Real Ways to Save in the New Year–Part 3
By clover on January 12, 2009
Is clipping coupons worth the hassle? The short answer is that depends. If you know how to use your coupons for maximum savings then yes it’s well worth it. If not, then no it’s just a hassle.
So how do you maximize your savings? By understanding just how coupons work. Food manufacturers use coupons as a tool to beef up sales for particular items. When the promotion starts, they’ll put coupons in the newspaper and online. This is when the item is at its highest price.
Most people grab the coupon and use it right away saving just a few cents off the item. Or they ignore it because they know the item is more expensive than the bargain brand.
But, what most people don’t realize is that if you hold on to the coupons for 4-5 weeks the item will be on sale at its lowest point. It’s generally cheaper than even the bargain brand. And with the coupon, you’ll save a substantial amount off the regular price.
The real trick is to figure out when your favorite store runs their sales. The best way to do that is to keep track of the items you regularly buy and their price. Simply keep your register receipts for 4-6 weeks running. And then compare the prices over those weeks.
When you figure out what week has the lowest prices keep that receipt and compare it to the next 4-6 weeks worth of receipts. You’ll soon see a clear pattern and then you’ll know exactly when to use your coupons for maximum savings.
In the meantime, you’ll need to keep your coupons (and receipts) organized. One-way to that is with a coupons binder. Here’s what you’ll need. All of these items are available at Office Depot or Walmart.
Sturdy three ring binder3 x 5 photo pagesLabelsTabsMap of your favorite storeScissorsCouponsAds to your favorite stores
First, add your 3 x 5 photo pages to your binder. Then tab each one using your store map based on the way you shop. It’s best to shop the perimeter of the store then work your way into the aisles.
Let’s say you start in dairy section. The first tab would be diary. Then you’d label each pocket of the photo page for the dairy items you buy. Then you’d simply follow your store map and label all your pages accordingly. If you’d like to see a sample of the finished product checkout Clover’s video on You Tube.
Once you’re organized and know just when to use those coupons you could save as much as $10.00 or more per week. That’s $520.00 or more per year. Now that’s what I call saving.
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