Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Coupons


Coupons, whether they’re old-school paper, store promotions, online or app-based, are designed to help make you a savvier consumer. From saving cents and dollars to getting two for the price of one, coupons can safeguard your shopping budget and afford a little wiggle room for more. Next time you hit the store, remember to bring the following tips so you can coupon like a pro and save big.

Hunt for coupons

In order to save with coupons, you need coupons, and luckily, there are plenty of sources. Start with your Sunday paper, which is filled with circulars from your most-visited retailers. Then go higher tech: ask Google for help by pairing “coupon” with your shopping destination, advises NerdWallet writer Courtney Jespersen.

Go directly to the source — retailers’ websites — which will often boast downloadable deals and coupons, adds The Balance writer Erin Huffstetler. Manufacturer coupons are also tucked into your favorite magazines, she adds. If you’re loyal to certain stores, i.e. have enrolled in their loyalty programs, you should be receiving targeted coupons and automatic savings on purchases. Websites, such as Coupons.com, is a savings-black hole with coupons ideal for your grocery runs, notes Huffstetler. You just have to select the ones that match your list or your preferred brands and print. The Balance writer Eric Rosenberg is a fan of CouponSherpa.com, which has been in the printable coupon game for quite some time. It offers deals from a range of retailers such as Amazon, Gap, Target and Old Navy.

Look at the packaging of products you already own to see if it includes a coupon, and review your receipts — sometimes a coupon for your next shopping trip is printed at the bottom or perhaps after completing a survey, you’ll earn some savings.

Target the competition

Even stores you don’t shop at can be a source of savings at the retailers you do frequent. Your favorite store might honor competitor’s coupons or match the discounted price, notes Huffstetler. And if your store doesn’t currently double coupons or allow you to stack coupons — using multiple coupons on one item — it might be time to find a retailer that does so that you can start saving more.

“When you have coupons that exceed the value of the items you’re buying, use them at Walmart. They’ll allow you to apply your coupon overage to other items, or will even give it back to you in cash,” according to Huffstetler.

Find the right app

Whether you’re shopping online or at a brick and mortar establishment, there’s an app designed to help you save. You just have to match the best app to your shopping experience. If you’re on grocery detail, check out the benefits the app Ibotta® offers in terms of organization, cost-savings and cash back, suggests Rosenberg.

Coupons are a great way to save, but you do have to do some work to make them work for your shopping lifestyle. Do a bit of coupon research before you start adding things to your cart, both in-person and online, and over time every dollar will add up and help you save.

 

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