Mastering the art of using coupons means understanding how they work, where they’re accepted and how to multiply the value of them. Couponing can save you money and it can cost you money if you are not using the coupons correctly. If you aren’t careful you can spend more money than anticipated. I’m going to cover the mistakes that I made starting off with couponing.
1. Are you familiar with the store policy? Not being familiar with the store policy is a very common mistake that is made when couponing. Before you go out you need to make sure that you know the store coupon policy. Harris Teeter and Lowes Food offer double coupons which can lead you to more savings.
2. Underestimating the values of being organized. Organization is key to couponing when you are trying to save money. If you are clipping a lot of coupons and can’t find them what’s the point of clipping them. Make sure you keep your coupons in an accessible binder, envelope or accordion file, etc.
3. Shopping without a list is never good. Having a list is essential to your shopping trip you would need to make sure you are planning the trip and have the coupons readily available for you. When I shop with no list I spend way more than when I plan the trip. Also, if I go to the store with no list I just pick up any items and put them in the cart. I always shop with a list and don’t purchase anything unless I have a coupon for it. Find a way to store your list so that you have it available when shopping you may want to email it yourself and view it on your smartphone.
4. Failing to compare prices between the different stores. You will need to make sure that you are aware of what the other stores are charging for the different items that are on your shopping list. Always browse the ads weekly to see what store has the best deal for you.
5. Failing to make sure that all your coupons have scanned. Always check your receipt before leaving the store. When I write my list out I always write at the both of my lists how many coupons of each type I will be using so that I can compare it to my receipt. Sometimes the cashier may overlook a coupon or fail to scan a coupon, so you must make sure that you are aware of how many coupons that should have been scanned and the value of them.
6. Not using a coupon when the item is on sale. It’s often that people do not maximize their savings when they see a sale price. In my option, a sale item with a coupon is the best way to go it will guarantee you a better deal.
7. Not using the store loyalty card. Most all stores have some type of loyalty card that you can use. The loyalty card can be combined with your store and manufactured coupons. For example, CVS offers coupons through the ExtraCare rewards program that can be paired up with store coupons and manufacturer coupons which will create triple the savings.
8. Overlooking the expiration date. All coupons come with expiration dates you need to make sure that you always check the expiration date before going to the store. Weekly store ads, coupon websites and magazine coupons you may have the same coupon in value but different expiration dates on it.
9. Forgetting to stack coupons. Target, Walgreens, and CVS allow you to stack coupons which means you can use one manufacturer’s coupon and the store coupon together.
10. Not understanding couponing lingo. Knowing the lingo will help you to know what others are talking about in couponing groups, classes, and blogs. For instance, you will see lingo such as B1G1 is Buy one, get one Free or EB is Extrabucks which is only used when referring to CVS.
These were the mistakes that I made while being couponing that no one told me about. Use my mistakes to make sure you are well prepared as you begin this couponing journey.
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