Coupon clipping has evolved over the years from a simple way to save a dollar or two on your groceries to a complex industry. For the dedicated coupon clipper, the strategies developed to maximize savings have become many and varied. They require research and dedication as much as that required by full-time career jobs. Since most clerks are poorly trained on coupon policies, look up online and print out copies of each store’s coupon policies and carry them with you as a quick reference to prove a strategy is legal. Always be polite when showing your proof if a strategy is questioned. People can be easily defensive if they think you are too pushy or self-righteous, Remember, the store manager can always say no, even if he is wrong but will usually even bend the rules to help keep a pleasant customer happy.
While it is possible to save a great deal by finding a strategy that works for you, this is countered by manufacturers who try to offer incentives without being taken advantage of. As example of this are coupons with specific stipulations. Some may not be combined with other coupons, others may be limited to a specific region or store. The following are a few general tips on coupon strategy. You will have to investigate where and if they can be used in your location.
The simplest place to begin is the local paper. You should also make sure to pick up papers from any other place you may be traveling through. Since coupons vary from region to region, this can help you acquire more useful deals. Also pick up extra copies of papers that have a number of coupons of items you regularly buy. Even if limited to one per customer, you can be a customer several times a day or at separate branches of a chain store.
Again, you have to read the details on the coupons you use. It is great if you can combine a “buy one, get one free” coupon with a “2 for 1″ sale. This gets you both units of the product for free. This is one form of “stacking” coupons. You can sometimes find stores or coupons that can be combined with others, for example a store coupon and a manufacturer’s coupon may be used together on a sale item for triple savings. Stores that accept competitor’s coupons are also great places to stack so long as their coupon policy does not specifically forbid this practice. Remember, if they do not specify you can’t do something, that is an implication that you can.
For the adventurous person who likes to try new things, look for coupons that do not specify the size of the product. By then matching that to a small or trial size of the product you can get something new to try for little money if not completely free. This idea also works well at the clearance section. Since stores are trying to get rid of these items quickly, there is nothing wrong about using a coupon to make the sale even more desirable.
Look for coupons online that can be stacked and shop online. Some retailers such as Dell and others can use stackable online coupons to help you save. Visit sites like couponloco or webcouponcodes to find online coupons.
Looking for coupons can be considered something of a treasure hunt. Coupons can be found in many unusual places. You can find them on store receipts, event tickets, with free samples, and even the phone book. You can even find coupon sites online where you can print out coupons with a printer or load them directly to a store’s rewards card. The biggest drawback to couponing is the potential to become too obsessed. But so long as you don’t lose sight of the primary reason for coupon clipping, saving a few dollars, you should find it a stimulating and rewarding practice.