Everyday expenses are inflating at a higher rate, and budgeting can be more complicated when you already have too much on your plate. One way to actively curb your expenses is to use coupons that help you snag deals you wouldn’t otherwise find. Many big and small businesses offer several different types of coupons on products that you can benefit from. This article will help you learn how to coupon like a pro.
People who have a limited budget are already stretching themselves far too thin to make ends meet. Things have gotten worse especially after Covid-19: the economy has been less stable and job insecurity has increased. The main problem is understanding the how to’s of couponing because many don’t realize its full potential. Almost all of us have utilized one or two coupons at some point in time, but the fact is that we can avail much greater benefits via them if we are dedicated and smart about using them.
Types of Coupons:
Some stores offer their coupons to attract customers by offering deals and discounts. Such coupons are specific to that store, and sometimes even to that particular branch. This means you cannot use them in other stores, or even in other branches of the same store. Such a coupon is very easy to differentiate from others because it usually has the name of the store mentioned on it. The text written on it might be something along the lines of “only good at (store name)”. Additionally, there might be a mention of the branch location, but this is not necessary. The coupon issued by the store is either redeemable on a particular item, or on a category of items (as mentioned on the coupon by name or picture).
Second, to store coupons, we have manufacturer coupons that are issued directly by the manufacturer of a product. Amongst some other ways of distributing them, these coupons are inserted in certain commercial products or attached with the newspapers to make them available to the masses. Such coupons are only valid for a certain period from their date of issuance, after which they expire.
Usually the words “manufacturer’s coupon’” are written on them.
With digital advancement, coupons are now also made available online. Coupons that you find or receive online are referred to as “printables” because you can easily print them to get a physical copy. Although, the electronic copy of these coupons works equally well. All you have to do is take your phone or any other digital device (such as a tablet), to show the digital version of your coupon at the retail outlet.
Tips on how to use coupons actively:
Moving on, let’s talk about how you can actively collect and utilize coupons to save money. For whatever reason you are doing this, you just need to be aware of store/coupon policies regarding usage to understand how to coupon like a pro. If you derail from the policy,
your entire effort might be useless.
Here are some tips to utilize coupons effectively.
- Where to get them: There are different places to get started on collecting coupons for your use. The easiest and most convenient one is through the local paper that often lists coupons from manufacturers. Next, you can avail of clipping services. They charge you a small fine and send coupons to your house via mail.
- Stacking coupons: Occasionally there is a chance to stack coupons or use multiple coupons on one purchase which decreases the price further. It often happens when you have a manufacturer’s coupon and a store coupon that can be used simultaneously. Make sure you keep these little things in mind. Being smart and knowing which coupons to use where will help you get maximum benefit.
- Overages: If you have used Amazon vouchers, you might be aware of this. Often, stores allow you to redeem a coupon that is valued more than the product you are currently using it for. This is now allowed in stores as big as Walmart and CVS. You can simply use the coupon twice if you have any amount left in it after the first use.
- Beware of counterfeit: There may seem to be some options out that might contain fraudulent activities and you need to make sure you stay clear of that kind of stuff. Here is where you can check the latest updated legitimate coupons available out there. It is a good way to check yourself while you are shopping reasonably.
- Raincheck: Sometimes stores run out of sale items that coupons are issued for. In that case, they write you a raincheck. Use your coupon on top of the raincheck to make sure you are utilizing it to the max. It raises your total discount to be subtracted from the purchase.
These were some easy and basic tips on how to get started. You would want to start small and gradually get better to not overwhelm yourself, because it can be a bit too much to track. Other common tips are to stay organized with your coupons, plan them out so that you remember which ones you own and where to utilize them.
Hope this was close to a small guide on how to coupon like a pro. If you ever come across coupons for free things you might not need, consider donating so that someone in need can take advantage of it. Just like you can benefit from couponing, someone else could benefit from your generosity regarding something you don’t need for yourself. Be smart and realistic with your planning and happy couponing!