There’s a lot of money to be saved out there by companies looking to outdo each other for your business. The problem is that most people aren’t taking advantage of the opportunity to save.
Many families walk into a store, move down the same, familiar aisles, and purchase the same, familiar products without any prior investigation as to what deals they could be using. Every week it’s the same thing over and over again.
What they could be missing out on is twenty to thirty-five percent off on everything they’re purchasing, if only they had paid attention to the coupons out there. Couponing seems like such a hassle though that many people don’t think about putting in the effort.
Obtaining coupons from any source is often considered junk mail and is discarded with the credit card offers. Anything that comes to your email box is marked as spam and ads online are ignored. The idea of searching through the coupons can be overwhelming, and hence many people are content to live out there days without them.
Changing that up can not only be worth it, but absolutely necessary should you need to decrease your budget in any way. The following are a few secrets to help you get into the couponing world and how to use your money smart.
Get Coupons Sent Directly to You
First, sign up to receive coupons from places you like to shop at. There are a number of sites that offer you coupons for your favorite stores. Find the ones that offer the products you’re looking for and subscribe to their email service. Make sure you check your email.
For the stores nearby that you want to save at, ask an associate if there’s a way to have their ads sent to your house. Get on their mailing list and check their ads often for things you need.
Don’t Go Overboard
Second, beware of the temptation to buy too much of one item. It’s easy to be tempted to buy twenty boxes of cheerios because coupons discount them to the unrealistically low price of $2 a pop. Although it’s true that you will save money over the coming months, you will walkaway having spent $40 plus tax when you only planned on spending $4.
Coupons can be a budget killer in this way because they’ll make you end up spending more on food than you originally intended. If you have a bit of extra money to spare then this might be worth it. For everyone else though it definitely isn’t.
The key is to think outside the deals. You may end up with more food at the end of the day, but you could also end up in financial trouble at the same time.
Consider first your budget, and then decide how much of that one item you want to purchase within that budget. You don’t want to be caught in the “savings” trap that would have you spend more money than you intended.
Clean Up, Stay Focused
Third, unsubscribe to couponing sites you no longer need, especially if you were simply targeting a specific product. Say you were looking for a good TV. You targeted a few suppliers, like Best Buy, RC Willey, and Walmart and subscribed to receive their coupons. You found one that would work for you and purchased it immediately, only now you’re stuck receiving obnoxious coupons from all three of these companies.
Unsubscribe from the services that you no longer need. Get rid of the Best Buy, RC Willey, and Walmart email blasts and clear out your inbox again. You don’t have to receive all that junk mail. There is always a way to keep it from coming through.
Fourth, shop around. Definitely take advantage of the deals out there, but don’t feel like you’re suddenly a slave of whatever company offers the most deals. Always be on the lookout for better deals. As said before, the companies are constantly trying to undercut each other for your business. Be a bit hard-to-please at times to save money. You owe your allegiances to no store, so don’t let them make you feel like you owe them the business.
Also don’t grow comfortable with one store. Just because Smith’s has continually given you low prices as a part of their club doesn’t mean that they will always have the cheapest prices. Always shop around to save money.
Don’t Spend More on Gas Than You’re Saving
Fifth and finally, don’t get too crazy with the number of stores you visit. For the money you would save visiting ten different stores for your groceries, you would lose in gas getting there. Pick a maximum of two or three stores to shop from that are all close together so you can actually save money.