First, have realistic expectations. Coupon usage varies. People watching Extreme Couponing in Canada will be frustrated & disappointed that we can’t use coupons like that here.
Never buy something just because you have a coupon. Some people actually see their spending increase when they start to coupon – the point is to save money.
Sadly, a majority of coupons are for processed food. If you’re trying to eat healthy then no. Companies give discounts on processed food to get people hooked. I don’t eat processed food anymore, but there are still some good coupons out there for other items, if you look carefully.
There are many sites that can mail you coupons, or you can print coupons or even have them on your cell phone.
Plan out your shopping trip especially if you’re using a large amount of coupons.
Use cash or debit. Only use a credit card if you’re going to pay off the full amount. It’s not savings if you pay interest on it.
During an apocalypse would neighbours know your house has the biggest stockpile? Technically you make more money stockpiling than saving these days.
Who doesn’t need 75 years worth of tampons, 200 bars of soap, 50 jars of spaghetti sauce, 7000 rolls of toilet paper, 800 chocolate bars, etc.? Wait, my sarcasm and I are having a quick discussion about the 800 chocolate bars…
Buy only what you need (or sometimes want). Use what you buy. Donate some. Or just leave it at the store if not. Hoarding deals is still hoarding.
Price Matching – get all the best specials at one store. Bring your flyers or eflyers to the store. Make sure you get the exact same product advertised. The clerk will match that price. You’ll have to check store policies (check online or ask someone at the store) because some only match their major competitors or with a geographical trade area. Also, some have issues with 2 for $3 or Buy One Get one, etc. items. And remember, you can use coupons on price matched items for more saving! And no one so far price matches for loyalty programs.
Look for sales. You can want a product or service, but waiting can usually get you a better price. Know your sale patterns. Some items go on sale every 6 weeks, some every 9 weeks, or seasonally. There are tons of sites and apps that can help you track sales and inform you of sales.
Split larger containers, products, etc. between friends or family members or even co-workers. Also, there are community programs or organizations where you can buy veggies and fruits, meat, etc. Buying more lowers the cost.
Groupon, Wagjag, Livingsocial, etc. have some amazing deals. You have to be careful and aware, but there’s some surprising stuff out there. Same goes for discount websites. Read the fine print.
Loyalty programs are good if you were going to use a certain card, store, product anyway, why not get a bonus. Don’t shop just to get points.
Use your library and other community services for free or low-cost entertainment and learning.
Yard or garage sales are a great way to find deals. I have found magnificent deals. Be aware. Use good judgement.
There are also yearly book sales by your library. After reading, donate the items to charities.
Second hand shops – treasures await if you have the right attitude and a little patience.
So many ways to save money. The trick is, think of it as fun, and don’t spend hours and hours of your life on it, after all, obsession isn’t usually fun, is it?