Money Saving Tips At The Checkout Counter: Are You Coupon Savvy?

How Coupon Savvy Are You?

couponclippingsIn today’s shaky economy where most Americans (as well as others in countries around the world) find themselves tightening their belts and cutting back on non-essentials. There should be no need to feel embarrassed about clipping coupons and presenting them at the checkout stand as needed. In fact, there are a number of people out there that have gone way beyond that. There are sites now for coupon exchanges, clearinghouses, people putting them on CraigsList, eBay, and many other online classified marketplaces. I’ve even come across a site or two that keeps store ads and coupon ads updated on a daily/weekly basis — which is basically — a locator of where to shop to get a specific item at a particular sale price plus where to find the coupon at for further reductions. You may even be able to combine a store coupon with a manufacturer’s coupon for the ultimate savings. You may even luck out and find “double value coupons” or receive free coupons in the mail for example “spend $25 and get _x_ items for free or 50%-75% off”.

cash-moneyBelow you will find the best and most highly recommended sites for maximizing coupon savings to help stretch your dollar as far as possible. Most included FREE printable coupons on groceries, personal bath products and merchandise for your immediate use on your next shopping trip. A few will give you the latest coupon codes for immediate use.

Check ’em out and see which one’s work best for you…coupons-grocerybags-cart-checkout

Here are a few more ways to become more COUPON SAVVY…

  • Clip Newspaper Coupons – Check the Sunday newspapers for coupon inserts from RedPlum, Smartsource, and PG Brand Savers (Proctor and Gamble). You can get duplicate coupons by purchasing more than one Sunday newspaper. Try asking friends and relatives for coupon inserts that they’re not planning on using.
  • Print Out Internet Coupons – Visit smartsource.com and redplum.com for more money saving coupons. Both sites require you to download free coupon printing software so that grocery clerks will be able to scan them. I love these coupons as I often find they are for $1.00 or more off the regular price of items. Just be sure to check your supermarket’s internet coupon policy. One of my local supermarkets does not accept internet coupons at all. Another local supermarket will accept them, but only up to $1.00.
  • Combine Your Coupons – You can use a combination of newspaper coupons and internet coupons to net big savings at the supermarket. If you time your purchases correctly, you can use these on top of supermarket items already on sale.
  • Study The Sales Circular – Find out what’s on sale and plan your menu around those items. My favorite supermarket’s sales circular saves me some work by making note of corresponding coupons found in newspaper coupon inserts. Another great thing about sales circulars is that many also include additional coupons you can use for more savings.
  • Sign-Up For The Supermarket Savings Program – They go by a variety of names (Super Savers, Price Plus, Advantage Plus, Super Shoppers, etc) but they do the same thing: save you money! When you sign up, you’ll receive a card. Each time you shop, present the card to the cashier and any discounts offered on items you purchased will be taken off. Many savings programs offer free turkeys and hams throughout the year (based on the amount you spend during a certain period of time), mail additional coupons to your home, and even offer discounts for families who purchase lots of baby items.
  • Familiarize Yourself With Your Supermarket’s Savings Policies – Ask the following questions to get the most for your money: Does this store accept competitor’s coupons? Does this store double or triple coupons? Does this store accept internet coupons? What day of the week do sales begin?
  • Stock Up On Items When They Are On Sale – Most supermarkets tend to drop the prices on meat on the “Sell Buy” date. Often times, prices on these meats are significantly reduced because they cannot sell it after this “Sell Buy” date. This is the perfect time to swoop in, scoop up the great deals, and freeze them immediately for later use. This way, you’re able to keep your freezer well stocked.
  • Stockpile Pantry Goods As Well – Save money by purchasing goods BEFORE you need them. When something goes on sale, arm yourself with coupons and buy enough to last 3 months or so. You never want to be forced to pay full price for an item just because you need it now. Plan Ahead
  • Don’t Forget The Drugstores – Great deals can be found on detergents, hygiene products, and paper toiletries at places such as Walgreens, Longs, CVS, and Rite Aid. Check the sales circulars for these stores as well. They often include money saving coupons. Manufacturer’s coupons are generally accepted there as well.
  • Seek Money Saving Solutions Online – Two great places to visit are The Grocery Game and Coupon Mom. Both sites help grocery shoppers keep track of coupons and note when items reach rock bottom prices so you can really save money. The Grocery Game charges a fee for the service, but Coupon Mom does not. Another website to check out is The Grocery Guide. When you enter your zip code, you can choose a supermarket in your area and view the store’s sales. It also tells you if coupons are available and lets you know where to find those coupons.

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Coupons Books for Entertainment & Dining– This one you’ll have to pay for if interested, but has the potential to save you hundreds if you and your family or friends dine out or entertain frequently. There are tons of different editions of this booklet that specialize in individual cities and regions across the United States. Prices vary – Expiration’s vary – Locations vary – Bonus sections vary

For nearly 50 years, Entertainment has been helping people save in tough economic times with the big Entertainment coupon book. Today, more then ever, people realize that the premium 50% off and 2-for-1 coupons found in the book help them save on everyday essentials right in their neighborhood including:

  • Dining
  • Shopping
  • Movie Tickets
  • Groceries
  • Services
  • Travel
  • Attractions
  • Car Care
  • Home Furnishings

Plus, with each book purchase you get online access to hundreds of additional local printable coupons and incredible online shopping discounts not found in the book.

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Here’s another post from this blog about saving money on groceries:

13 Tips For Saving Money On Groceries At The Supermarket

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13 Tips For Saving Money On Groceries At The Supermarket

shopping-listA shopping list is almost a must … and a very useful ‘tool’ to remind yourself what you do as well as don’t need to purchase. However most experts on being frugal, emphasize shopping with a list because it prevents impulse purchases. Impulse purchases wreck havoc on grocery budgets.

More than half of all grocery purchases are unplanned!

No wonder creating and sticking to a pre-made list can bring grocery costs down.

But that’s not the only way to save money at the supermarket. Below you will find several tips for saving money on your next grocery bill. Some of these may be obvious ….. others not as much. All of them can help you save at the supermarket. See how many of these you can benefit from:

#1 – Make a list — and stick to it –

This is the cardinal rule of shopping. The list represents your grocery needs: the staples you’re out of, and the food you need for upcoming meals. When you stray from the list, you’re buying on impulse, and that’s how shopping trips get out of control. Sure, a magazine only costs $5, but if you spend an extra $5 every time you make a trip to the supermarket, you waste a lot of money.

#2 – Compare unit pricing –

The biggest package isn’t always the most cost-effective. Stores know that consumers want to buy in bulk, and so they mix it up. Sometimes the bulk item is cheaper, sometimes it’s more expensive. The only way you can be sure is to take a calculator. Almost all larger grocery stores and supermarkets post unit prices on the shelf tag for most items, which makes comparisons easy when you know what to look for.

#3 – Think twice before getting a basket or cart –

Carts slow you down and make you buy more. Studies have shown the longer you stay in a store, the more you buy. If you’re dashing into the supermarket to pick up milk and bread, don’t impulsively pick up a basket. Baskets induce people to buy more. If you’re limited to what you can carry, you’re more likely to avoid impulse purchases. Only use a basket (or shopping cart) if it’s absolutely necessary.

#4 – Don’t examine things you don’t need –

The more you interact with something, the more likely you are to buy it. Virtually all unplanned purchase come as a result of the shopper seeing, touching, smelling, or tasting something that promises pleasure or fulfillment. Do you know why grocery stores place those displays in the aisles? To intentionally block traffic. They want to force you to stop, if only for a moment. It only takes a few seconds of idly staring at the Chips Ahoy! to convince you to buy them. Stay focused.

#5 – Live on the edge –

Health-conscious shoppers know that the perimeter of the store is where the good stuff is. Stores typically place the healthier, less-processed items on their perimeters, such as baked goods, dairy products, fresh meats, fruits and vegetables. All of these are generally placed along the outside edge of the supermarket, while the processed stuff can be found up and down the aisles. Shopping the edges isn’t just healthier — it’s cheaper too!

#6 – Discard brand loyalties –

Be willing to experiment. You may have a favorite brand of diced tomatoes, for example, but does it really matter? Go with what’s on sale for the lowest unit price. You may find you like the less expensive product just as well. If you try a cheaper brand and are disappointed, it’s okay to return to your regular brand.

#7 – Choose generic –generic-brands

Better yet, try the store brand. Generic and “house-brand” products are generally cheaper than their name-brand equivalents (unless on sale) and are usually of similar quality. The only difference is marketing and fancy packaging. So, if it costs less and tastes the same… should it really matter?… I mean, after all, you’re not eating the packaging. ?

#8 – Use coupons wisely –

Coupons really CAN save you money. But you need to use them wisely. Clip coupons for ONLY the things you need — staple foods and ingredients — not for processed junk food. Learn to use special coupons. Occasionally, local stores will mail out savings coupons like “$10 off a $50 purchase coupon” or “Spend $20 on any grocery items and get ‘x’ items at no or minimum cost”. If you know it’s coming on a regular basis, you can plan your major shopping trips around it.

Saving Money At The Checkout Stand: Are You Coupon Savvy?

#9 – Make one big trip instead of several smaller ones –

Each visit to the grocery store is another potential opportunity to spend needlessly or excessively. By reducing the frequency of your trips, you’re not only avoiding temptation, but you’re also saving money all the way around (meaning your time and fuel costs).bulk-bins

#10 – Buy from the bulk bins –

Some stores offer bulk bins filled with baking ingredients, cereal, spices, nuts, seeds, etc. When you buy in bulk, you get just the amount you want or need, AND you pay less… Much less.

#11 – Always check your receipt! –

Make sure your prices are scanned correctly. Make sure your coupons are scanned correctly. Sale items, especially, have a tendency to be in the computer wrong, and yet few people ever challenge the price at the register. After all… It’s YOUR money. It’s your responsibility as well as your right to have your order rung up WITH sale and coupon items discounted correctly – Ask for it!

#12 – Shop alone! –

Research finds that people tend to buy more when shopping in groups rather than when shopping alone. Men, more so than women, are easily suggestible to the entreaties of children as well as eye-catching displays. Try to shop by yourself if at all possible.

#13 – Shop on a full stomach –

Studies show that folks who shop when they’re hungry tend to buy more food. Thirsty people will stock up on more drinks. This is certainly true for me: If I go to the store for milk on a Sunday morning without eating breakfast, I’m likely to come home with donuts and orange juice and Lucky Charms, too.

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Any of these tips can help a savvy shopper save money at the grocery store or supermarket. And a combination of many of the above (if strictly followed without deviation) may actually slash your grocery budget significantly.

Give it a try and see what works for you.

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Here’s another recent post link from this blog about coupons

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