Coupons are money! Seriously! When you are ready to pay for your groceries you can hand over coupons and pay down that amount.
Coupons come in all shapes and sizes these days. There are the coupons that come in the Sunday newspaper, coupons found in stores (sticky pads or on the product), printable coupons and coupon apps. With the exception of the coupon apps all of the coupon types allow you to pay less at the register. Most of the coupons apps that are currently out provide rebated money based on the purchases made.
Now that you know where to generally find coupons, let me tell you a bit about using them. One thing I want to make mention of is that couponing can become cumbersome and overwhelming if you let it. What I explain here is not all there is to know. I could easily write individual posts on all the different things I do.
Certain stores offer to double coupons under a certain value. In my area there are two main grocery store chains that will double a coupon up to $.99. So if I have a $.75 coupon the store will double the value of that coupon and the value will be $1.50. You will need to check the coupon policy for the store where you shop to see how they handle coupons. You will also want to check the store policy about coupons to check for limitations. Some stores limit the number of coupons per item, some limit in total, some allow for multiple coupons.
Since the coupon apps are more like rebates you can currently take advantage of deals where there are physical coupons and coupon app deals.
Okay now that we have some basics about coupons out-of-the-way lets talk a bit about the actual how. Start with the easy part, what do you need from the store. I always try to make my grocery list first so that I know what I plan to buy, then I add in the coupons as a part of the payment of what I need. I find that starting in this way I save a bit by buying only what we need, not what there is a great deal on. Don’t get me wrong there are times where there are great sales and I will stock up on some items, but that is a whole different how to.
Once you have your list, start to check the coupons for what is on your list. Where possible be flexible with brands or sizes of items, this helps to identify coupons. I also will start to look at the sale flyers to line up with any possible sale prices as well. Time to shop!
Tools of the trade (or Tools of the couponer):
- Online Coupons – There are several different sites where you can print coupons from general coupon producers, the manufactures webpage to even Facebook.
- Coupons.com – Generally you can print 2 of each coupon per device (computer, or phone/ tablet if connected to a WiFi Printer). These coupons generally refresh once a month but sometimes will have a few changes throughout the month.
- Print coupons through a Point Program such as Swagbucks – earn points for each coupon printed and used.
- Coupon Apps – These apps will provide cash back on specific purchases. Generally they require a picture of the receipt and maybe a scan of the bar code on items. Some may ask you to complete activities to “earn” the rebate.
- Ibotta – Items are tied to specific stores for rebates and activities to unlock items are required. Scan item bar code and receipt. Minimum of $10 to cash out PayPal or Venmo options as well as some gift cards.
- Snap (By Groupon) – Works for Any store, just scan receipt. $20 to cash out, send to you by check.
- Checkout51 – Works for Any store, just scan receipt. $20 to cash out, send to you by check.
- SavingStar – Attach your store card and have the savings are tracked for you. Items need to be added to your list before purchase, but not receipts to upload. There are some upload options now available for stores that do not have a loyalty card program such as Wal-Mart. Cash out with $5 minimum, PayPal or straight to your bank options are available.
Other ways I may find savings but don’t often use:
- Coupons in the newspaper – I generally do not buy the Sunday paper (or any paper for that matter) because it is not in my budget. We generally do not devote enough time to reading the paper that I have not found it worth while enough for me to do this (at this time).
- Home Scanner Programs – I am not currently in any program to make reference. These programs would require you to scan each item you purchase every time you shop. I have mixed feelings on some of these programs. I know my family was a participant in one when I was young and we were able to earn quite a bit but I am not sure how the programs are currently run.
As always be cautious of programs you sign up for and try to read through how it works to make sure you are signing up for something that will work for you and your life.
*Please note that some links provided in this post may be affiliate links where I may earn a commission for any sign-up or purchase you make using one of the links. Thank you for your support!