When you hear about couponing, you immediately think of binders upon binders of coupons, carefully cut out and compiled, almost to an obsessive point. Sure, there are people who still do it the old way, but couponing nowadays has gotten more convenient, thanks to apps that contain databases for it.
Essentially, these coupons function almost as well as cash, and typically offer great savings by taking off a certain amount from the price indicated on the tag. For the discount to be applied, you need to present it to the cashier as you pay for the item. They will then scan it, and once approved by the system, the indicated amount in the coupon will be taken off the final price.
Couponing is such an easy way to save when you shop, that it’s not surprising that people will go to great lengths to collect as much as they can. You can use it to buy groceries, clothing, and accessories, children’s toys, and even home hardware. Sometimes you can even find one for gas.
If you’re newly introduced to the concept of couponing and would like to try it out, here are some helpful tips for beginners so you can make the most out of the experience.
Couponing can be easily intimidating and overwhelming for the uninitiated. To avoid feeling pressured, start small when you go out to use coupons for the first time. Ten to a dozen should be a good enough number.
This should allow you to do a couple of things. First, you can observe how the coupons will be applied. Second, you can be introduced to your store’s policies and guidelines regarding couponing. Information about certain things like what can you do in case the item you want to purchase with a coupon is out of stock, or if they allow coupons to be applied for items that are already on sale, would be good for you to know so you can manage your expectations. Also, make sure that your coupons will be accepted by your store, even if they feature a competitor.
Make a List, Check It Twice
The key to a successful couponing trip starts before you even get to the store. Prepare a shopping list based on the coupons that you want to use, and double-check that your available coupons do match your list.
Check the fine print on your coupons to see if there are any limitations to its application, as well as to make sure the promo still applies in the store you’re going to and that it’s not expired yet.
Buy Only Things That You Need
This advice generally applies whether or not you’re into couponing, but for this particular exercise, it becomes even more relevant. It’s easy to be enticed by the promise of a good deal offered by coupons. However, don’t feel compelled to get a coupon and use it on a product you wouldn’t otherwise have purchased. Some people end up taking it to the extremes, that they end up having stockpiles of things they don’t use or care for, taking up space in their garage or homes, just because there was a coupon for it. These are but a few of the basic tips that you could use to your advantage when starting on your coupon adventure. Good luck, and shop well!