Did you know that every year, billions of dollars worth of savings are distributed in the form of coupons, membership perks, and other deals?
By learning how to coupon, you can save yourself hundreds, if not thousands, every single year. Imagine what you could do with all that extra cash!
Using the occasional coupon is easy but you won’t see major results until you take the time to learn the ins and outs of couponing. That’s why we’ve put together this guide for beginners who want to learn how to coupon like a pro!
Read on to learn more about how to coupon and start saving on all of your essentials and goodies today!
Understanding the Different Types of Coupons
When we talk about coupons, we simply mean redeemable opportunities for a discount. You might find them online, in an advertisement, or in a magazine or newspaper.
There are tons of different types of coupons, including:
- One-time discounts
- Buy one get one free
- Buy one get one half off
- Buy multiple and get one free
- Membership-only coupons
- Additional items free with purchase
- Free shipping
- Percentage off your entire purchase
Admittedly, some coupons are better than others, which means not all coupons are worth redeeming. For example, if a membership costs money and you rarely shop with that retailer, that annual or monthly fee isn’t going to be worth your money.
How to Coupon: The Do’s and Don’t’s
Now, let’s talk about the ways that you can start couponing. Remember, the goal isn’t to become an extreme couponer overnight. It’s useful just to learn how to save a couple of bucks each time you shop as you get more used to couponing.
Become Familiar With Specific Store Practices
Some coupons are brand-specific and can be used at almost any store that sells those products. However, if you want to maximize your savings, it’s helpful to learn more about in-store coupons and deals that stores offer, themselves.
For example, keeping up with the items on the Dollar General penny list can help you stock on the things you need for just one penny!
Keep Your Coupons Organized
Couponing is all about organization, and that includes keeping your coupons, themselves, organized.
If you start clipping physical coupons, buy a coupon organizer that divides coupons up by category. Make sure you regularly go through your coupons and discard any expired coupons.
You may also use apps on your computer or phone to get coupons. Make sure you understand how each of those online coupons works, where you can use them, and how many you can use at a time.
Plan Your Shopping Lists Around Your Coupons
When you start getting into the couponing lifestyle, you’ll realize that it’s not always beneficial to become a brand loyalist. Instead, build your shopping lists around the coupons you have for the week.
For example, if you usually buy Huggies diapers but you have a coupon for Pampers, it simply makes sense to buy Pampers that week!
If there are some brands that you simply can’t deviate from, look for online coupon codes and other hidden discounts before you pay full price at a store. Supplementing your in-store shopping with online shopping can save money, but look out for hidden fees like shipping or delivery fees before you take the deal.
You’re going to come across a lot of coupons that only work if you’re buying more than one of the same product at a time. When it comes to nonperishable essentials, it can make sense to go ahead and stock up when the deal is good.
Things like toothpaste, laundry detergent, dish detergent, and beauty supplies can often be purchased with a buy one get one coupon. If you know that you’re going to stick with that product in the coming months, take advantage of those deals.
Don’t Buy What You Don’t Need
Believe it or not, there are people who end up spending more when they start couponing. Why does this happen? The appeal of the deal gets to them!
Just because something is discounted doesn’t mean that you need to purchase it. When you first start couponing, try not to deviate too much from your typical shopping lists. Only when you know more about how and where to save should you start taking advantage of discounted products you normally wouldn’t buy–and you don’t want to go overboard.
Don’t Get Fooled by Bad Deals
A solid couponing practice takes time, patience, and research. You’d be surprised at how frequently you end up spending more on a discounted item than you would on a competing brand’s full-priced item.
The best way to figure out whether or not a coupon is worth it is to start calculating the price by unit.
For example, let’s say that you’re looking at a pack of 24 individually wrapped snacks that, with your coupon, costs $12. However, another pack that costs $9 full price comes with 20 individually wrapped snacks. Which one is the better deal?
When you do the math, the 24-pack costs $0.50 per pack with the coupon. The 20-pack costs $0.45 per pack without the coupon. In the end, the coupon doesn’t do you much good!
Start Saving Today
Companies are constantly offering amazing discounts to entice savvy shoppers. If you want to start taking advantage of all of these opportunities to save, learning how to coupon is a great way to start! With our guide, you can start saving on your essentials and goodies today!
Looking for more ways to tighten up your monthly budget? Wondering how you can turn your paycheck into more money? Take a look at more of our content for great tips and tricks that will boost your finances.