Saving money can be tough when you have a busy family and work life. Clipping coupons and all that the process entails can seem daunting, so many avoid the practice. However, if you follow the below cardinal rules, take small steps towards saving, and understand that it will take time to get used to the process – it’s possible to make it work for your family.
5 Cardinal Rules for Saving Money using Coupons:
1. Coupon Smart
Going from store to store, using circular after circular is not always the budget-friendly way to go. Use one-stop-shop coupon resources like befrugal.com where you can filter by location, type of grocery item and more. Print out your coupons from the comforts of home from resources like this list from Couponing 101, of tested and reliable sources.
2. The Organized Mind Maximizes Savings
The key to saving with coupons is being organized before you head to the store. Set time aside each week for meal planning and coupon clipping/planning while simultaneously making a list. This is a process that should all go hand-in-hand. Sharon from Mom of 6 has a fantastic series on how to save money on groceries. She talks about her coupon binder and using a planning process each week to make her budget work for her family of eight work.
3. Make Your Coupons Do Double Duty
Whenever possible, double up on your coupons. Use a manufacturer coupon as well as a store specific coupon. This works for most items or stores simply because one discount is being provided by the manufacturer and one discount is being provided by the store. Additionally, some stores offer double coupon days, although those are becoming less frequent.
4. Read the Fine Print
This is important not only so you know the monetary terms of the coupon, but it also helps to give you additional information as to any flexibility in the items you might be able to purchase on discount. Most brands feature one picture of an item in a line of products that may be up for discount through your coupon. Read the fine print and you may see that a less expensive item, that meets your needs can be purchase, extending your budget even more.
5. Be a Confident Smart Shopper
I loved the advice given by Couponing 101 in this post about confidence in your frugal shopping. If you have done the legwork, investigated coupon policies and created your shopping plan, then don’t be afraid to stand up for your savings. It’s possible the cashier might not know all the ins and outs of a discount policy. Such as the fact that you can use a coupon on a sale or clearance item, as Stephanie from Coupon 101 mentions.