Sunday, April 03, 2011

Coupons = Cash

Inspired by a thread on the Low Carb Friends forum, I started using coupons religiously in 2009. I've always been a deal chaser but was pretty casual about it before then. I used coupons here and there but routinely paid full price. Committing to using coupons has changed my perspective. Now, I don't dare shop without them and I never settle for full price.  Believe it or not, coupons and discounts are not hard to find. Companies throw money at consumers to entice us to buy their product or shop at their stores. Here are some of the best sources for coupons and discounts to help you rack up savings.

Weekly newspapers- The Sunday paper tis the best source for manufacturer coupon inserts. I used to resist using manufacturer coupons because I convinced myself that they were mostly for products we don't use. Since I clip and send about 80 percent of these coupons to military bases overseas, this has proven to be mostly true. But, the savings we get from the coupons we do use more make it worthwhile.

Online coupons- There are a number of sites that allow you to print coupons right from the web. Coupons.com, redplum.com, smartsource.com, and e-centives.com are some of the most popular coupon printing sites.   

Company mailing lists- Bed Bath & Beyond is one of my favorite stores. Unfortunately, they don't distribute online coupons but they do mail 20 percent off or  $5 off $15 coupons fairly regularly. I find their prices a bit high but combining their coupons with an existing sale helps me save quite a bit when I shop there.

Rebates- Rebates are another great way to save money and a natural extension of  coupons. I routinely search online for rebates for products that I'm thinking of buying because rebates can be combined with sales and coupons for even more savings. For instance, Libman is currently offering a $5 rebate on its Freedom mop. Riteaid recently had a 40% off sale on Libman mops. I also had a $2 off coupon. So, when all is said and done, I'll be paying a little over $6 for a mop that typically retails for $22.99.

Online rebate sites- I always shop through online cash back sites like ebates.com. They keep a list of current discounts being offered by each company listed on their site. The extra cash back you get from shopping through sites like this is the icing on the cake.

Loyalty rewards programs- If you have brands that you prefer to use exclusively, sign up for their loyalty programs. My two favorites are Huggies and Marriott. Entering the rewards code from each Huggies product I buy allows me to get free stuff after accumulating so many points. We stay at Marriott hotels exclusively when we travel so we earn free nights through their rewards programs.

7 comments:

Marie Anne said...

Coupons are worth it if you have a family and use the things you can get coupons for. I use coupons occasionally, but seldom are they available on things I use.

septembermom said...

Coupons do make a big difference. Thanks for reminding me to start being more conscientious with my shopping through coupons. Happy to meet you through the A to Z challenge.

Dafeenah said...

I used them when I lived in the states. I tailored my shopping to what was on sale that week. Buying the sales in bulk. You would be surprised how much money you actually save each month just by using coupons and sales. Thanks for sharing this

Stopping by from the Challenge
Dafeenah

Spenc said...

I gather coupons, but them forget to use them. I'm trying to get better about taking them with me to the store, but I think it's like re-usable bags, it will take a while before it's a habit. As for loyalty programs if you going Cost Plus World Markets program they give you $10 to use in their store for your birthday (I love free money).

Lizzy said...

I'm a huge fan of using loyalty rewards programs. Last year, I traveled about 5 months for my job, and I collected Marriott Rewards points as I went. It's the only way I've been able to pay for my vacations and for my family when they come to visit!!

Lizzy Ford

Craig Edwards said...

What a providential post - my wife and I have just started gearing up on a coupon system - inspired by the Extreme Couponers show - and now by this post! Thanks! Cheers!

Jo Schaffer said...

Frugal and clever. I like using coupons for some purchases. Harder for groceries because I only eat certain foods--health freak here. Hard to find deals on healthy food.