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Cents and Sensibility

Eight Simple Ways to Save with Coupons

It doesn't have to be extreme. Here are simple ways to save money using coupons.
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You do not have to be an extreme couponer to save money. Check out these simple ways to coupon and save money.

1. Subscribe to as many Sunday papers as possible. If you find out that a certain newspaper provides many coupons often, consider receiving multiple subscriptions to maximize on your savings. Make sure that the subscriptions cost less than the amount that you save from the coupons.

2. Use coupons with sale items. The biggest savings from couponing is when you use a coupon with a sales item. Collect all of the sale ads, choose what you are interested in, and find coupons to add to the savings.

3. Create a stockpile. Find a space in your home that is dedicated to couponing merchandise. The purpose of a stockpile is not to become a hoarder, but to purchase items only if they are on sale. Your stockpile doesn’t have to be 20 bottles of washing detergent, but enough to last you until the next sale.

4. Keep coupons with you. Sometimes we run out of the house and end up at the store purchasing items. Leaving coupons behind is like leaving money on the dresser. Carry any coupons that you may use just in case you happen to end up in a store throughout your day.

5. Compare and contrast your bulk items with items that you will buy in a single package. Stores such as Sam’s Club and Costco may or may not have the better deal. Identify the unit price with any bulk item and compare it to your grocery items from your receipts. This way, you will know which items are a better deal at the warehouse stores vs. grocery stores.

6. Check out the competition and check store policies. You can strategically shop several stores after you figure out which ones sell your favorite item for less than the competition.

7. Don’t forget about the dollar store! You can start there on Sundays when you purchase the sales paper for $1, while the newsstand charges almost double. Some items at other stores are just as cheap as the dollar store, or vice versa, or equally the same. You can buy toothpaste for $2 and use a $1 off coupon at Walgreens, or purchase the same item for the same price, without the coupon at the dollar store. Oh yes, some dollar stores now accept coupons.

8. Keep your eyes out for printable coupons. You can opt out of buying a sales paper for your coupons. Coupons are not exclusive to the Sunday papers anymore. You can find the same and additional coupons online. Some sites to consider for printable coupons are: coupons.com, RedPlum, or your favorite retailer (Target, Walmart, or Walgreens).

About Dr. Karen Ratliff

Karen Ratliff

Credit: Dr. Karen Ratliff

Dr. Ratliff is a certified life coach and professional educator, assisting many people in accomplishing financial, career, and educational goals.  She is also the author of “Tightening Your Bootstraps: 104 Tips to Kick Your Debt to the Curb Now.” Keep up with her budgetary advice via Twitter @drkarenratliff and her website at www.drkarenratliff.com