Using coupon codes effectively is a skill you must learn to save as much as money possible. It’s really important to learn how to obtain, organize and use coupons. Before you decide to pick a coupon and apply it at online checkout, make sure that coupon is worth using. Here are some amazing tips to help you take full advantages of coupons:
- Make a list
Shopping online is convenient yet so tricky because it is too easy to pick up stuffs you don’t really need and put into your shopping cart. Make sure you plan what you want to purchase before shopping online and stick to the list. You should purchase products that are on discount first. Find the thing you need, get the coupons then buy it.
- Be careful with the terms
Some stores offer coupons which can help you save a little money but you can only use those coupon when you spend a certain amount of money. Be careful with these kinds of deals. Compare how much money you will spend without the coupon and the total amount you will have to spend to use the coupon. If you end up spending more money with that coupon, it’s not worth using. Make sure that you know exactly how much money you are spending to make the right choice.
- Don’t purchase just because it’s on sale
When shopping online, you may see a lot of stores offer many special deals on some random things. Don’t fall for this trap if none of those products is what you need at the moment. You will probably never use them after purchasing. It’s not worth spending money on something you don’t need just because it is on sale.
- Compare deals
When looking for coupon codes, you may realize many sites such as Couponxoo offer different choices for coupons. In that situation, you should really do the math to see which coupons have the largest benefit. For example, sometimes a free shipping code can help you save more money than a 15% off code depending on how much money you spend. Try apply every codes they are offering to find out which one is the best option. This way, you will always get the best deals using coupons.
- Check the locations
Some coupons are available online and in-store also. Check the locations to see if the store is near you to go buy what you need in-store. That way you can save a lot of money on delivery. If you are not sure whether you can use the coupon offline or not, call the manager of the store to ask for information.
- Understand your store’s policy clearly
Before shopping online at any store, find out if they approve of double coupons or price match. These policies may help you save even more money. Feel free to ask the manager of the store if you don’t know. For example, pricing matching is when a store fix their prices so that their prices match with other stores selling the same products. As a result, you can purchase their products with the discount prices as in other stores.
- Don’t use every coupons available
Some coupons don’t really help you save any money. For instance, a coupon for $0.50 off of two boxes of brand name cereal won’t lead to any savings. Even in a big sale off, that discount is still not really useful. Wait for a better coupon and another sale. Don’t be tricked into buying things with that kind of discounts. If you have good coupons but there is no sale, wait until the products you need are on sale to purchase. Pass on deals that don’t really help you save much money. If you really need the items but they are not on sale, buy one or two and wait for the discounts to stock up.
- Don’t print coupons you don’t use
There are some websites offer online printable coupons. However when printing those coupons, you have to use paper and ink, which costs money and waste paper too. If you print all coupons even when you don’t use them, that’s such a waste of money. Only print the ones that you are sure you will need in the future.
- Don’t just stick to one brand
Being brand loyal is really not helpful when you have a small budget and need to save money. Choose whichever brand as long as you can get for free or close to free using your coupons. If you are on debt, it’s not the time for you to stick to some favorite brands. Just choose what you can afford. You need to do some savings, and you can’t do that if you pass on good deals because you prefer a different brand. Don’t be picky if you can purchase an item for free or close to free, just take advantages of the good coupons.
- Take advantage of the overage
When you have discount that exceeds the sale price of a product, it results in an overage. A lot of stores do not give you cash back for this overage but will let you use it on other items in your shopping cart. You can take advantages of it to stock up necessary items like toothpaste and shampoo or meat with reasonable prices.
- Use coupons in right order
You can save more money if you apply the coupons in the correct order. For example, if you have a $5 discount for a $20 purchase, make sure to use that coupon first. If you use other coupon first, it may lower the price so you can’t use the $5 coupon anymore. Some stores will apply all coupon in right order for you but for some other stores you have to do it on your own so be careful to maximize your savings.
- Stack coupons
For every item that you buy, use one coupon of the manufacturers along with one coupon from the store. For example, if a store has a sale on some products for $2.00, you can use a $1.00 coupon from the store and a $1.00 coupon from the manufacturer coupon and get that product for free.
- Sign up for store saving cards
Sign up for member cards at the stores where you shop. The cards provide shoppers with additional savings. If you sign up for member cards, you will also receive additional coupons in the mail. Mostly all stores now allow you to earn reward points each time you purchase anything. If you purchase enough, you will get a big discount.
- Stock the items you need
If necessary items are on sale, buy as many as the store allow you to buy because you will always need those items. Some stores limit the number of sale items you can purchase while some other stores don’t have any limitation. You can take this chance to set up your long-term home products storage. If a store puts a limit on a necessary sale item, come to other stores to stock up. But remember not to stock items that will expire soon. If you have to throw them away, you won’t be saving any money buying them in the first place.
- Alternate stores
Different stores offer different sale prices for the same items at different times of the year. Visit multiple stores to see which stores offer the best deals to maximize your savings.
- Check out small shopping sprees
Take full advantages of coupons by using them during small shopping sprees. When you only buy a few items at a time, you can receive the most savings from sales and from your coupons. Stores seem to vary in sales items, discounting various items at different times of the year. Check out some stores and limit the amount that you buy on each visit, you can use coupons for sales items only, thus maximizing your savings.
- Review the Circulars and Store Ads
People new to couponing might not realize that many stores put coupons into their circulars and store ads. You may find some amazing coupons in store ads or circulars are for $5 or $10 off your grocery order. That’s like free groceries and obviously a coupon all people would want to have available.
A lot of websites on the Internet will actually give you a preview of what is going on sale in the coming week, along with a list of ‘match-ups’ which show what coupons match the products in the ads in detail.
A good strategy to employ, and one of my tips for coupon shopping that I cannot recommend enough, is to use coupons for products already on sale, for deeper discounts.
A lot of stores also have monthly ‘special buys’ which are discounted over a longer period of time and can be combined with coupons for extra savings. Checkout circulars and store ads to not miss these special deals.
- Understand The Terminology
It is vital that you understand the basics of coupon language, or slang, when shopping. You should know what a BOGO is, how to stack coupons effectively, what a blinkie, tearpad, peelie and hangtag are.
- Trade coupon with others
There are many couponing websites on the internet that create forums for members to trade coupons they don’t use for the coupons they really need. This is a really useful way to get the coupons you are not able to get. Being timely, reliable and generous to gain good reputation will make sure that your trading coupon go well. Those who coupon depend upon these relationships to have access to a certain number of coupons, or coupons from different regions, to raise their savings.
- Understand rebates
Couponing goes along with rebates. Many times, a retailer will have a rebate for a $10 gift card when you buy $50 in groceries. For example, you can buy $50 worth of groceries, reduce your out of pocket with sales and coupons, and still get the rebate. Then, you can spend the $10 gift card on another items, to help reduce your after-coupon total on that grocery shop.
- Know the art of deal
Many people when couponing for the first time, are amazed by the deals they can snag by watching the ads, collecting their coupons and timing their purchases correctly. However sometimes this can cause a problem when they try to get every deal available and that may lead to bankruptcy and stress.
Those who are well-versed in using coupons know many stores have sales cycles and that if a product goes on sale at the moment, it will probably also be on sale in 8-12 weeks, too. As long as the expiration date for the coupons is well into the future, go ahead and wait unless there’s an immediate, pressing need.
Learning how to stock up for your family using coupons will help you to be able to time the cycles appropriately.
- What to do with expired coupons
Couponing experts know that even expired coupons can have some good benefits. They can be sent to military bases and used by families living on those bases for an additional six months past the expiration. It’s a good way to support our troops and make sure that the coupons do get used, even if it’s not by the original person printing them out.
There are many websites around where you can sign up and get assigned to a base where you will send your coupons when they’ve expired. That way you can take full advantages of coupons even though they are expired.
- Use social media
Social media like email newsletters, facebook, twitter… can inform you of sales and deals before they debut, which is the key to have the upper hand in holiday season.
- Check out coupon website frequently
You can now access good coupons with many free coupon websites such as Couponxoo. They offer you many coupons and discounts on variety of stores. You can find mostly anything you need on this website.
- Don’t lower your expectation for coupon codes
For clothing and accessories, you shouldn't lower your standard for coupons offering discounts of only 25 percent off or less because they normally will not help you save much money with this discount. It's popular to see coupon codes for these items in the range of 30 percent to 50 percent off or more during the holiday shopping season. However, be aware that retailers usually don't offer coupon codes for across-the-board discounts on tech items. When purchasing electronics and computers, it's more about looking for great sale prices on individual items.
- Check for coupons often during the holidays
Retailers usually offer short-term discounts such as free shipping with no minimum purchase for one day only. These coupon codes available in a limited amount of time tend to be deeper discounts, or they might be a combination of offers that normally aren't available constantly.