A few weeks ago, I posted about 7 ways we save on groceries and I’ve decided to break down some of those concepts a little further. I talked more in-depth about menu-planning, posted about how to shop the grocery store sales, and talked about starting your stockpile last time. All of those topics are great ways to reduce your grocery bill, without clipping a single coupon.
But, since I believe coupons to be a huge way to save money on groceries, I couldn’t leave them out. It’s really a huge topic and can be overwhelming to people who are considering using them to save money. I plan to dig a little deeper into couponing, but wanted to start by sharing 4 ways to save money by using coupons to get the conversation started.
1. Only use them for items that you will use
One of the biggest misconceptions about using coupons is that the coupons are only for junk food or processed foods. While you will certainly see lots of coupons for those sorts of things, there are also lots of other coupons out there for basic items that your family will use.
Against my children’s wishes, our fridge and pantry is not filled with a bunch of junk food and I use coupons on all sort of basic staples like sugar, cheese, and butter. (I never said everything we eat is low fat!)
2. Only use them when paired with a sale
If you seek to use every coupon you clip, you will not save money. Most coupons are for brand-named items, which are typically more expensive. Therefore, in order to see the savings, you must use your coupons when the item goes on sale. That’s usually the only way the coupon helps me to achieve the savings that I am seeking.
If the coupon does not help me save, then there is no reason to use it that particular week. Luckily, since the grocery store sale cycle is about 6 weeks, I can usually use it if I wait a few more weeks.
3. Use store coupons & combine them with manufacturer’s coupons
Many stores will also distribute store coupons. These can only be used at their particular store, but can still help increase your savings. You may need to get on their email or mailing list to receive these, but it’s worth a phone call if you can get some extra coupons.
You can really compound your savings by combining a store coupon with a manufacturer’s coupon. This is called “stacking” and is a great way to see some serious savings! Target and many of the drugstores are great about this.
4. Take advantage of drug store rewards programs
I’m planning a post on this later, but there are some GREAT deals to be had at drug stores if you are willing to learn and play the “drug store game”. When you combine coupons with each store’s rewards program, you can get wind up with a lot of product for very little money. We get almost all of our diapers at CVS because they have such a great rewards program!
If you are looking to give coupons a try, then make sure you check back next week. I’m going to talk about how to get started.
How do YOU save money using coupons?
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