Couponing isn’t just for stay-at-home moms with a minivan full of little ones. Anyone can save money by using coupons. If you want to stretch your retirement dollars even further, couponing can help you do that.
Coupons can get you a great deal, and when used most effectively, they may even allow you to pay virtually nothing for some of your favorite products. But clipping coupons can also be a hassle and take some work. Use these tips to help you get the most out of your coupons.
- Keep coupons handy. Clipping coupons does you no good if you can’t find a particular coupon when you need it. Keep coupons paper-clipped to your shopping list so you’ll know exactly where they are when you get to the register.
- Only clip coupons for products you normally buy. You don’t have to clip every coupon in the newspaper. Pick and choose your coupons for the products you buy normally. The exception to this rule is when it comes to specific brands of the same product. If there’s no coupon for your favorite brand of toilet paper, but there is a coupon for a comparable alternative, clip away.
- Maximize your savings with store specials. Many stores will double and triple coupons on certain days. Find out what those days are and plan your shopping trip accordingly. When planned just right, you can even stack manufacturer’s coupons on top of a store discount or store coupon to save even more cash, so watch the store ads for what’s on sale this week.
- Read the fine print. There are some stipulations to using coupons, so be sure you know exactly when and how to use a particular coupon so you won’t be surprised when it comes time to pay.
- Price-match. Many retailers, such as Walmart, will honor a competitor’s store ads and coupons. It’s not worth it to spend your day shopping at multiple stores, so take advantage of price-matching opportunities so you can get all your shopping done at one store. At Walmart, you can show competitor ads and coupons to the cashier at checkout to receive the discount. At other stores, like Target, you may have to stop by customer service on your way out to get a refund for the difference.
- Get a raincheck. Many stores will offer a raincheck option if they run out of a particular item that is on sale one week. If the store is out of an item you want that is on sale, ask the manager for a raincheck.
- Plan ahead. This is the most important trick to successful couponing. Go through store ads before you go to the store. These can be found in the newspaper or online. Make your shopping list and then sort through your coupons and only take the ones you plan to use that day.
You don’t have to be an “Extreme Couponer” to save money. If you use these tips, you’ll will be surprised just how much the savings will add up. There are even online resources you can use to simplify your couponing experience and help you save more money. Click here to check out one of these resources.