In a recent survey, The Promotion Marketing Association’s Coupon Council estimated that 89 percent of Americans utilize coupons in their shopping. However, they also estimate that while a whopping $350 billion worth of coupons are offered each year, only $2.6 billion worth are actually redeemed!
So what does this tell us? With the rapidly rising prices on groceries, fuel, utilities, and more, many Americans are becoming casual coupon users. However, they’re not maximizing their savings as much as they could. By learning to use coupons effectively, you could actually be saving as much as 50 percent or more of your grocery bill on each trip. Before you learn that, you have to know where to find the best coupons.
For many people, when you mention the word “coupons,” the coupon inserts in the Sunday paper are what immediately come to mind. However, if Sunday inserts are your only resource for coupons, you probably aren’t saving nearly as much as you could be. Many of the best coupons can only be found from resources other than Sunday inserts. Learning where to find high dollar coupons brings you one step closer to maximizing your savings on groceries, toiletries, and other household items.
Online printable sites—Online printable sites like Coupons.com and SmartSource.com are a great resource to check before you make your next trip to the grocery store. They often have coupons that you won’t be able to find anywhere else. Just select the coupons you want and click print!
eBay—Did you know that there are loads of coupons for sale on eBay? Well, actually, most coupons state that they cannot be sold; however, sellers circumvent this by stating that you’re actually bidding on their time to cut, sort, and list the coupons. This is a super way to stock up on coupons so you can stockpile an item when it’s on sale.
Coupon clipping services—In addition to eBay, there are several Web sites, like The Coupon Master, The Coupon Clippers, and Cents Off, where you can also purchase specific coupons. The prices are only a fraction of the coupon’s value, and if you use them wisely, the savings far outweigh the minimal price to purchase the coupons.
Blinkies—Have you ever noticed those little machines in the grocery store with the flashing red lights that spit coupons out? If not, look for them next time you’re walking up and down the aisles. In the couponing world these are called “blinkies,” and they tend to be really good coupons. However, unless the item is on sale or is something you were planning to buy anyhow, don’t be coerced into using them that day. Take just a few and stick them in your coupon keeper. Wait to use them until you find a great sale, which just might even be at another store. They’re manufacturer’s coupons, so they can be used anywhere.
Magazines—You can find great money-saving coupons in magazines such as Better Homes and Gardens and Woman’s Day, and even better, you can often find free subscriptions to these magazines online. The very best magazine for coupons is ALL YOU magazine. This magazine is only available at Walmart; however, I found a great deal on it right now where you can get two years for just $19.95. It’s jam packed with coupons, and often there are coupons for free items, so the savings to be had more than defray the cost of the subscription.
While this list is certainly not exhaustive, it’s a great starting point. Coupons are a useful way to stretch your grocery budget, which can help ease the pinch in other areas.