Cashing in with Coupons
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Saving 50 cents on toothpaste, 35 cents on canned tomatoes, or 75 cents on a cake mix may not seem like the road to riches. But using a few strategies successfully can optimize the time and effort to begin a couponing system.
Just do the math — if you consistently save $25 a week on grocery and household purchases, that is $100 a month, $1,200 a year. That savings could be used to pay down debt, add to an emergency fund, or save for a special purchase.
Join the growing rank of consumers who redeemed 3.3 billion coupons in 2009. Understanding a few guidelines will help you be a winner at the check-out line.
- Understand and follow restrictions on the coupons, so that you will buy the required number of items to match the coupons you have.
- One coupon per item means that you can’t use a single $1 off coupon on three different boxes of cereal (for example). You would need three separate $1 off coupons for three boxes of cereal.
- Conversely, you can’t use two $1 off coupons for a single box of cereal. You would need to buy two boxes of cereal to use both $1 off coupons.
- Stores will accept only originals of a coupon, not copies.
- Coupons can generally be used on an item even when it is on sale. So, if your favorite cereal is usually $3.25 per box, and you find it on sale for $2.75, adding a $1 off coupon makes your net cost $1.75, a nearly 50% savings.
- Become familiar with your store’s coupon policy, and use it to your advantage. If you can find the right coupons and a coupon-friendly store policy, you may get an “extreme couponing” result.
- Let’s say you buy that $3.25 box of cereal on sale for $2.75 at a store that will double your $1 off coupon, PLUS let you use the 50 cents off store issued coupon you got the last time you checked out at that store (called a “catalina” and issued with your sales receipt at the end of your transaction). Your net cost for that box of cereal would be an amazing 25 cents!.