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Old 01-19-2011, 11:53 PM
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Shopping List “Is it really worth it to buy things with coupons?”

“Is it really worth it to buy things with coupons?”

I get that question quite often from friends, family members, and even complete strangers in the stores.

My answer usually astonishes them because I tell them "yes and no." I think they were looking for me to say unequivocally... YES!

If you read through my hints and tips article you will see that I mentioned “comparing prices”. Some times using a coupon does not make the item cheaper than the store brand or generic brand. So you should be observant of that.

BUT…

There is a method to using coupons effectively.

Here are a few more tips.

1. Know your store’s coupon policy.

Does your store double coupons? If so, to what amount and are there any limits on how many of the same coupon/or like item you can purchase in one order?

Example: Let’s say the Canned Dole Pineapple is $1.50 and your store will double that .50 off coupon. You just reduced your cost to .50 for that item and it does indeed end up costing less than the generic brand for which you don’t have a coupon for.

Ask the stores if they double coupons if you don’t know if they do or not. Some don't but many stores do. Remember though, just because a store doubles coupons doesn't mean you're going to get the best deal with your coupon there. We'll get to that in a minute.

2. Watch your sales and DON’T stick to just one store for all your needs.

Being “store loyal” can be a detriment to your wallet.

Watch the store sale ads and put your coupons to double work by using that coupon on the sale item to make it even lower in price. Once you get to shopping around, you’ll notice that what may be $2.49 at Walmart may actually be $1.99 at your regular grocery store and if you have a double coupon store, your cost can be even lower. And that's what I allured to in #1... Know your prices. Keep a price book if necessary on the items you buy frequently. BUT don’t rush out to use those coupons immediately.

SEE #3 below.

3. Hold ‘Em.

Just because you have it doesn’t mean you have to use it immediately.

Hold on to those coupons because the stores know in advance what coupons are coming out in the Sunday inserts and they put those items on sale. That sale price is not the lowest sale price that will be on that item before those coupons expire. Usually the week that the coupon expires is when that item will go on sale for it’s lowest price. (Or at least that has been my experience over the years.)

4. Buying in multiples.

When you find a good deal and you have coupons for the items, buy more than one (up to the store’s limit if there is one). This is commonly called stockpiling.

You can get extras of coupons by asking friends and family to save the coupon inserts for you, order them online for a small shipping and handling charge from places like The Coupon Clippers, Coupons & Things By Dede, and The Coupon Master. Of course, if you're a daring individual - scope out the paper recycling bins for extra inserts.... just be sure to ask someone before you do as many areas are not allowing this to be done now.

By buying multiples of items, I am:
  1. Less likely to run out before the next sale which means I don’t have to pay full price.
  2. Have a readily available stock so I’m not having to make special trips to the stores for an item.
  3. I have things on hand to make quick baskets as gifts for someone or be able to donate to someone who may either be sick, out of work, or house burned, etc.
5. Get acquainted.

Get to know your store’s policy, upcoming sale ads, Good Deal Alerts (GDA), and much more by frequently reading online forums that cater to people who wish to save money with coupons, sales, etc.

6. Make a List.

Now that you have the coupons in hand and the sale flyers, go through each one and make a list of the “best deals” you can use then match them accordingly to coupons while keeping in mind #3 above.

7. Don’t be brand loyal.

We all probably have our favorites when it comes to an item. My husband prefers Heinz ketchup but we rarely get coupons for that but he will compromise with me if I have a coupon for another brand of ketchup that makes it cost less than his favorite brand. By being “brand flexible” I have more leeway to save with the coupons than if I was to stick to one brand.

So “Is it really worth it to buy things with coupons?”

Yes and no.

Yes you can save a lot of money by using coupons BUT at the same time, if you're buying something just because you have a coupon or don't need the item.. then no that's not really saving you money. If you are diligent and observant, you can get your main toiletry items free after coupons. Items such as toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, shampoo, razors, etc. can usually be gotten for free or for pennies. Stock up when you find those time deals ... even if it's enough to get you through until the next sale cycle on those things comes back around. I don't know about you but I think the health & beauty items alone really rack up a grocery bill in a hurry if you're not using coupons for them.



Zaycon foods sells boxes of chicken, fish, kielbasa, hot dogs, bacon, fruit and more (sales at certain time of year for your area. - Sign up is free to see when the sales are!). Signature and posts may contain affiliate links.
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Old 01-20-2011, 12:39 AM
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Great article. One of the things that I am learning quickly is that just because I have a coupon for an item on sale, I don't have to use it right now. As you stated the price I saw today, may not be the cheapest sale price I'm going to see before that coupon expires.
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Old 01-20-2011, 04:22 AM
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Great article. One thing I have noticed to is that sometimes when a lower coupon comes out for the same thing as a higer value coupon came out... oh say... 1 month ago or so, then the store might put something on sale and mention the lower value coupon in their flyer, knowing that usually people get coupons, use the ones they see they can use that week and then end up throwing the others away. So they know most people do not still have the higher value coupons. BUT.... I have found that I can then take those higher value coupons to the store and end up getting the item for free or in the case of drug stores, end up making money on the item through coupons they give me at the ends of my reciepts to spend in their store on another transaction. So yes, it does pay to keep your coupons even on items you don't normally buy or brand you wouldn't normally pruchase because it May go on sale before the coupon expiration date, at a price you can't say no to.. and who knows, you may try the product and like it... or end up getting a more expensive brand of the same product that you may never have purchased before because of the price!!!!
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Old 01-20-2011, 04:34 AM
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Another great write-up... Thanks as always
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Old 01-20-2011, 06:57 AM
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Great post! I ditto the statement about "hold 'em". It only took me a few times to hold on to the coupons right before the expiration date. I get better deals that way.
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Old 01-20-2011, 08:44 AM
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thnx, i really never paid attention to waiting till the last minute for a deal but lately now that i think of it, it does make sense as i missed one deal and thought the coupon would not get used but sure enough something equal or better came along. thnx for pointing that out, i never like admitting that i have multiple high value coups but didn't get to use them. lol
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Old 01-20-2011, 08:54 AM
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Thanks foggy
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Old 01-20-2011, 08:55 AM
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thanks!

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Old 01-20-2011, 10:47 AM
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Thanks, I was wondering about tip no. 3 and I will watch for those deals. Great article!
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Old 01-20-2011, 11:05 AM
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Great tips, thank you!!!
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