Everyone loves to save money when they buy food or groceries. Click here to find out more on how to coupon for food and save money.
There is currently $470 Billion in coupon savings out there just waiting to be used.
However, it's reported that Americans are only tapping into $3.6 Billion of that savings.
If you're trying to cut back on your spending, the grocery store is one of the first places to start.
If you're ready to unlock the savings of couponing, read our guide on how to coupon for food, personal care products and so much more!
1. Use Coupons on Already Discounted Items for Double the Savings
This trick is simple. If something is already discounted, applying a coupon will save you more money. Think of this as one of the Commandments of couponing tips.
Sure, a dollar off on a full priced item is an OK discount. But if you wait until a $5.99 item is on sale for $3, using your coupon you'll pay $2 instead of $4.99.
2. Don't Trust Every Sale, Know The Product's Value
You might have noticed that grocery stores can be tricky when it comes to how they price items and run "sales."
For starters, be wary of seasonal sales. A lot of the time stores will keep seasonal products at a higher price point throughout the year, so when the season comes and they're on sale, you feel like you're getting a deal.
Also, know that not every sale is necessarily a good sale. As we said above, a dollar off isn't really anything to write home about. It's better to wait until you can get 50 percent or more off an item.
This all comes down to knowing the true value of a product. Couponers acquire this knowledge over time, as they consistently browse the shelves at their local stores. For items you buy regularly, you'll want to familiarize yourself with the regular price, the high price, and the sale price.
The regular price is the price of the item costs on a regular basis. The high price is the maximum range you've seen the item priced at. The sale price is the price you want to pay for the item.
3. Don't Commit to One Brand
If you really want to maximize savings, you've got to free yourself from brand loyalty. Couponers prioritize what will be the best deal, over which brands they prefer.
Start changing the way you think when it comes to brand loyalty. Getting to choose the brand you like regarding what it costs is truly a luxury. If you're trying to save money, you have to accept that you can't really afford this luxury.
Remember it's all about how much you spend, not how fancy or cool an item is.
4. All Coupons Are Not Created Equal
As is true for product sales not always being "worth it," not all coupons are necessarily "good" either. As a rule of thumb, if a coupon is only offering "cents" in savings, toss it. Unless the item is something that only costs pennies, to begin with (like Top Ramen). Even if an item goes on sale, how far are you really going to get with saving 50 cents?
5. Only Buy What You Need
Just buying something because it's on sale isn't really getting a deal, because you're spending money on something you wouldn't normally buy. It's also a huge waste of time when it comes to clipping and searching online. It's also not cost-effective to print out coupons you won't actually use.
Take stock of your home, and what the "essential" items are that you always need. Formulate your couponing strategy around that. Don't feel like you "have" to use a coupon just because it's there.
This also holds true for coupons that are about to expire. If you've been holding out for an item to go on sale, and it hasn't. Don't just use the coupon, there will likely be another.
This will help you formulate your list. A major part of couponing is planning and knowing what you need before you even get to the store. Without a plan, you become at risk of falling for pretty displays and labeling. Get in and get out.
6. Overages and How to Coupon for Food
The real coupon magic happens when there are overages. Overages happen when the amount of the coupon exceeds the price of items. For example, if you have a coupon for $1 off one can of beans, and the beans, which are normally $1.75 are on sale for 75 cents, you will have 25 cent overage.
Overages can be used towards your total bill, resulting in additional savings. Most of the time, overages don't happen by chance, they come with the strategy.
A lot of couponers can achieve these kinds of discounts only at stores that allow you to use both a store and a manufactuerer coupon at the same time. Although, it can happen with one coupon alone.
7. Know the Coupon and Store Policies
Understanding each store's coupon policies, and reading the fine print of the coupon is key to maximizing savings.
It's important to know the rules of the number of the same coupon you can use. If a store or manufacturer doesn't have a policy for this, you can make a point to calculate how many coupons you can use for a certain product to create an overage.
Another key policy to know is price matching. This is when a store will match the price of an item at another store. You can manipulate savings this way. For example, if an item is priced at $5 at a store you have a $2 off coupon for. But the item is on sale at another store for $3, you can price match that item to get it for free.
Know if your store accepts competitor coupons. Like price matching, it means that a store will honor a coupon from one of their competitors. But be sure to reach out for a clearly defined list of who their competitors are.
The last core policy to know is the store's rain check policy. Say you've strategized that you 20 of an item on sale to produce and overage. You get to the store, and there are only 15 items in stock.
When this happens a store can present you with a rain check, in which they will still honor the sale price once the item is in stock. Not every retailer will offer this, so check first.
So, You're Ready to Start Couponing?
This guide is a great first step for how to coupon for food and other groceries. By just applying these simple steps, you'll be amazed by the amount of savings you earn!
For more tips on how to live your best life, browse through our blog!