Effective Coupon Use – by Bargain Briana

by Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom on December 19, 2008

Today’s post is from Briana at Bargain Briana, where you can find all the latest and greatest deals from your favorite stores and online retailers. She shares some great tips for living frugally and making the most out of your hard earned dollars!

Don’t just use a coupon, use it effectively.

Before I started “hard core” couponing, I used coupons but never understand how to use them effectively. Using coupons effectively means being patient with your coupon until the best possible, rock bottom sale occurs. This is the moment you use your coupon. By using your coupons effectively, you can cut your grocery budget into half or more!

I recently learned a great lesson in patience. I’ve been holding (2) Free Cheerios cereal coupons for several months now. They had a 2009 expiration date so no hurry to use them. I was starting to get antsy, though and almost used it last week. Good thing I saved it, this week there is a great Extra Care Bucks deal at CVS and by using my free Cheerios cereal coupons, I was able to maximize this deal to the FULLEST potential. Sometimes, it even pays to hold onto your free coupons. (Just don’t forget to use them before they expire.)

A few tips to use your coupons effectively:

  • Choose the stores you are going to shop at. Sign up for their rewards card or any newsletters, etc. You will get the best deals if you sign up for their reward card. Learn their coupon policies (doubling, accept internet coupons, etc.) and sales dates. Sometimes sale dates vary from store to store so if you plan at shopping at more than one location, find out if they are on the same sale schedule.
  • Meal Plan. If you don’t already have a nice stockpile, plan your recipes around the weekly sale items and stockpile the lowest priced items. Browse $5 Dinners and find some great recipe ideas if you are in a meal plan rut.
  • Scour the weekly ads and find blogs/websites that already do the hard work of matching up the coupons for you. Why reinvent the wheel? Just do a google blog search of “X Store Deals” and a nice list of blogs which cover these stores should pop up.
  • After you have finished making your list, stick to it. Stockpile those items which are rock bottom prices. You may want to buy/obtain at least 3-4 newspapers a week until you build your stockpile.
  • Don’t use a coupon just because it is about to expire (unless it is a free item coupon!). No worries, usually when one coupon expires, another one is released

You can catch more great bargains from Briana at her blog, Bargain Briana!

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