Clipping Coupons to Cut Costs

by Frugal Brian


Everyone knows that you can save money by clipping coupons.  However, most people hear amazing stories where experts in couponology purchase $500 worth of groceries for $5 and think that is the norm.  It is most decidedly not the rule rather it is the exception.  That does not mean that you cannot save a great deal of money by clipping coupons, but unless you want to end up with a lot of products that you do not normally buy, need, want, or use, you will need a bit of a different approach than the famous examples offer.

Making the Coupon Fit

Most people that start out clipping coupons see the savings that they can get on certain products and then use the coupon to buy said product.  If you approach couponing in this fashion, you will likely end up spending more, not less.  You need to make a list of the products you need, want, and will use before looking at the coupons.  When you have your list made out, then look for coupons for those products.  You can switch brands and stores to get the savings, but don’t let coupons be an advertising medium to get you to buy something you normally wouldn’t.  The coupons need to fit your lifestyle and buying habits in order to be valuable.  Make the coupons fit your lifestyle, not your lifestyle fit the coupons.

Combination Savings are the Best

A great way to find better savings is to clip coupons for items you normally buy and then place them in a categorized fashion so you can find them when you need them.  Try to keep in mind that many coupons will expire in two weeks to one month, so you may have to clean out your container regularly to keep up-to-date coupons in the mix.  Next, watch the newspaper for advertisements and savings for items in the store.  Special sales combined with coupon savings equate to the highest amount saved possible. 

For example, you find a coupon for $0.75 off widget A, (an item you would normally buy), and then you see that starting tomorrow there is a special at your local market on widget A, it is 50% off its normal price of $2.50.  You go to the market and use the coupon with the in store special and you get the $2.50 item for $0.50.  ($2.50 ÷ 2= $1.25—$1.25-$0.75= $0.50)  Total savings of $2.00 or 80% savings.

Brand Loyalty only Goes so Far

If you are like most people, then you will have a few products to which you are brand loyal.  This means that you would rather spend more money for a specific brand of product over the competition at a lower price.  If there is a product to which you are not totally brand loyal, you might consider using a coupon to try a competitor’s brand to see if you can live with it.  This way, you are willing to try another product to see if you and your family will be satisfied with it and you can get the trial for a reduced cost.

In some cases, you may also find that products to which you are brand loyal are simply much too expensive.  If you find that you can live with another brand and you can save at least 30% on the product, then a good idea is to switch brands.  In a tight economy brand loyalty only goes so far.  Sometimes, you have to look at the bottom line first, and comfort and ‘wants’ second.

Keeping Coupons Handy

We’re not talking about making your purse the coupon storage facility of choice, but the truth of the matter is this:  The coupon you have with you at the store is better than the one you left at home.  For certain items, specifically items that you purchase on a regular weekly basis, it is a good idea to keep them in your wallet or purse so you know you will have it when you need it.  How many times have you been on your way home and received a call on your cell asking you to stop by the store to pick something up.  Having a coupon in your wallet for such an occasion is a great way to turn last minute necessities into an opportunity for savings.

Coupons Saving Online

With retailers turning to the internet, it is amazing the ease of coupons that can be applied when shopping online.  All these coupons can be used easily without the need to cut and store the coupons somewhere. You simply put the coupon code during checkout and you are set.  Here are some retailers that offer coupons

Expedia – Expedia offers some great deals to destinations throughout the world. Use any available expedia coupon for discounted rates on travel.

Macys – Macys offers frequent promotions online. Apply their Macys promotional code for additional savings.

Overstock – The big competitor to Amazon offers big discounts and they always have a coupon code available. Use an overstock coupon to get discounted rates on your purchases.

Typically, ladies are the ones who tend to clip the coupons and do the shopping, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t stick a couple of coupons in their hubbies wallets for just such an occasion as listed above.

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