Today most everyone clips or saves a coupon from time to time. Who can resist? When you know you can save more than the next guy just by having a piece of paper or coupon code, it’s a great feeling. Did you know that 336 billion dollars in coupons were distributed in 2002 and 3.8 billion coupons were redeemed, for a total savings to consumers of $3 billion? This is according to the Promotion Marketing Association’s (PMA) Coupon Council. According to the PMA, 79 percent of consumers use coupons.
However, the drawback of coupons is that they can become just good intentions and not real savings when you forget them or let them expire. Also, if you have ever cut out coupons from the Sunday paper, you quickly realize that the piles of paper take time to manage in order to lead to measurable savings. This is where most people give up.
Here are a few simple things you can do to create a smart shopping routine that sets you up for successful savings.
Treat coupons like cash. Most everyone has a wallet to organize their cash and credit cards, and it would be silly not to return your cash and coins to the same place time and time again. The same is true with coupons.
Have the right tools for organizing, storing and accessing coupons. Any job is easier when you have the right tool for the job and let’s face it, using coupons is at least a bit of a chore. Experiment with what works best for you: maybe you sort coupons by expiration date, alphabetically by brand, or in categories such as Canned Goods, Cleaning Supplies, Pet Care, and so on.
Success is in planning. Impulse purchasing, whether at the grocery store or the mall, can kill any attempts at saving. When you take time to create and carry out a coupon-saving plan, you will be more motivated to continue doing it and get better results as time goes by – and you reap the rewards. Use online resources to scout out deals before you shop. If you wait to get in the store to look at the sales circular, you open yourself up to veering off your shopping plan.
Use online sources to achieve additional coupon savings. Some grocery stores link their shopper card with a paperless coupon system where you select items you might purchase online. Then that information is uploaded to your shopper card and when you purchase these items and your shopper card is swiped, you received additional savings. Web Bucks are also available online through www.valuepage.com. These are coupons that you print out to use on your next shopping trip.
When the price is right, stock up. Many times grocery items go on sale or are buy-one-get-one-free. This is the time to combine your coupon with the store savings for maximum savings. Many times an item can end up being free!
Believe me I know, keeping the household stocked with food and supplies is an ongoing challenge. Staying on a budget is a continual process that requires sharp spending skills. With just a little know-how, coupons can help you stock up and save.
Amy Bergin, mother of three children, developed the Couponizer�. An award winning, must have organizing tool for any family who strives to make the most of their hard earned money. To find out more visit her website www.thecouponizer.com