I have mentioned many times that I believe that couponing is a game, but it’s one that you have to know how to play well! Here are 10 tips for being an efficient couponer that will get you going in the right direction!
- Buy the items you need when you can get a great price – Couponing is a game of when you can get the best price. If you can get toothpaste for free this week, buy enough so that it will last you and your family at least three months. You will find toothpaste for free again during that window of time and you won’t have to spend $4.59 per box a month later just because you only bought one when they were free.
- Do not try to do every deal – If you don’t need it, you’re not saving money by buying something you won’t use. Do the deals that really work for you and your family.
- Do not buy everything that is free – While we speak in terms of “free” items as couponers, we all know that tax doesn’t get spoken of. It is a real issue, so if you don’t need the item that is free after coupons and discounts, don’t bother buying it and paying the tax. If you are doing a moneymaker that you don’t really need, make sure that the extra money you’ll be earning is more than the tax you’ll pay or the same rule applies.
- Print the coupons when you see them available, don’t wait – Coupons disappear within a matter of hours sometimes, so if you see a deal that you KNOW you want to do, print your coupons NOW. I can often guarantee that the coupon will be gone a week later when you want to buy the items.
- Keep a list of both deals and items for which you are running low – Coupons and deals are often discussed weeks before they’re available, so make sure that you’re organized! Get a coupon organizer or a binder of some sort and make sure that you have lists for what items you plan to buy at which store and what items you actively need a deal for.
- Build couponing into your schedule – Try to get to each store once per week. If you already have a plan to get there, you’ll make sure that you do.
- Shop early in the week – Many items are gone after Sunday or Monday, so you either need to shop early or find out when your stores restock their shelves. Get to know their schedules!
- Realize that there is always another deal – We all miss deals that we meant to shop for, so just remember, there is ALWAYS another deal!
- Do not argue with your cashiers – This can get a little dicey, but it’s all about the approach. You will get much father with a smile, a please and a thank you. If you feel that what is happening isn’t right, politely ask for a manager. If you feel like the manager hasn’t helped, try another store or call customer service. The bottom line is that you will likely visit that store many, many times over the next few years and you don’t want them remembering you as the difficult shopper. They do remember and they tell their colleagues!
- Have fun with it! Couponing is a game, so approach it that way!
Couponing is the only game that I know of that saves you money, fills your cabinets and shelves and keeps your mind constructively busy. Ready to play?? Find more Couponing Tips here!