How To Save With Coupons
I have to admit, I haven’t always been very successful using coupons. But there are ways to make them work better and get quite a bargain. I asked a few of my friends who save a lot of money using coupons to give me a few of their money-saving coupon strategies. The following article is a combination of the tips they shared with me.
Why are free coupons available?
In short, coupons are a great advertising move. You have to spend money to make money. And, in business, you want to make money. Free coupons get you to shop for one thing and the advertising will get you to try something else while you are there.
Do coupons save you money?
The short answer to this question is yes. But, you have to use them in order for the coupon to be of any benefit. Coupons used to be only paper. You could cut them out of the Sunday paper and they were good for a month or two. Now, coupons are in the newspaper, magazines, printable from websites and in the form of online coupons that are great when shopping on the Internet. With so many choices for coupons, you can save money at every turn. Take a look at how to get started saving big with coupons:
Cut out coupons for the grocery store. People have to eat. It’s a fact of life. Those coupons in the Sunday paper are good for everything from cat food to candy bars (not that you should eat a lot of those). Snip all that may apply to your household needs.
Get organized. Use a slotted folder or one of those coupon expandable files to hold all of your coupons. Categorize the slots so every time you go to the grocery store, you can pull out the stack of coupons that pertain to the goodies in your buggy.
Use coupons for other things besides the grocery store. Coupons can be found in magazines on advertising pages and in amongst your mail on other days of the week. There are coupons for restaurants, car repairs, mattresses and carpet steam cleaning. Everyone will need car repairs at some point (especially after your last payment) so those auto coupons can come in handy.
Present your coupon before you buy in some instances. This applies to restaurants and car repairs. If you have any questions about the coupon’s validity, ask before you spend the time shopping. If you can have your brakes serviced for $100, be sure that it includes both sets of brakes and the rotors and/or brake pads. Know what you are getting so you can judge if the coupon is a good deal.
Look for other bargains to pair with your coupons. Coupons can be just like money – it burns a hole in your pocket. If you have a coupon for 20 percent off your purchase at an electronics store, shop the store circular to see if they have anything on sale that you want to purchase. Save that 20 percent off coupon for when that laptop you want goes on sale. Now, you’ll get an extra percentage off the total price.
Use store incentives. Some stores (mostly grocery stores) offer coupons and discounts just for signing up for their store incentive card. Just by walking in the store, you receive a discount on many items they sell. In combination with a coupon you can save more.
Coupons can save you money on clothing, groceries, automotive needs, travel and movies. To get the most bang for your buck, read coupons carefully and bide you time before you use them to receive the greatest benefit.
Four Places to Find Free Coupons
They say the best things in life are free. That extends to coupon offers as well. For all that you do every day, its okay to take advantage of a few free deals. Besides, if someone is offering them, they want you to benefit obviously. There are plenty of places to find free coupons if you know where to look. Here are just four of the most popular ones.
1. Magazines, Newspapers, and More
The first place to look is your reading material. In among all of the other coupons you receive, there are always a couple of free ones lurking. In magazines, advertisers love to slip in a free coupon for a trial sample of their latest hair care product or lotions. When new stores open, they are glad to send out coupons for free scoops of ice cream or a tree trial size item just to get you to visit the store.
2. Survey Sites
Survey sites are also places to find free coupons. You can use free coupons for other things besides groceries. For filling out surveys on sites like Nubella.com you will be able to take advantage of discount links for free beauty products and trial sizes of food products.
With these short surveys, you can also gain access to free doses of medication. When your doctor prescribes a certain drug for you, you can use the free coupon at the pharmacy to save on your prescription bills. Who couldn’t use that nowadays?
Online, you can surf the Web for sites offering free coupons. Now there are some scam artists out there so read the entire coupon offer before clicking on anything. If the coupon is free, the only vital information you may have to enter is your email address or physical address and your name. Anyone who asks for financial information is out to get you.
Try a site like www.mysavings.com. Just for signing up for a free membership, you gain access to hundreds of free coupons that will save you money. Once you sign up for membership on one site, others will be knocking at your virtual door asking you to sign up with them.
4. Your Inbox
Your email is another great place to find free coupon deals. Before you clear out that bulk mail folder or delete your junk mail, look through the subject lines. You are bound to come across a coupon site or two.
Who wouldn’t want to open their mailbox and find coupons for freebies or a box of free samples? It costs you nothing but an email address to get started with most of the sites online and since it’s free, you can cancel at anytime you wish.
Five Websites for Finding Coupons
Online coupons save the shopper tons of money. Printable coupons offered by websites also save you money when you want to venture out and visit the actual store. If you want to find more coupons than the ones in your Sunday paper, here are five of the best sites for coupons of all types.
Why do you use coupons? They provide a discount on items and services that you use most. For the manufacturer who offers the coupon, they get advertising that costs not very much. Whenever you don’t use coupons, they are still saving money. They can claim their losses, but what about you?
It costs you nothing but a little time to search out and use coupons that are available for your needs. Once you get in the habit of clipping them, taking them to the store or entering that online coupon code, you will wonder what you ever complained about in the first place.
1. Currentcodes.com – This site lists online coupon codes for hundreds of stores, some operate online only and others have physical stores. You can browse by merchant or by category of item you want to purchase. The coupon codes are constantly updated for your convenience by their staff so that you can have one stop shopping for all of your online coupon needs.
2. MyCoupons.com – Here you can find thousands of coupons both printable and online coupon codes. There are also shopping forums to discuss everything from shopping savvy tips to how to use coupons to your greatest advantage. If you know of a useful coupon code that you don’t find on the site, you can enter it for others to use. New to the site is also a feature where you can buy unwanted gift cards with a variety of available balances.
3. CouponCabin.com – Find coupon codes for hundreds of items including cosmetics, pet supplies and sewing fabric. You can even get discounts on buying gift certificates for restaurants. There is a section with coupons where you can receive free samples either or filling out a questionnaire or for a “Buy One, Get One Free” deal.
4. Wow-coupons.com – This coupon site has a US and a UK site. You’ll find coupons for grocery stores, gyms, dentist visits, clothing stores and more. If you are looking to travel, there are coupon codes for that as well. Just about everything you are looking for can be found at Wow. Part of the fun is just looking to see all the great things they offer.
5. CouponMom.com – You don’t have to be a mom to make use of this site. Anyone who wants to save on their online and offline shopping can check it out. Find coupons for fast food restaurants, free samples, printable coupons and other offers that will save you money. Membership is free.
If you are looking for more coupons than just the ones you find in the newspaper, these websites, and more, are always a good place to start.
What You Need to Know About Online Coupons
Online coupons are the wave of the future. Technology has afforded us the ability to shop in cyberspace and that has extended also to saving money there. Before you shop again learn a few facts about online coupons.
Online coupons are not like printable coupons that you find in newspapers and magazines. Online stores can’t scan your coupon like they do in the store. Instead, you will see a picture of a coupon that has a bolded code made of numbers and letters at the bottom. This code is the way that you use online coupons.
Some sites call this code a coupon code and some call it a promotional code. The two names are interchangeable. A coupon code (we’ll call it that since we are talking about coupons) is used at checkout just like in the actual store.
But, where do you find these handy coupon codes for online coupons? Stores don’t tell you this but there are sites that list coupon codes for a number of popular stores. One such site is www.currentcodes.com. This site keeps up with the latest codes so you don’t have to spend tons of time visiting website after website to find the code you’re looking for.
If you get an offer through an email from a site to shop there, go to your coupon code site and see if that store offers any coupon codes you can shop with. It is like a goldmine for online shoppers. There are online coupon offers like “Free shipping on all orders”, “Save $50 on all orders over $100”, and “15% off your entire order.”
Online coupon codes do expire so be mindful of time limits. Read the fine print after each coupon code so you know the exact requirements for the coupon code to be valid. You don’t want to get to check out and find out that you can’t use your code.
Some online coupons are presented to you in the form of links. If you’ve ever bought anything online, you will get an email from everyone wanting you to spend money with them. In the email ads, you’ll see things like “Click here to save 10% on your next order.” By clicking on that link, you are taken to the offer website to the page where you can use your savings. Upon checkout, your savings are automatically deducted because you clicked on the discounted link. But, check to be sure you aren’t being ripped off.
With online coupons, there are no long lines to stand in and you don’t use up your precious gas driving to the store. Many online stores offer deals on items that aren’t for sale in their physical stores. These coupon codes take some time to find, but they add up to big savings for the diligent shopper.
Pitfalls to Avoid When Using Coupons
I have two more pieces of advice for you when it comes to saving with coupons. Here they are:
1) Don’t let finding coupons suck up all your free time. Clipping and using coupons shouldn’t take you very long. Your time is valuable and you have better things to do than spend 5 hours to save an extra $2. Make sure the savings with coupons are worth the time you are spending on it.
2) Don’t Buy Things You Don’t Need! This has always been my big downfall. I find some great coupons, but end up buying brand-name items I don’t really need. Keep asking yourself as you clip coupons – “Is this something I would usually buy”? If it isn’t, just skip that coupon or you’ll end up spending more than you would have otherwise.
Now it’s your turn. What are your best coupon savings tips?
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