Coupons or discount vouchers let consumers take advantage of buying items or services at reduced rates. You can find it in magazines, newspapers, and flyers. These vouchers are also available on Internet sites, but it usually comes in codes. Offline transactions may require you to print coupons, but a few retailers can scan codes from your smartphone.
Reduce prices by knowing about the tips and tricks of couponing. Here are four things to consider to help you use it like a pro.
1. Start Collecting Coupons
Slashing off prices begins with that first coupon cutout. One discount voucher can help you reduce costs by a dollar or two. Now, think about if you have five coupons for the same product found from different sources. For example, you may see a coupon for MyPillow from one website and another voucher on a different URL.
If you want to begin your pro couponing lifestyle, it’s essential to know your sources. Here are a few quick tips to help jumpstart your coupon collection:
- Buy at least one Sunday newspaper each week.
- Skim through magazines at bookstores.
- Go through several coupon websites.
- Visit local department stores; sales representatives may hand out free coupons to their customers
2. Get Organized
To be an excellent couponer means becoming good at organizing. Don’t just throw all your vouchers in a drawer because chances are, you’re going to forget about all those pieces of paper in the future. You can buy a coupon folder to help sort all your discount vouchers.
Another tip is to use ordinary envelopes to help you keep your coupons. Remember to put a label on the envelope for each product or service category. Organizing for the first-time is a time-consuming process.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you start sorting out all the coupons you’ve amassed so far:
- Split the coupons into two categories: to keep and to toss.
- Go through your “To Keep” pile and separate those vouchers into different product and service classifications.
- If you have several coupons to sort, invite a friend or household member to help you with the task. For example, if you find coupons for food, put all those discount vouchers to one stack.
- Keep your coupon folders or envelopes in an easy-to-find place.
￼The process of sorting out your coupons may take anywhere from a few hours to several days. It may seem like you need to do a lot of sorting at first but organizing all your vouchers will help you in the long run.
3. Learn Your Jargons
Your new lifestyle as a couponer may surprise you with strange lingo and policies. For instance, a few of your acquired coupons may be stackable. It means you can use the manufacturer’s voucher together with a retailer’s coupon. Also, a particular store may offer double coupon deals. This promotion means there are certain times wherein one coupon will be worth twice its face value.
Aside from learning about the terms, it’s time to brush up on your acronyms. Take a look at some of your acquired coupons, and you’ll see words like OYNO, MIR, and BOGO. These terms stand for On Your Next Order, Mail-in Rebate, and Buy One Get One.￼￼
4. Familiarize Your Shopping Route
You might think you’re saving a lot after using your coupons from buying several items from different stores, but you might be spending more on travel money. Also, consider your commute and travel expenses to make the most out of your savings.
For example, a stack of discount vouchers may let you save 5USD from your groceries, but you spend 8USD more on gas.
Start your pro couponing journey by sticking to a single store to help get your feet wet. You can branch out to other shops when you get the hang of taking advantage of bargains and understanding coupon policies. Don’t forget to thank your cashiers as they will be checking your stacks of vouchers. Also, warn people behind you that you’re going to be at the cashier for a while.
5. More Sales, More Discounts
Visit your local stores as often as you’ll never know if there’s a sale taking place. Also, check online shops as retailers might also offer discounts on certain items. Read the terms and conditions of these promotions as you may get the chance to use your coupons with these deals.
For example, a local butcher shop may slash 1USD off from the original price of a pack of canned goods. You can then use a 1USD discount voucher you may have for the same item to double the deal.
A Valassis report states that 90% of consumers use coupons at some point in their lives. Couponing may seem confusing and effortful at first. Get the hang of it, and you’ll become a pro couponer in time. You can start saving a lot of money for all your efforts.