Don’t worry this is not the kind of post where I am going to suggest you start a coupon binder, go dumpster diving and clip every coupon.
That used to be me about 8 years ago. I had my colossal coupon binder and shopping trips would be so calculated that if I forgot I had a coupon in my back pocket I forgot to use, I would cry in frustration. I could tell you about the time I left my huge binder in a shopping cart at Walgreen’s and freaked out but luckily it was still there when I returned. It’s just PAPER but all the work that went into it, I tell you! Times have changed and while I am sure some people still go that way and save a ton, it’s very time-consuming so I am going to give you some REAl tips.
For example here is a scenario I did recently.
Bought a Groupon for a CVS gift card valued at $20 for $10.
I dropped off a package at the post office and just went through the recycle bin where the mail boxes are. I got about 4 coupon inserts with no effort. (This is a great place to get free inserts, hey you could even sell these on eBay!)
I went to CVS and scanned my card at the red machine and got some great coupons that I used in that visit.
I bought diapers, milk, a few makeup products that I really wanted to try, stuff like that.
I used my CVS gift card and paid $12 after using all my coupons. You can use a CVS coupon, and a manufacturer coupon on the same item.
I then got $12 in CVS bucks on the bottom om my receipt. Extra Care bucks work like cash at CVS. So that cancelled each other out, so really I only spent the $10 I put down for the $20 gift card.
I did all this with my 6 kids around so it wasn’t that hard to figure out and pull off and I didn’t plan this tip for hours before hand.
Now next time I go to CVS I will buy items, with coupons that give Extra Care Bucks with my $12 Extra- Care bucks. This is called “Rolling your Bucks” so you keep your tab low and keep it going. The goal is to pay as little as possible and get money back, more than you paid obviously, for the next trip. I hope that makes sense.
You may think CVS is not a place to save money, or Whole Foods but you can save big at ANY store if you do it right.
So here are 5 Practical, Easy, Ways to Save with Coupons.
Loyalty Cards are your friend! Sign up online to link your card and take a look at the coupons you can load to your card. Sometimes you also get a $10 off 30 type of special coupon. I know for example Safeway tracks your spending so they will give you special coupons on the items YOU like to purchase. I will never find a coupon on Napa Cabbage but Safeway will make one for me. Also there are things like “Friday Freebie” where Fry’s gives a free item away every Friday. You need to simply look on their website and make sure you use your loyalty card.
Groupons– Like I mentioned in the above scenario, you can buy gift cards for half the price. You can also get amazing deal on food subscription services and meal delivery services. Never pay full price!
Where to find Coupons– Always scan your CVS card each visit at the awesome red machine. Remember you can combine these with manufacturer coupons AND extra care bucks. You can have one item and 3 coupons for it (the 3 different types I mentioned) and it’s perfectly fine. Walgreens has a similar program with points if you prefer to shop there but there is nothing like the CVS system. You can get manufacturer coupons by printing them, buying copies of the Sunday Paper (I like to do this at the Dollar Store- call and ask if they have them, sometimes not until Monday), or my favorite trick is going somewhere they have p.o boxes and raiding the recycle bin. There are tons of coupons there every day. For some help to match the coupons to current sales to get the more for your buck, I recommend the Krazy Koupon Lady.
Think outside the box- Let me give you a scenario at Target. We can all admit that Target, will get ya! Here are some ways to save. First of all buy a “Raise” gift card. These are gift cards people are selling for a discount. For example I can start with a $400 gift card for $387 out of pocket. Now I am going to use on top of that the Cartwheel app. I will look for things that are on clearance and then scan them to see if there is a coupon for them (they pack it with savings), or I will just try to match the big coupon savings to things already marked down that I need. I will also look for items that will give me Target Gift Cards BACK. Target does price match with Amazon, so this would be a great place for all your christmas shopping. If you shop at a particular store a lot, definitely download the app. Whole Foods has their own app and match that up with the coupons in their booklet and current sales and you can save big! Again just use a site like Krazy Koupon Lady that does all the coupon matching for you!
Dollar Tree Shopping- Did you know that the Dollar Tree accepts coupons? You can find coupon matches at the Krazy Koupon Lady site or other websites. Some advantages are that if coupons are over $1 they will apply the overage to your overall total as long as it doesn’t put you in the negative 🙂 For example if they have Maybeline products and you have a $2 off coupon you will not only get the item for free but have an extra dollar shaved off your total. Win-Win.
I hope this inspires you to find some ways to save you might not have considered or forgot about. What are some other ways you like to save with Coupons?