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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Buying Coupons

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I know some of you out there have been wondering... "why in the world would you pay for coupons?"

Realistically, if you think about it, you are already paying for coupons. If you get the Sunday paper for inserts, you are essentially paying for coupons. If you print coupons from home, you are paying for paper and ink. If you are a part of a coupon trade board, you are paying for the stamp and envelope required each time you mail out a trade. See, you are paying for coupons already.

Ordering coupons is just another way to obtain them. However, in this case, you get to be selective about the specific coupon you want and the quantity you need. Even better is that the cost of the coupon is usually only 10% of its face value. Typically, a $1.00 off coupon is priced around $0.10. If I need 5 of one particular coupon, I certainly don't want to buy 5 newspapers (almost $10).

This brings up another question... "why in the world do you need that many coupons?" It comes back to the whole stockpiling concept. The more coupons you have, the more times you can work a deal. For example, this week at Publix I will be able to get 4 bottles of V8 Fusion (my daughter's favorite) for the same price of just 1 bottle at full retail. We go through a lot of this stuff so it is certainly an item that I want to stock up on. Why in the world would I pay full price when I can get it 75% off? From experience, I know that sales cycle around about every 6-12 weeks. I want to buy enough juice now to last me until it is on sale again so that I don't ever get stuck paying full price.

Here's how the juice deal breaks down:

V8 Fusion BOGO @ $3.99 (makes it $1.99 each)
-$0.50 Q from 3/14 SS (Publix will double)
*Total is $0.99.

Another reason to consider buying coupons is because different areas of the country get different value coupons. In the above case of the V8 Fusion juice, my paper had a $0.75 off coupon in the Sunday paper. Well, a $0.75 coupon will not double since Publix only matches coupons $0.50 or less. My coupon gal, Cindy, gets her inserts from Cincinnati and they received a $0.50 coupon which WILL double to $1.00. Bingo!

When ordering coupons you want to take into consideration any fees that they charge, minimum order requirements, shipping costs and turn around time. When you order, you want to allow enough time for them to arrive before the sale ends or before a coupon expires.

My favorite coupon clipping service is The Q Hunter. This site is easy to navigate, easy to check out, and she ships FAST! She only has a $1.00 minimum compared to other sites at $3.00. Also, most orders ship for a measly $0.44 (cost of a stamp) or FREE with a purchase of $5. New customers can get 20% off their order by using the code 20offFirst at checkout. Valid once per customer. When I order from this site, I typically have the coupons in my mailbox in 2 days. Try it out and let me know what you think.

Disclaimer: When ordering coupons you are paying for the time, effort and costs associated with locating the coupons you need rather than the coupon itself. You will see this listed in the prices as a LAF (Location & Acquisition Fee).



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