Most consumers value coupon discounts and cash-back rewards when shopping. After all, who doesn’t love bargains? Businesses take advantage of this to drive sales and retain more customers.
If you want to spend less and save money on groceries and other essentials, collect coupons. However, the problem is that you might have to spend a lot of time and energy gathering coupons only to find out they’re invalid when you finally use them.
A coupon code, in particular, may be invalid because of a few actors. One is that it’s already expired. Another reason is that the code you entered isn’t the coupon code itself but the code you type in the order comments at checkout.
So, to start couponing successfully, you need to prepare yourself. It may be challenging for beginners but not if you follow tips and master some tricks like the following:
1. Know where to find coupons
Finding coupons isn’t as simple as before when you could see them in surplus in a local newspaper. Luckily, there are many places you can check now, including coupon databases, which are websites that collect coupons to make it easier for consumers to locate them.
For instance, you can find great deals from DontPayFull.com. They’ll help you look for products of your choice at affordable prices.
Other places where you can get coupons are:
• Sunday newspapers
• In-store and checkout coupons
• Weekly store ads
• Coupon apps and websites
2. Set aside time
Research shows that about 92% of people in America search for deals before making purchases. Since collecting valid coupons may take a while, you must set aside time for it. Cut distractions to reduce the time you’ll spend on them. Moreover, you’ll need to research to get excellent deals on the products you want.
For example, you can set 30 minutes to an hour daily looking for deals instead of watching TV shows or chatting with friends. Check for deal threads on coupon groups, social media, or blogs. You may also want to spend a few minutes preparing your coupons before running to the mall.
3. Try stacking
Coupon stacking is an excellent trick to have up your sleeve. It involves getting both manufacturer and store coupons. While you can use store coupons only at the store where you get them, a manufacturer coupon is valid in all stores that sell the manufacturer’s products.
Tracking, on the other hand, refers to using the retailer’s and manufacturer’s coupons at the same time. You save more money than you’d have if you’d only used a store coupon. You can even attain an overage. It means that your coupon’s worth exceeds the product’s, and the store will owe you the extra cash or give you credit for future purchases.
4. Organize your coupons (paper and digital)
You’ll have to organize your coupon to make it easy to locate and match your shopping items. Consider using a binder for your coupons. Coupons binders help you organize your collection based on their expiry and urgency. They’re portable as well, and you can take them to the grocery store.
A 2021 study indicates that 83% of online shoppers in the US use digital coupons, so you might want to take advantage of them too. You can organize your digital coupons within spreadsheets or clip them to your account. The more you manage them, the easier it’ll be to use them on your shopping spree.
5. Forget store and brand loyalty
Couponing involves buying whatever is cheaper. It may not be the brand you’re used to, but it drives the same value, and you can get it at a reasonable price. However, you should watch out for coupons from your favorite brand if you aren’t able to afford to buy from another.
The same applies to your retailers. You must be willing to shop at different stores to maximize the benefits of coupons. Your favorite store may not always have coupons for the products you need, but others may.
6. Consider the store’s coupon policy
Stores have varying policies on coupon usage. You must check the rules your store has in place regarding coupon usage. You can visit the store to ask customer service about the policy or check online.
Aside from making inquiries, you should read through the promotional email you received, which includes guidelines for using a particular code. But if you’re still encountering problems when entering the code, reach out to customer service. They’ll be willing to assist you.
Some stores may require you to join their loyalty program before using coupons while others may have rules on doubling coupons. Though you can use your stack of store and manufacturer coupons on some, others may decline or invalidate the manufacturer’s coupon.
Even if finding coupons takes time and commitment, you’ll get to save some money you could use on other products. With all these tips and tricks, you’ll collect valid coupons like a pro.