Coupons 101 - 5 Things You Need To Know

May 2, 2011

When you make a dedicated effort to start saving money using coupons, it can seem overwhelming. Here are 5 things you  need to  know, that might keep things in perspective.

  1. Sales cycle every 6 - 8 weeks - If you miss a sale, don't despair! It might say that it is the deal of a lifetime, but actually, stores cycle their sales repeatedly. It takes about 6 - 8 weeks to come around again. Mark the date in your calender and let it go.
  2. Best sales are front and back of the flyer - No time to clip? The best coupons are located on the front and back of the insert. Once you have more time, look through the whole thing carefully and plan your month.
  3. Never shop without a plan - This is a biggie. You will no longer be shopping with a huge list of various items you need. Once you become organized, shop for things that are on sale, and stock up. Remember, you only need 2 months worth to make it until the product is on sale again. (TIP: Try choosing a portion of your regular shopping budget just for your stash items)
  4. Lose your brand loyalty - Even without coupons, brand loyalty usually costs you money. Using coupons, you will have to allow other brand name items into your cart. If you are paying next to nothing, why worry if there are 6 different brands of toothpaste in your pantry?
  5. Hoarding is not saving - Even if something is free, if you do not have a cat, you do not need cat food. If you find bargains on items you don't need are too hard to pass up, get them and donate them to your local food pantry or shelter. (TIP: drop off your donated items on the way home from shopping, to avoid storing them).

Photo: Flickr user Auswandern_Malaysia