As you all know, we’re big on saving money and being fiscally responsible here at Ring Around Life. We are super excited to have guest blogger, Jessie Burris Alonzo contributing to our blog periodically! You may know Jessie better as Moola Saving Mom – Jessie is a couponing guru and has many great ways to help you save money and learn how to shop smarter! You’ll find more info on Jessie at the bottom of this post. Make sure you keep an eye out for her here! Welcome, Jessie!!
Most people put some thought and research into a $400 purchase. They scout out the stores that offer the item they are looking for and they do some research. They look for the right price. Can they get some rewards for buying it? Is there a rebate? Something extra I can get if I buy this? Is there a coupon or a coupon code?
Yet most people walk into their grocery store week after week and pay $100 or $200 or more EVERY WEEK for groceries without putting any thought or research into it. They just wander the aisles and put things inside their cart and wonder how they ended up with $157.93 worth of items in their cart!
Some people do a little bit of work; clip one or two coupons and save a few dollars on their bill. Currently, more and more people are practicing strategic couponing. And that is the way to save the most money and to be more financially responsible for your family.
What is strategic couponing?
It is very simple: strategically use your coupons in the way and at the time that you will save the most money. In all simplicity: Combine your manufacturer coupon with a store sale and/or promotion to spend the least amount of money while getting enough of the product to last until the next time it goes on sale and you have a coupon. This eliminates the need for paying full retail price for products you eat or use in your home.
Why should I coupon strategically?
Here is an example of “regular” coupon usage:
Reynolds Foil regular priced $3.99
$1 manufacturer coupon from Sunday Paper
Total Amount paid: $2.99+ tax (approx. .28)
Here is an example of strategic coupon usage:
Reynolds Foil regular priced $3.99, on sale Buy 1 Get 1 Free = $1.98 each
$1 manufacturer coupon, used during a Super Doubles event (where a $1 coupon is doubled to $2 off)
Wouldn’t you rather pay .14 a roll then $2.99? It only took a few minutes to cut those 3 coupons out and to read the website’s list of deals!
A strategic couponer will buy as many of these as they have coupons for and the store allows (this store limit is 3 similar coupons). A strategic coupon user would probably buy 3 and pay .42 for 3 rolls of foil. This is most likely more than enough to last until the next time foil goes on sale AND a coupon is available. And they got 3 rolls for 90% less than the regular price of 1 single roll!
How do I begin to coupon strategically?
The first step is to follow a website that covers the stores in your area. (www.MoolaSavingMom.com covers Lowes Foods, Food Lion and Harris Teeter as well as Rite Aid, CVS and Walgreens) The website will tell you what is on sale and even where the coupons are that correspond to those sale items! Many times, stores will offer promotions that you can combine with the sale AND the coupons! You can even follow Moola Saving Mom on Facebook and Twitter.
Another option is to attend a coupon workshop. These are 1-2 hour classes that go over the basics of beginning couponing. You will learn the local stores’ coupon acceptance policies and how to maximize your savings by using their store promotions and programs.
You don’t have to be an “Extreme Couponer” to save 50% or more on your grocery bill on each trip and you don’t need to spend hours or have hundreds of dollars’ worth of coupons.
When you combine a store sale or promotion with a coupon that is when you will see the most savings. That is using coupons strategically.