Using coupons while shopping at the store can save you a lot of money, and you might not even realize just how much money you can save. Called “extreme couponing,” you can save an insane amount of cash, depending on the order you use your coupons in, the type of coupons you have, and sticking to a set plan while shopping.
These extreme couponing tips can save you money by keeping your grocery bill to a minimum.
Organize Your Coupons
Before you even think about shopping with your coupons, you need to organize them. First, buy a coupon binder and fill it with baseball card insert pages, labeling them from A to Z. Then place your coupons on the appropriate pages, either filing them by product or brand name. You should also store your coupons according to their expiration date.
Take Advantage of Store Rebates
In addition to accepting coupons, stores also offer rebates on certain items. Most often you can find the rebates a particular store offers in booklets the store prints for its customers. Or, you can ask a store clerk if the store has a rebate book available that they can give you.
When using coupons, keep in mind that store coupons and manufacturer coupons are two separate things. This means that not only can you use a store coupon to save on the listed item, but you can also use a manufacturer’s coupon for even more savings on that same item.
Save Up Coupons
Save up the coupons you want to use, and place them in your binder to keep them organized until you need them. Good places to look for coupons include online or in your local newspaper. You can also ask your friends, family, neighbors, or coworkers to save the inserts from their newspapers for you, or you can buy extra copies of the Sunday paper yourself.
Learn the Policies of the Stores You Go To
Before shopping at a store, find out what their coupon policies are so that you are ready when you shop. Learning a store’s policies also lets you take advantage of lesser-known policies the store might use, such as price matching, accepting competitor coupons, and if the store gives out rain checks for out-of-stock items.
Take Advantage of Overages
Another great way to save money when shopping with coupons is to take advantage of any overages you might accrue. An overage occurs when the coupon you have exceeds the sales price on the item listed on the coupon. Many stores apply this overage amount to other items you are buying, saving you even more money.
Obtain Multiple Copies of Your Coupons
When using coupons, keep in mind that you can use a coupon for each item you purchase. This makes it important to get multiple copies of the same coupon so that you can apply them to all of the items you want to buy. To increase the number of coupons you have for a particular item, you should buy multiple copies of your Sunday newspaper.
Determine What You Are Willing to Pay
Before heading to the store to shop using your coupons, decide exactly how much you are willing to spend, including the maximum price on an item, what it usually goes for, the price you would prefer to pay, and the stock-up price, which is the price at which you would buy as many of the items as possible for maximum savings.
Make Sure to Use Your Coupons in the Correct Order
When using your coupons, make sure to use them in the right order to get the most savings. Start by handing over any coupons that give you a certain amount off for a certain amount spent, such as $5 off on a purchase of $20 or more. Then use your other coupons for individual items.
Plan Your Shopping Trip
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The biggest challenge when shopping is to avoid impulse shopping, as doing so can quickly drive up your grocery bill. The easiest way to avoid this is to get what you came for in the store and then leave. An easy way to limit your time shopping is to break up your bouts of shopping into smaller trips where you can focus on a few deals and then leave.