Welcome FUSION readers!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Casual vs. Professional Couponing

I'll admit, I was a casual couponer for a long time. I would clip a few coupons here and there and use them on whim. I would clip the coupons for the *new* products that the manufacturers were trying to advertise and promote and try them right away. I tried to get the Sunday paper every week but if I missed a week it was no big deal. When I did buy the paper, I only bought one. If I happened to use a coupon when an item was already on sale it was completely random. My goal was to save at least 10% off my grocery bill which was the equivalent of tax. I thought I was saving my family money by using coupons.

Oh, I had no idea.

I now consider myself a professional couponer; A coupon queen, if you will. I am intentional about using coupons and always go to the store with a plan. Each week, it is a necessity rather than a convenience that I purchase the Sunday paper and I purchase more than one.

Here's how you can maximize the value of coupons to get the deepest discounts:
  • Use coupons when an item is already on sale. This is going to require some advanced planning on your part by looking over the weekly sales ads.
  • Shop stores that double your coupons. In my area, Publix and Kroger double coupons $0.50 and under on a daily basis.
  • Stack coupons if your store allows it. At Kroger, for example, I can use 1 manufacturer coupon + 1 ecoupon on the same item. At Publix and Walgreens I can use 1 manufacturer coupon + 1 store coupon on the same item.
  • Build a coupon stockpile buy purchasing multiple newspapers or even ordering coupons. Why? The more coupons you have, the more times you can work a deal.
  • Build your grocery stockpile. By using the above recommendations, you may find that you can now purchase 3 of an item for what you would have previously paid full price for.
While using coupons can save you money, I wasn't using my coupons to their full potential. I've seen my savings go from a measly 10% to a consistent 75% each week! I want to encourage you to be intentional about your coupon usage as well. It's very rewarding to see a drastic drop in your grocery budget.

Be honest, are you a casual or a professional couponer? In what ways do you maximize your coupons to get the most value?



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