for free offers. You can even go a step further and commit to word-of-mouth marketing to promote the products of your choice. If you have a vast network of contacts and followers, the chances that you receive a lot of freebies as a sign of gratitude are huge.
Our pro tip is to get involved in product testing. Agreeing to test goods for companies means that you’ll get many final products for free. Most likely, you’ll get rewarded with coupons, too. Moreover, keep a watchful eye on e-letters as they often include promotion codes and free offers.
4. Get The Sunday Newspaper
The Sunday Newspaper is the best source of coupons for both beginners and coupon fanatics. If you buy a double pack, your savings rise proportionately. People who’ve been couponing for a long time even suggest you buy up to four newspaper copies to get the maximum of coupons offered.
Usually, coupon inserts can be found in the middle of newspapers with weekly ads. Procter & Gamble displays its newspaper coupon insert at the beginning of each month. To get more inserts, don’t be embarrassed to ask your close relatives, friends, and even neighbors, for coupons they don’t use. They’ll be happy to give you something that they would otherwise throw in the trash bin.
We also suggest you consider magazines such as Red Book, Good Housekeeping, and All You, as well as coupon books. Magazines are most appropriate for finding discount coupons for major household appliances and can save you up to a hundred bucks per item. So, pay special attention and seek valuable coupons when you decide to purchase electrical devices. After all, you don’t buy a new oven every year.
Coupon books are not always junk mail distributed throughout the neighborhood. They contain thousands of coupons for different stores and can be a real goldmine of exclusive deals if you take some time browsing through the pages.
5. Use Cashback Sites
Though you might roll your eyes at this tip, cashback shopping sites do exist and are the right thing. The process begins by registering with a cashback website such as Rakuten, iBotta, or BeFrugal. Then, instead of shopping through the retailer’s website, you go to the cashback site that transfers you to the retailer’s website.
After completing the order, the cashback site verifies the transaction and approves your earnings. Cashback is based on the amount of your purchase and the current cashback offer. The average amount that you get back is approximately 7%. For example, if you buy a $500 fridge, you’ll get $35 back. Not bad at all, right?
So, if you wonder how cashback sites operate, the truth is that they develop relationships with retailers and get paid to give customers recommendations. Then, the referral revenue is split between the website and you, the customer. When looking for the best cashback sites, consider payout frequency and threshold, as well as payout methods and qualifications.
6. Check Your Receipt For Future Savings
You’ve done your shopping for the week, and now you’re heading towards the cash register for the final verdict. Hopefully, to cut some money off the cost by using coupons smartly. Well, this doesn’t have to be the end of your saving time for the week.
What you must never forget is to check if your receipt contains coupons and discounts for the next time you shop with the same store. Also, check both sides of the receipt to spot any coupon offers for future shopping trips. Local businesses often place discounts on the back of the receipt, so don’t overlook these price-reducers.
We suggest you take customer surveys if you’re a loyal client. This will maximize your savings in the future as well.
7. Focus On Deals At Stores You Shop
Before you hit the road and head to the store, you must set a clear couponing goal first. Make sure you know the answers to crucial questions such as “What is a promotion code?” etc. Next, inspect the sales flyers of the shops you regularly buy at. Go a step further, and check the offers at their websites or apps to find the best deals for the week.
When you’re in the shop you usually go to, check whether there are items at discounted prices. Sometimes, you can snatch valuable coupons on your trip between the aisles. Or take advantage of the store’s free coupon booklet and circulars near the entrance.
8. Take Advantage Of New Customer Discounts
Businesses strive to enlarge their base of customers and are always on the hunt for new ones. They use numerous media and strategies to get in touch with an as broad audience of buyers as possible. The result is, you have your hands full of free coupons and discounts to try out their new products as a reward for choosing them over the competition.
Usually, new customer discounts can be found on affiliate coupon sites and browser extensions. The fact that you’re buying from the producer for the first time might get you a discount or maybe free shipping. Businesses usually require you to sign up for their e-letter to keep track of new clients.
9. Shop At Stores That Double Coupons
Do your favorite stores ever double coupons? If yes, doubling coupons will increase your savings rate in no time. Simply put, by doubling, the value of the voucher you have will double within a limited period and up to a certain amount. For instance, if you have a coupon for washing powder that gives you $1 off the price, the store will double that amount to $2.
Pay attention as such coupons are valid for a limited time and apply to specific purchases. They are considered a special form of discount so you might come across double coupons at particular stores and for a short period only. The best idea is to shop around and maybe split your shopping between stores that will double your savings.
The cherry on top comes at stores that even triple the coupon value. Anyways, pay close attention to whether there’s a limit to the number of doubled coupons that can be used and the value thereof.
10. Price Match At Target or Walmart
Though Target stores can be considerably more generous than those of Walmart, price matching at each of these stores is a great money-saving opportunity. As of late, both Walmart and Target allow price matching for in-store and online purchases. Plus, manufacturer’s coupons can be used on top of price matches.
Target offers in-store price matching for as many as 25 competitors on over 35,000 items. Meaning, if you find a better price for an item that you bought at Target, you have the right to request a price match within 14 days. If you decide to make use of this strategy, getting a refund or price adjustment should be reasonably straightforward.
To price match in Walmart, you must provide the online price and the retailer. Price matches are always given on identical and in-stock products only. Unlike Target, Walmart limits matched quantities to just one item per day, per customer. Whatever the outcome of your request, the Store Manager will always have the last word.
11. Do The Math
Even if you start small, you shouldn’t get discouraged at the beginning. Every great journey begins with a tiny step only. Couponing is no exception. Dollar by dollar, savings will add up over time if you’re going shopping with a long grocery list in hand.
Instead of keeping track of one-dollar bills, focus on how much you’d save in a month or a year. If you do the math, you’ll realize that by using coupons wisely, you saved tons of cash.
Set your targets and follow them to learn how to do sales cycles, how to use coupons, and find the right discounts. Moreover, discounts depend on the items you buy. You’ll save more on expensive lotions and beauty products than bananas, that’s for sure. Couponing is nothing more than a mere purchasing system. The odds are that you’ll improve it over time and then buying with coupons will come to you naturally.
12. Stack Coupons
After finding and organizing the coupons, you must use a price book to compare the prices of the goods you’re planning to purchase. The next step is the match-up of coupons with items that are currently on sale to increase the savings to a higher level.
After you familiarize yourself with the coupon match-up tactics, it’s time to stack up multiple types of coupons. Coupons can be found everywhere from tear-offs at the bottom of receipts to Catalina print outs. Dollar General gives its customers up to $5 off the next purchase of $25 in value or more. So, imagine combining any of these coupons with a store sale or a manufacturer’s coupon. Well, congratulations, you’ve just become an extreme couponer!
The catch lies in stacking as many coupons as possible. Don’t forget the BOGO sales and Double Coupons days when you can make the most of your money. If you manage to stack up several coupons with a purchase, you might face an overage or saving more money than spending. That credit can be best used for buying meat or goods that you rarely find coupons for.
13. Pick A Day To Organize And Clip Coupons
The reality is that you’ll need no more than 15 minutes to clip the desired coupons. You’ll notice that most weeks, each Sunday newspaper features up to three inserts. Plus, if you focus on clipping the coupons intended for goods that you already use, you can further reduce the clipping time.
Clipping coupons is not a hassle if you can save up to $50 on a $120 grocery bill. Imagine your savings for just 10 minutes spent in clipping. To be honest, I haven’t met somebody so wealthy who won’t make use of such easy money. Therefore, I highly advise you to calculate the time spent in coupon hunting and if you notice that you’ve been wasting precious time on it, vary the routine. Search and clip coupons at random times of the day when you have free time or the like.
Organizing coupons is not that complicated either. You just have to adopt an organization system that suits you best. For instance, use small binders to keep coupons or use a plastic file box with small colored folders. You can also find expandable folders that can fit your purse and come handy whenever you might need them.
14. Know Your Store’s Policies
Before doing any shopping with coupons, checking the store’s policies is mandatory. Some stores have a coupon policy that won’t allow you to combine discounts but use only one at a time. For example, you can either use the ‘buy one get one free’ coupons or the store sale. If this is the case, why waste your time and money when you can shop somewhere else that offers combined savings?
A good idea would be to ask store employees about their policies and review them once in a while to see if something has been altered. Or read the terms and conditions on using coupons usually displayed at the websites of stores. Always looking at the label of the voucher is our bonus hint. You might as well find phrases such as ‘limit one per customer’.
Depending on the store’s policies, you might be allowed to add coupons on top of sale prices. Other times, you have to choose just one discount without the opportunity to combine various coupons. The majority of stores also allow customers to price match and even use coupons from competitor stores. Lastly, certain stores give discounts on one item per day only.
15. Avoid Crowded Shopping Days
It is paramount to time your shopping trips to fall on days when stores already have sales. But, make sure you avoid the first couple of days when the sales start. Keep away from the Christmas and Thanksgiving Day frenzy, too. You’ll get frustrated by the lots of cars in parking lots, endless lines before the register, and product fights. Is this how you imagine your perfect money-saving shopping? Certainly not.
You’ll be way too relieved to match coupons when nobody is rushing you. Plus, if you use a lot of coupons, this will most likely enrage those in the line behind. We suggest you hit the stores early in the morning when crowds tend to be smaller or at night when shops are slow. Also, avoid doing the shopping at the beginning of the month and on Sunday afternoons.
Keen couponers usually have to wait for a supervisor to approve their transaction, so that’s another reason why you are better off beyond the rush hour. Every time you use more than four coupons or redeem over $50 in coupons in one transaction, the cash register system will require the manager’s approval. So make yourself a favor if you’re a couponing expert and bargain for less in slow hours.
Forget about the long hours spent waiting in a line at the grocery store while trying to reduce your $500 bill to just $50. It’s a great TV scenario, but it rarely comes true in real life. Dedicated couponers visit many stores and spend time hunting down coupons and discounts to make the entire thing worthwhile.
Making the most of the above tips and strategies will take your couponing to the next level. The reality is that once you go through the couponing process, it’ll get less complex the next time you hit the stores.
For the sake of our readership only, we took great care to compile a thorough shopper discounts and rewards review. Studied in great detail, these ideas will help you receive wild amounts back every time you shop. So, get ready and start couponing right away!
How do you effectively use coupons?
Now that you’re fully equipped with successful methods of using coupons effectively, it’s time to start your saving venture. Once again, focus on stores that allow the use of double coupons. Carry your coupons with you at all times and match them to sales. Stacking discounts is another efficient strategy to save even more. Last, be aware of coupon policies adopted by your preferred stores.
How do beginners start couponing?
If you’re a complete dummy in the couponing world, you’ll need a point to start from. We suggest you try with one store such as Dollar General or Target only. Then, look for relevant coupons in the papers and online. The next step involves making a list of necessary items that you need to procure. Finally, head to the store and match your coupons to get the most valuable deals.
What is the best app for extreme couponing?
If you intend to go with extreme couponing, the best app for groceries seems to be iBotta. Are you looking for the best dining and experiences? Then, you should probably turn to Groupon for a wide range of discounts. Shopkick, among other things, has proven to be the best 2020 app for rewards. Finally, try out RetailMeNot for online promo codes.
How do you double up on coupons?
When you hear about doubling coupons, that means the store accepts the coupon and matches its value up to a certain amount. Doubling up on coupons can vary from store to store, so it’s of utmost importance to check this with the store. To get a clear picture, if you have a $2 coupon, the store will give you $4 off the purchase instead of just $2. Sometimes, you might even find tripled coupon offers.
How can I get coupons for free?
To be honest, there are several methods to find free coupons. To start, coupons.com and RedPlum.com are one of the largest bases of free online coupons that can be printed out or added to loyalty cards. Next, browse through manufacturers and retailers’ websites. You can always ask friends and family for their extra coupon inserts.