Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Not So Extreme Couponing
Yesterday I was able to pick up some new drinking glasses at Pier 1 for super cheap. We've needed new glasses since we're getting rid of some of our old yucky plastic glasses. So I used a one day only coupon for $10 off a purchase of $10 or more and got 4 glasses for $2.50 total:
What I've found over the past few weeks is that it is absolutely possible to save lots of money on things I buy all the time anyway, gotta love that! There are a few secrets to making the most out of coupons, here are some of the things I've learned:
1. Combining Sales and Coupons. For example, my favorite brand of coconut water was on sale at Whole Foods for $1.50 down from $1.99ish. I also had a coupon for $1 off the coconut water so we only paid 50 cents!
2. Know Your Store's Coupon Policy. Some stores, like Target, Walgreens, CVS, and some Whole Foods let you use a store specific coupon and a manufacturers coupon on the same item. For example, Target was having a sale on Morningstar Farms frozen meals, they were all $2.99 down from $3.49ish. Target had a coupon in their online coupon section for $1.50 off of two Morningstar Farms products, and I had 2 $1 off coupons from the Morningstar site. I was able to use all of my coupons and get a couple of yummy vegan frozen meals for cheap! They were also low in fat and sodium, making them perfect healthy meals for days when you don't feel like cooking.
3. Don't Buy Something Just Because it's Cheap. This should be obvious, but don't buy a bunch of junk just because it's super cheap or free. The only exception to this rule is buying healthy food that you wouldn't eat, but donating it to the food shelf. That I highly encourage!
4. Think Seasonally. Depending on seasons and holidays, different things go on sale at different times. Right now, it's high season for back to school deals. For example, packs of Bic pens were on sale for 50 cents each at Target. Target also had a coupon for $1 off any Bic pen purchase, so 2 packs of pens were free! That's a great deal for someone who loses as many pens as I do. I also picked up a pack of free Sharpies by combining a coupon with a sale. This is great for teachers and people with kids, school supplies can really add up!
5. Keep Track of Great Deals. The thing about couponing is that it can take a fair amount of time if you do all the searching and deal tracking yourself. I'd rather not do that, so I depend on a great blog called the Krazy Coupon Lady. She posts about great deals, you can look at deals by store, and she keeps track of all of the printable coupons that companies have on their sites.
6. Print Store Specific Coupons. Target has a huge amount of coupons on their site that you can print out, here's a link. Whole Foods also has coupons to print, and coupons in the store ad, usually places somewhere near the front entrance. Really, almost any grocery or drugstore has their own coupons online, so check it out the next time you're planning a shopping trip.
I hope this info helps anyone looking to save money on healthy food and daily needs, a little bit of couponing has really helped us out so far!
Do any of you guys use coupons or try to buy the things you need on sale? Have any other great ideas for saving money?