When to Use Coupons

Using coupons is a great way to cut down on how much you spend every month. You may believe couponing is only productive for shoppers who are extreme in their coupon collecting.

However, you can work coupons into your life without dedicating hours to searching for the right combination of coupons to use. In the past, one of the complications of using coupons was collecting the coupons in the first place, but thanks to the internet and coupon apps, it is much easier to get the coupons you need.

While it might be easier to collect coupons, coupons are still only effective if you know when to use them. Before you settle on a plan for how to use coupons most effectively, take time to look at your spending to determine where your money is going most often. If you have a large family, you can benefit from using coupons during your weekly shopping trip to save money on your food bill. If you live independently, you may find enrolling in a rewards program for your favorite coffee shop can save you money and allow you to budget more efficiently.

Understand Your Spending First

Clipping coupons from the newspaper can be time consuming, especially when you are randomly going through the motions of acquiring coupons for items you may not need. It is not sensible to clip coupons for items you would not purchase without a discount. This can lead to unnecessary spending where you purchase several additional items simply because you are acquiring them on sale. If you know your family likes a specific type of cereal, you can spend a few moments looking specifically for a coupon for the cereal brand instead of going through the entire coupon book.

If you are considering using coupons to save as much money as possible, consider trying different brands and adjusting your grocery list each week in accordance with what is on sale. You may be able to buy a different brand of pasta one week for significantly less if you have a coupon for one brand over your usual brand.

In addition to breaking down what items you spend the most money on when you are grocery shopping, you must consider where the rest of your paycheck is going in terms of spending. If you enjoy buying coffee from the same cafe every day or if you prefer to order your clothes from a specific website, consider spending time finding coupons for these companies instead of clipping coupons for groceries. Tracking your spending is a helpful way to determine the best coupons for your shopping trips.

Knowing Where to Find Coupons

Coupons are supposed to be convenient items you use to save money. The last thing shoppers want to do is spend hours going through coupon books trying to find a coupon to use. A common mistake made by new coupon collectors is trying to collect too many coupons. Not only is collecting coupons time consuming, but the more coupons you have, the more difficult the coupons become to use. Many coupons are not compatible with each other or have limited expiration dates. If you do not plan out your purchases in advance, you risk arriving at the checkout counter with your coupons, only to find the majority of the coupons do not work together. You are forced to quickly adjust your coupons and risk using the least optimal coupon combination.

Oftentimes, local restaurants send coupons in the daily newspaper for customers to use, such as finding a coupon to save you $10 off a $50 meal. In some situations, these coupons are only available if you sign up for a company newsletter or other program. For example, if you frequently go to the movies, check to see if the theater has any sort of discount program. Many movie theaters across the country offer coupons to repeat customers. In some situations, the coupons apply to any purchases at the theater, while other coupons are specifically for tickets or buying food items.

One of the best resources to find coupons is the internet. Many companies have a selection of coupons you can only use for online purchases. If you consistently use the same companies, it makes sense to check their websites for any online coupons. Some companies also have manufacturer coupons you can print out to use in stores.

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You can also use general coupon sites and apps to find coupons. These services are similar to traditional coupon books, providing access to a large group of coupons. However, many coupon shoppers find these sites or apps easier to sort through than a traditional coupon book.

Deciding When to Use Coupons

You can adjust how often you use coupons based on how much money you want to save at any given time. If you know you are going to be more financially stable next month, you can retire from couponing until it becomes convenient or necessary for you to pick back up on this practice again. This method is recommended if you only have a limited time each month to select coupons, or you find yourself constantly clipping coupons you never use.

Even if you do not mind searching for coupons each month, it is important to decide when to use certain coupons. For example, if you have a coupon offering a select percentage off your purchase, wait until you have a particularly large purchase. A 10 percent coupon is wasted on a $20 purchase, especially if you plan on making a significantly larger purchase before the coupon expires.

Selecting the Right Time to Join a Program

When you are purchasing items from the same brands repeatedly, you can enroll in one of the loyalty programs offered by these brands to help yourself save money. This is an optimal time for you to use coupons, as it allows you to save on purchases you are planning to make anyway. Oftentimes, when you join a loyalty program or a rewards program for the first time, the company emails you a coupon you can use on your next purchase. This coupon discount can range between 10 percent to 30 percent depending upon the brand.

Loyalty programs often work on a point system, meaning you are given a certain number of points for each dollar you spend or each purchase you make with the company. The more points you earn, the greater your reward. For example, you may receive a $20 off coupon once you have tallied 1,000 points with a company.

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