We know what you're thinking: we've all been stuck in the grocery line behind someone with hundreds of coupons slowing everyone down, but you don't need to be that person to save some cash.
If you're looking to slim down your grocery bill, coupons are a convenient and easy way to do it. But you need to learn the ropes to make these little pieces of paper really pay.
Here's how to do it:
First things first: invest in a binder or a portfolio to sort your coupons. This is a hobby that involves lots of tiny slips of paper, and you don't want to lose track of any of them. Dedicated couponers can save as much as 90% on their groceries, but if you're not careful you can wind up wasting money.
These days there are lots of online sites for collecting coupons, but the best source is still your local newspaper or flyers. Ask your friends and family for their coupons and ads, or see if a local business will give you the weekend papers on Monday, when they would normally be thrown away.
You need to have extra copies of your coupons, because you'll save the most by buying in bulk when prices drop. Use price comparing websites or study your grocery store so you'll know whether a sale price is a good deal or not. If you spend a coupon on a full priced item, you're probably wasting your money.
Finally, read your coupons carefully for some important information like expiry dates. You also want to sort your coupons. Which ones are a good deal right now- Buy One Get One - compared to later - Save On Your Next Order.
Now you're ready to spend your coupons, but there are a few things to keep in mind at the grocery store.
Hopefully you've picked out the cheapest grocery store in your area, to make the most of your savings.
Plan your shopping trip so you can buy multiples of sale-priced items and use one (or more) coupons on each one. You should be ready to settle for less popular brands, because that's where the best savings are - but don't buy something you won't use, that's just wasteful.
Couponers have a reputation for being confrontational with store employees, but there's no need to be. Check if there's a cash specifically for couponers, or ask for a cashier who doesn't mind taking coupons.
Make sure to check the store's rules for coupons, because managers will challenge you if you're using a lot of them. Be polite but firm, and know what's allowed.
If you're lucky you may get an overage on your purchase, savings so large that the store owes you money. Usually this can only be used towards credit on other items. If you're overwhelmed by your coupons, use a digital organizer or app to keep track of them.
Happy hunting! Remember to share these tips with someone you know!