Coupons can stretch your budget, especially at the grocery store, where the prices of the foods you need seem to always rise. A fixed income in retirement can make saving money when you shop even more important. Knowing how to use coupons wisely can maximize your savings and help you get even more within your budget. Use these tips if you're new to coupons.
Grocery stores often offer special discount days or promotions to increase your savings. For example, some grocery stores offer senior discount days when older shoppers get a percentage off their totals. Other stores might run special promotions for everyone with discounts on purchases. Using your coupons during those times can help you save even more than you would with just one of the discount options. Unless you need an item immediately, saving your coupons to pair them with other discounts can be a money-savvy strategy.
Many grocery stores offer loyalty programs that can also help you increase your savings. You might get special coupons that are only available to members of the loyalty club. You can also earn points on the purchases you make with all types of coupons, which can give you another way to save. Store loyalty programs are usually free to join and simple to use by scanning a bar code or entering your phone number when you check out.
Scouring various sources for coupons helps you find more options to increase your savings opportunities. A traditional option is checking the local Sunday paper for coupon booklets. You can also find printable online coupons. If you have a smartphone, look for digital coupons, which are often available through supermarket apps. If you have certain brands you always use, check with the manufacturer. You can often request coupons from them or print them from the manufacturer's website. While you're shopping, look on product packaging, which sometimes has coupons attached, or look for coupon dispensers mounted to shelves.
Browsing the grocery store ads each week takes a little time, but it can help you increase your coupon savings. You get the most out of your coupons when you use them on items that are priced lower than normal. Keep your coupons handy while browsing the ads so you can easily match coupons with sale items. Hold onto your coupons until those items go on sale, if possible. It's also helpful to know the normal price for items and the lowest price you usually see. Some items go on sale frequently, so knowing what the sale price normally is can help you spot a lower-than-normal price. This is the time to apply your coupons to make the purchase price even lower.
Just like weekly sales, clearance items at your local stores can make your coupons more effective. You can usually use coupons on clearance items, although you should read the fine print and the store's coupon policy to find out for sure. Clearance items are already marked down by a certain percentage, but adding a coupon makes them even cheaper. Even if you don't have a coupon for clearance items, you might find some deeply discounted products that you want or need that could be even cheaper than using a coupon.
You can usually use one store coupon and one manufacturer's coupon on the same item. Stacking the savings lets you buy the item for an even lower price. Say your store has a coupon for 10% off a certain brand of laundry detergent, and you have a coupon for $2 off that same brand. You can get both discounts off the laundry detergent to save even more. The fine print often covers restrictions and clarifies which discount is applied first. You can also ask a cashier or check the store's coupon policy so you know how it handles this situation.
Coupons save you money, but they're not always the cheapest option. No matter how good a coupon is, it only really saves you money if it's for a product you'll use. Avoid the temptation to use a coupon just to save money if it's not something you want, need or use regularly. You could also find a similar item for a lower price without a coupon. For instance, a $1 discount with a coupon could still make a high-priced name-brand item more expensive than a generic version of the same thing.
When you find a great deal, with or without a coupon, stock up on the item at the lower price. Some store coupons let you buy multiples of the item with the discount. Manufacturers' coupons are often limited to one item per coupon, but you can get multiple copies of the coupon. One way to do this is to ask friends and family for their coupons if they don't use them. Some printable coupons can be printed more than once, which gives you additional copies.
At Bethesda Gardens Loveland, we care about our residents' well-being in all areas, including finances. With these coupon tips, you can live more comfortably within your budget while getting the items you need.
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