Using coupons offers an opportunity for huge saving on food that you should take advantage of.
According to Wikipedia.com, a coupon is “A ticket or document that can be exchanged for a financial discount or rebate when purchasing a product. Coupons first saw widespread use in the United States in 1909 when Post conceived the idea to help sell their breakfast cereals”. So the concept is nothing new.
When I was in my early teens, I remember my mother clipping coupons from the Sunday paper; she would organize them in a small purse that she kept just for the purpose. She would wait for double or triple coupon deals to be advertised, and then she would go shopping.
I remember one time she managed to get over $260 worth of stuff for less than $10 – I was impressed.
I’ve used coupons to save money and stock up on survival supplies and food for several years and the saving can really add up fast. I’ve used coupons to save when buying everything from canned foods, tissue paper and toothpaste to dog food.
Now with the age of the internet, there is no need to clip coupons from the Sunday paper (but you still can). Now you can easily find discounts for virtually any product by simply going online and printing them off with your home printer – two of my favorite places for this is Coupons.com and MyPoints.com.
No, using coupons doesn’t emit the typical perceived image of a survivalist, but it sure makes a lot of sense from a financial stand point.
I think the main reason a lot of people avoid using coupons is that they are afraid of looking poor (even if they are). This is nonsense, and really, who gives a rat’s behind what the person waiting in line behind you thinks. I don’t. If they don’t like it they’re free to move over to the next checkout lane.
Stop worrying about what other people think – trust me your life will be better when you do.
Before you can start using coupons to save on your survival supplies, you’ll obviously need coupons. Coupons are all over the place you just have to know where to look.
The bulk of mine are printed off from the web or clipped from the Sunday newspaper. I’ve worked out a deal with a local store owner, where I get the papers they don’t sell for free. I often get ten or more all loaded with coupon inserts.
The vendor only has to send the header of the papers that didn’t sell to the publisher to get credit for unsold papers because the newspaper doesn’t want the old papers back and could not care less what the vendor does with them.
If you don’t want to buy the paper and getting a local vendor to give you the leftover papers isn’t an option, you can often get the paper and the coupons for free by asking friends, neighbors and relatives who buy the paper to pass it on to you when they are done reading it.
It’s common knowledge among couponers that some of the best coupons are found in print magazines, coupon mailers, food packaging inserts, and grocery store receipts.
Once start clipping and using coupons you’ll need to a way to stay organized. You’ll need to be able to find what you’re looking, when you need it, and to know what you have so you can avoid letting your coupons expire without using them.
I use a recipe box with dividers and sort by date and coupon type. For example; canned foods, deserts, over the counter meds, staples such as beans, rice, and oats, dog food, kitchen supplies such as dish soap, bath supplies, such as soap and toothpaste etc.
Working out a system to stay organized isn’t difficult, but it will go a long way toward maximizing savings and lessening your frustration. You can buy ready-made coupon organizers but I prefer my box because it was free. I go through my coupons once a month and weed out coupons that have expired or that I no longer want to use.
When using coupons you’ll be tempted to buy stuff that you really don’t need or never intended to buy, just because you have a coupon for it. Don’t do it. Unless of course, you can get it free. If you start buying stuff you don’t need just because you have a coupon for it, you’ll end up losing money.
Be sure to check prices before you buy – keep in mind that even with coupons, some brand named products can cost more than generics with coupons. Never buy a more expensive product because it has a brand name on it, many of these are from the same companies as their generic counterparts.
Watch for sells and stock up on items that you use that are on sale, especially when you have coupons for those items. Remember; some stores offer “Double Coupon Sales” or even “Triple Coupon Sales” that actually doubles the value of the coupons you have, such offers can lead to huge savings on the items you need.
And don’t overlook rebates and refund opportunities that are sometimes offered by-product manufactures – most manufacturers require you buy the product then mail in the cash register receipt along with the UPC barcode from the product. Keep these organized and send for the rebate or refund asap so you don’t forget and possibly let the offer expiration date pass.