Be sure to read Part 1 before reading Part 2.
It is very important to *know* your store/s coupon policy before embarking on this new adventure. A lot of the time, clerks don’t even know their stores coupon policy so you need to have all your ducks in a row and know exactly what is and is not allowed. I would *highly* recommend printing a copy of each stores coupon policy that you go to. If an issue ever pops up while you are checking out, you can have all the rules right there in black and white and work through the issue quickly.
Get with the Times
Coupons are no longer just clipped out of the newspaper. As technology has progressed, so have coupons! Many stores have ecoupons available to upload on your store card(store cards are free!!). These coupons are automatically applied to your transaction when the card is scanned. To learn more about and see a full list of ecoupons available, click here.
Printing coupons is another popular way to beef up your coupon stash. There are many great FREE sites to print coupons. Here, here, here, and here are some of my favorites. *Most* coupons can be printed twice PER COMPUTER(so if you have more than one computer at home like I do, that means more coupons for you! 🙂 ) by simply clicking the “back” button.
Another idea to get coupons that *you* want is to simply write the company. It takes a few minutes to write them and tell them how much you enjoy their product and that you’d appreciate any coupons they have to offer. I’ve done this for many organic companies and often get coupons for FREE products in return! Give it a try!
Freebies are an awesome way to not only try new products, but get high value coupons. Coupons often accompany the sample. If you are worried about getting too much spam in your email from signing up for freebies, simply make a separate email account just for this purpose. I have sometimes found freebies for *full size* products. Just a couple weeks ago I received two coupons for two FREE FULL bottles of Excedrin!!
Stacking and Doubling Coupons
Stacking coupons is one of the best ways to ensure you are getting the lowest price on an item. When I say stacking, I mean using a manufacturer coupon AND a store coupon for the SAME item! Some stores like Target and Walgreens(these are the only stores that I have first hand experience with. I’m sure there are other stores around the U.S. that have store coupons too.) have store coupons. You can *NOT* use two manufacturer coupons for the same item. Simply ask your store if you are unsure if they have store coupons available for you to use.
Target and Manufacturer Coupons can be used together.
(Click to enlarge)
Doubling coupons is something that not all stores offer but it can be worth finding a store that does double coupons. The only store where I live that doubles coupons is Harris Teeter. Although from past experience, I know for sure that Kroger and Randalls double coupons(and even triple some). So what will happen is, the cashier will scan a $.50 coupon and the store will match the coupon and take $1.00 off. To know if your store doubles or even triples coupons, look at their coupon policy.
Know the Sale Cycles
There is a rhyme and rhythm to all sales. At certain times of the year certain items are sure to be one sale. Sale prices normally are on a 12 week cycle so when you find a rock bottom price on an item, you should buy enough to last you at least 12 weeks until it goes on sale again. Here is a full list by month of when items go on sale.
Don’t Buy Just to Buy
You never want to buy items just because they are cheap. Only buy the items that your family uses. I do clip all coupons out of the paper though because you never know what you can get for free. If I do find an item that is free but not something my family uses, I do still get the product and donate it to a family in need that can use it.
To be continued…