Six ways to make couponing easy!
Try these low-effort, big-payoff ways to save at the cash register
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Find coupons in the store
If sorting and collecting isn’t your thing, you can still slash your grocery bill. Look for “blinkies,” those little coupon dispensers attached to store shelves. “Peelies” are coupons that are stuck to the product. “Catalinas” are coupons printed at the register or on the back your receipt.
Ask for a rain check
When an item is on sale but isn’t on the shelf, don’t give up. Stop at the customer service desk to ask for a rain check. You’ll get the sale price next time you shop.
Buy less, save more.
When you do use a coupon, buy the smallest size allowable. Using a $1-off coupon on a $2 box of rice is a bigger discount than using it for a $4 box of rice. If there’s a sample size, see if you can apply the coupon to that―you could end up getting the item free!
Google for what you need.
When you can’t be bothered clipping coupons you might never use, try this shortcut. Type the name of the product or store and “printable coupon” into Google. You’ll find sites that enable you to download and print coupons instantly
Use paperless coupons.
Check shortcuts.com to see if your supermarket offers e-coupons, which you can download right to the store’s discount card. When you use your card at checkout, the coupon’s value is automatically deducted from your total
Let someone else do the work.
Sign up for a service that sends you exactly what you need, from discounts on frozen entrees to organic foods, all for a small handling fee (generally 10 to 20 cents per coupon, depending on its value). Try TheCouponClippers.com or TheCouponMaster.com.
Organize Your Coupons and Save
Hunt down bargains
Keep an eye out for stacks of coupon brochures or flyers in odd places around your grocery store―near the pharmacy, in the meat department or on tear pads in front of displays. Check the free blood-pressure machines for health-related coupons. These offers often go untouched because people don't realize they're there―but they can mean great savings for you. In addition, convenience stores frequently give out high-value coupons that you can use at the grocery store. And don't forget to mine the Internet for deals: Register at manufacturers' Web sites for samples or coupons for brands you use regularly
Create a coupon binder
Purchase a notebook and fill it with clear plastic sheets made for holding baseball cards or photos. Create sections in the binder that correspond to your supermarket aisles, including produce, dairy and meat. Sort your coupons and file them by expiration date, with the earliest in front so you don't miss deals. Make a separate section for rain checks and coupons that don't expire. Designate a sheet or two for coupons from clothing shops or drugstores.
Organize your shopping list
Before setting out, make a shopping list and check your binder for matching coupons. Star items on the list to remind you of discounts. As you place items in your cart, stick the coupons in an envelope taped to the front of your binder so they're easy to access at checkout
Plan your shopping
Most new store ads come out on Wednesdays, so schedule shopping trips for midweek―the stores may also be less crowded. Try to use coupons when the item is already on sale, so you get a discount from both the store and the manufacturer.
Review your file.
Pick a date (say, the first Sunday of the month) to go through your binder and remove expired coupons. Instead of tossing manufacturer's coupons, give them to overseas military families, who can use them for up to six months after expiration. Donate through the Overseas Coupon Program.
Buy a coupon holder. Carry your coupons to the store in a 5" x 7" photo album. Use sticky tabs on the page edges to organize coupons by food category. Or, if you want to combine your price book and organizer into one, buy clear plastic photo sleeves to fit into your binder.
Clip coupons. But cut out only the ones you'll really use―sorting through too many can be cumbersome, and you may overlook one that's especially valuable. Regularly weed out coupons that have expired.
Use them wisely. It might be tempting to apply a coupon to a full-priced product, but if you wait until it's on sale, your total savings will be much greater, and the resulting cost will be comparable to the price of the generic-brand item.