Coupons have long been the choice of savvy shoppers who want to save money. Now, however, with websites, social media, text marketing, and other new technologies, couponing is easier and more fun than ever. Couponing does take time, but with a little planning and organization, you can make it work for you.
Here are some tips to becoming a successful coupon user:
Check out Coupon Websites and Social Media
Gone are the days when you could only get coupons by sitting down with the Sunday paper and clipping them out. With the proliferation of websites and social media pages devoted to couponing, finding and printing coupons can be quick and easy. Many brands also post coupons online, so you’ll want to do some research to see what’s available for your favorite products.
Opt-In for Text Coupons
If you like a particular pizza restaurant, coffee shop, or other business, check out its website, social media page, or in-store posters to see if it offers opt-in text marketing. Often, these texts will include coupons that you can bring in and show to the cashier right on your smartphone, eliminating the need even to print them out.
The real genius of couponing comes with combining offers. Read store flyers to see what items are on sale each week, and then use your coupons for those items. Also, shop at stores that offer double coupons or other special incentives for coupon users. And don’t forget about rebates: if you play your coupons right, using a coupon on a product that has a mail-in rebate can sometimes even net you a profit.
Don’t Buy What you Don’t Need
The downside of couponing is to do precisely what companies hope you will do: buy a product you don’t need simply because you have a coupon for it. Avoid this trap by collecting coupons only for products that you like and use regularly. It might seem on the surface you’re saving less this way, but, if you’re avoiding impulse purchases and items you don’t really need, selective couponing actually saves you more money in the long run.
Couponing heightens your awareness of the price of food and other goods, and it forces you to pay attention to how much you’re spending, and on what. And this kind of self-awareness — whether you end up using a coupon or not — is a good thing.