By Evan Vitale
You’ve probably have seen or heard of the “extreme” couponing reality television shows in which a mother (or family, dad, etc.), buys a ton of groceries and pays next to nothing because they used a million coupons in order to make their purchase.
While you might not be ready to go crazy with coupons, you can definitely learn more on how to effectively use coupons in order to save money.
Just to get started, here’s where you can find manufacturers’ and local coupons and start saving a few dollars on your weekly grocery bill:
- The Sunday newspaper. Always a good place to start finding coupons as the Sunday paper usually contains many coupons.
- Magazines, such as Women’s Day and food magazines.
- Local newspapers, weekly newspapers and grocery store flyers.
- In-aisle coupons. Sometimes you can find these next to the product.
- Grocery store bulletin boards sometimes carry coupons or rebate forms.
- On the Internet. Some grocery stores are doing this now, so see if your favorite grocer is publishing online coupons.
When using coupons, make sure you read the detailed information. Are there any coupon restrictions? Do you have to buy five items in order to use the coupon? Pay attention to the coupon expiration date.
Be aware of the grocery store’s policy when it comes to coupons. Most have changed their guidelines because of extreme coupon users. Check to see if your grocer has a double-coupon day? Do they have a Senior Day that might give you an extra 5-10% off your grocery bill? Does your grocery store match competitors’ coupons?
Please note there may be restrictions on Internet coupons, coupons without a barcode, some coupons may not be automatically doubled (like meat or dairy products).
You don’t need to go crazy and buy a coupon organizer if your main goal is to save a little bit of money on the products you regularly purchase at the grocery store. However, just a little bit of coupon-clipping can go a long way in spending less money and saving more.