Using coupons properly can give you HUGE savings! The key to that statement is to use them properly. Improper use can actually cost you more money. If you follow the 10 tips I have outlined, you will be on your way to great savings!
1. Know Prices- You may want to keep a price journal for a few weeks. It is important to know what items normally cost, and the lowest price it will go to when on sale. Many people go thru the weeks inserts, clip the coupons they like and either use them at the next shopping trip or discard the remaining. The goal is to wait to use your coupon till the item is at its lowest price. That way you can ensure you are getting the rock bottom price on that item.
2. Get Organized- Having all your coupons organized will help assure that you will have them when needed. Figure out a system that works for you. This will also be important when checking out. Make sure you have your loyalty card and coupons ready to go so you do not forget to use any.
3. Read the Fine Print- Make sure to read your coupon. The picture on the coupon may not be the only item the coupon is good for. There may also be fine print limiting the amount of coupons you can use or a specific item you can use the coupon on. It is important as a responsible couponer to use the coupon properly.
4. Bigger isn’t Always Better- Most of the time it is more cost effective to purchase the smallest size allowable. Buying the economy size item may seem to be cheaper, however if you have multiple coupons you may even be able to get the same amount as the larger size at a much lower price because you can use more coupons. You may even be able to get travel size products for free if the coupon does not exclude it.
5. Check the Clearance Section- You can find some great deals or even get some free items when you use coupons on clearance items.
6. Multiple Transactions- Breaking up your order into multiple transactions can help you save more money. Sometimes a Catalina will only print once per transaction. So if you are purchasing more then one of that item or quantity amount, pay for each one separately.
7. Know Coupon Policies- Knowing what coupons you can use and how to use them will help eliminate any problems and possibly paying more then expected at checkout. Knowing or even having policies on hand can easily clear up confusions when checking out. Most stores will allow you to use a manufactures coupon along with a store coupon per item. You should also be allowed to use a BOGO coupon or two manufacture coupons along with a BOGO sale. This should get you two items for free.
8. Share the Savings- If you have coupons that you are not going to use, give them to someone who might. A lot of times I will give them to other shoppers or leave them by products in the store. You can also trade them. I will use WeUseCoupons to find other couponers that may need them and in return get some coupons that I needed. It is also good couponing not to clear shelves. If you know you want to get a very large amount of product then talk to the store manager. He may be able to place a special order for you.
9. Pay Attention- Watch the register when checking out. Make sure items are ringing up at the correct price and that all your coupons are scanning correctly. Also, make sure that all your Catalina coupons (Register Rewards and Extra Care Bucks) have printed. Knowing what the final price should be will help catch any mistakes also. If you couldn’t catch every scan, can be difficult with kids distracting you, then check your receipt before you leave the store. It is a lot easier and less time consuming to fix mistakes right away.
10. Be Nice- Not every transaction is going to go your way. Sometimes it will be the error of the cashier and sometimes it will be your mistake. Either way be patient. Cashiers are trying to do their best to make the customer happy while also making sure they are following the stores coupon policy. If you truly feel you are right, keep calm and nicely explain your case. If there is nothing the cashier can do then speak with the manager and have a copy of the coupon policy at hand, but be ready to listen. There may be a valid reason why they will not accept your coupon. If all else fails and you still feel you are in the right, then contact the Corporate Office.