Most strategic shoppers rely on grocery coupons to help save on their groceries. However, industry statistics show that a very small percentage of shoppers are heavy grocery coupon users. I have been a “heavy” coupon user for over a decade, and I am used to other shoppers watching me in the checkout line and making comments like, “You sure like coupons, don’t you?” I always smile and say, “Actually, I really like money. Using coupons is one way to have more of it!” Best of all, coupons are FREE money. If you’d like your share of free money, keep reading!
There are plenty of free grocery coupons available, if you know where to find them. In fact, in 2005 manufacturers issued 323 billion coupons with a face value of $375 billion. couponare We used less than 1% of them, a savings of about $3 billion, leaving over $370 billion of savings on the table. Because 88% of those coupons came from the Sunday newspaper, the key to getting your share of those savings is finding an easy way to use Sunday newspaper coupons.
I understand that coupons may seem too difficult to use. However, an average coupon user saves approximately 12% per year on their grocery spending, which translates to roughly $12 per week for the average household. An organized coupon user will spend about 30 minutes per week managing their coupon savings, which is the equivalent of earning at least $24 an hour (after taxes) for pretty easy work. If you can find a coupon organization system that works for you, you can expect to save several hundred or thousand dollars a year. You will find that the savings you realize will justify the time spent organizing coupons.
Your first step is to get a good coupon organizer. You do not need to spend a lot of money on a fancy coupon organizer to save with coupons. In fact, the best organizer I’ve ever had cost me $3 at an office supply store. To save the most with coupons you should have a coupon organizer that makes it easy for you to find coupons when you need them. Otherwise, you will end up getting frustrated with coupons and may give up on them quickly.
The key to saving the most with coupons is to save all of them every week. You do not necessarily have to cut them all out. In an average week, there may be 100 coupons between the two weekly circulars in the newspaper (one is labeled “SmartSource” and one is labeled “Valassis”). If you were to cut out and organize all of them every week, it would take quite a bit of time. If you were to cut out only the coupons you think you might use and throw the rest of the circular away, you will miss out on future deals when an item goes on sale which matches one of the coupons you threw away. Even if it was an item you wouldn’t have planned to buy, it could end up being free with a coupon. If you don’t use the item, you could always donate your freebies to charity to help others at no cost.
To save the most time and money with coupons, simply cut out the coupons you know you would use and save the rest of the circular. That way, if you see a great bargain later using a coupon you passed up, you can always go back and find it.
When you make your weekly shopping list, review your store’s weekly sales flyer and look for sale items that match your coupons. If your store doubles or triples coupons, it is possible that the sale price plus the coupon will make the item free! Once you get in the habit of matching sales and coupons, you can enjoy watching your grocery bill drop dramatically.