Tips for Using Coupons

If you are interested in saving money, you might be interested in starting to clip those coupons you see coming in your mailbox on a regular basis. However, if you do not have a strategy for how to use coupons, you might just end up wasting time on clipping and then forgetting you have the coupon in the first place!

Keep in mind that your home or apartment mailbox is not the only place coupons are likely to show up. Your email inbox as well as different online sites can be great places to scout out deals on your favorite items. Here are a few steps to prepare you for getting the most out of using coupons.

Come up with a strategy. Not every coupon is something you are going to use. One of the biggest pitfalls in using coupons is using them for things you never really wanted in the first place, but think you should buy just because you have a coupon. Of course, this is one of the primary marketing reasons coupons are offered in the first place: to gain new customers. However, coupons are also used to reward loyal customers too.

Finding the coupons you will use.  The best place to begin with coupons is the daily mail. You are more likely to find local store’s coupons in there. This is great because you may discover a store nearby that carries items you like at cheaper prices. Also, as much as people hate clogging their inbox with junk – it’s actually a great idea to give your email to the stores and online vendors you tend to frequent on a regular basis. Let’s say you love sporting goods, and tend to shop at a particular store, they can send you automatic email updates on sales and discounts that you might never see otherwise. This can end up saving you tons of money on your purchases in the long run. Also – if you do an Internet search for “coupons” you will find a ton of online site dedicated solely to finding you coupons for some of the most sought-after items. You can find coupons for regular consumer products, to services like carpet cleaning, to family vacations. The Internet really opens up a lot more possibilities for finding coupons you will use.

What To Do Once You Have Found Coupon Sources. You may be thinking, “Great, now I know where to get tons of coupons, but now what?” You need to get organized! The best idea is to find some kind of coupon organization system. There are stores that sell things specially for coupons, but any kind of office goods store will have a storage system that has multiple sections and tabs for easy storage of coupons. You could even devise your own system using envelopes and a shoe box if you wanted! Go as fancy or as simple as you like, but be certain you divide the coupons you will use into different categories so you will know how to find them easily before or during a shopping trip. It is also a good idea to have a Wish List of items that you would love to buy, but only if they go on sale. This way, if you are looking for coupons, you can be sure you remember to search for some of these Wish List items in case they come up.

 Keep This Important Rule In Mind. Coupons are, first and foremost, a marketing tool by companies to get you interested in their product or service. So just because something is on sale, does not mean it is a good deal for you. Some people can become enamored with coupons and still forget to do their comparison shopping. Some retailers will offer coupons, but with a discounted price that is still far more than you would, or should, be willing to buy an item for. Sometimes you can still find regularly priced items that are cheaper than the item with the coupon!

How do you use and manage your coupons?

Thursday, February 25th, 2010 Saving Money

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