Smart Shopping: 5 Tips for Using Coupons

June 5, 2017 / in Healthy Lifestyles / by Robin Estevez

Everyone is looking for ways to save money on their grocery shopping and, for many people, using coupons is one of the first things that comes to mind. But coupons often have complicated rules, and few people understand how to use them most effectively. Luckily for you, we put together a helpful guide that will quickly educate you in the science of using coupons intelligently to make your dollars go further.

How NOT to Use Coupons

We’re going to make the case in this article that using coupons can be very beneficial. But it’s also important to understand that using them the wrong way will be a complete waste of your time and energy.

Many people make the mistake of clipping out coupons for the things they want and driving to one grocery store to save a dollar or two on one item, then driving to another store to use a different coupon, and so on. By the time they’ve finished driving all over town, they’ve probably spent all the money they saved on gas. This is an inefficient and stressful way to spend your day, and it’s not at all how you should be using coupons. Instead, try following these tips below.

5 Tips for Using Coupons Effectively

 1. Check the Circular.  The first order of business when it comes to using coupons is to find them! Most grocery stores offer a weekly or monthly circular that shows all the sales currently being offered, as well as an assortment of coupons on select items. Check this out to find coupons for the items that interest you. More and more grocery stores are also letting their customers know about sales and coupons digitally through newsletters and social media. If you haven’t signed up yet, get on that! You’re leaving money on the table.

Check out the Weekly Circulars for Foodtown here.

2. Manufacturer Coupons. These are coupons which are offered directly from the brand or manufacturer, rather than the store. You can often find these by just going to their website, printing them out and bringing them to the store where they can be redeemed. Retailer apps and websites are also a good source for finding these coupons. Here are some great sources for finding manufacturer coupons you can use for groceries (and plenty of other things!)

3. Put Those Coupons on Ice for a Month. If you think that using coupons is a hassle and not worth your time, here is one trick that might turn you into a believer. Cut some coupons for items you like out of a circular or printed newsletter, and just set them aside for 1 month. Now, go to the grocery store and look for the items the coupons apply to. You will notice that a lot of those items are suddenly on sale!

This is a cycle many grocery stores follow. Items which have coupons offered for them one month will often go on sale the next. Now you can use the coupons on top the sale to save even more money! Obviously, you should be mindful of the expiration dates on coupons, but if done correctly, using coupons in tandem with sales can save you some significant cash.

4. The Time of Year Matters. Certain items are cheaper during certain times of the year. Buy groceries in season and pay attention the cycle of sales on specific items. This applies to everything you buy, but odds are that you’ll save the most money on groceries since it’s the type of shopping we do more than anything else. Dairy products and blueberries, for example, are cheapest in June, while apples and pumpkins come cheap in November. Using coupons tactically during these drops in price is yet another way to make your money go further. Here’s a handy month-by-month guide for groceries and many other kinds of items.

foodtown club card5. Get a Club Card! The thing with all these grocery promotions and discounts is that many times they are only available to customers who sign up to be club card members. Each grocery store chain has their own system but usually, it’s just a simple matter of filling out a form online or at the customer service desk. If you sign up right now for a Foodtown Preferred Customer Club Card, you’ll get instant access to coupon doubling and tripling events, e-newsletters filled with exclusive coupons and promotions, and much more! Who doesn’t like special treatment? Get your Club Card today.

 

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