We don’t know if you’re familiar with the TV show Extreme Couponing (it can’t be just us, right?), but it’s compelling to watch, if just a little…weird. Shopping with coupons doesn’t have to be like that, however. Stick with us and we’ll show you how to save big without it taking over your life.
While you may love the idea of making some savings on your weekly shop, you don’t necessarily want huge walls of tinned tomatoes or toothpaste tubes blocking off entire areas of your house. Using coupons to shop isn’t just for compulsive hoarders or survivalists who fear that the apocalypse may be just around the corner however, (although….), and there is no need to get all obsessive about it like those people on TV. It’s perfectly possible to have fun collecting the best deals without having to enlist the help of Edward Scissorhands to cut them all out for you.
Shopping with coupons simply means that you can slash your grocery bills and bag some great bargains, and if you’re super-organized you can make even better savings by planning your week’s meals according to what’s on offer. But it’s not just about groceries. Companies like PromoPony offer great deals on everything from cutting-edge fashion to the latest phones and more—even car rentals.
So, where do you find them? As well as looking online, you’ll come across coupon deals in local and national newspapers and magazines (and in-store publications), as well as on the back of your store receipts and in direct mailings. Yes, it’s always worth checking before you toss that junk mail into the recycling…
Another way of collecting coupons is to sign up to the big online stores’ newsletters and loyalty schemes, while some people even email companies or write to them direct to say how much they love a particular product—it’s not unusual to get sent a batch of coupon goodies in return. The same goes for contacting organizations if there’s a problem with a particular item you’ve bought—keeping the customer happy is key, so they’ll be keen to preserve your goodwill and maintain brand loyalty.
Big showcase events and trade fairs can also be excellent hunting grounds, while more and more brands are offering generous cash-back deals on high value items such as cell phones and televisions.
You may want to familiarize yourself with all of that coupon terminology out there, but
a golden rule is to make sure you don’t let yourself get overwhelmed by confusion and chaos. It pays to keep all your coupons in one handy place so you don’t lose them or let them expire, and it’s also a good idea to create a simple filing system that works for you. One way is to organize your coupon stash by product type or expiration date, for example, and then plan your shopping trips accordingly.
So, there you go—some handy basic tips to get you started. Happy couponing, and see you in the pizza aisle!