Saturday, February 18, 2012

Couponing Do's and Dont's

Today I want to discuss couponing in a little more depth.  I have been collecting coupons for more years than I care to admit.  It drives my husband crazy.  I won't go the grocery store without checking coupons first.

The most traditional and trusted source of coupons will be the Sunday newspaper.  Yes, you will have to pay for the paper, but the
money you save will reimburse you for your subscription many times over.  Finding a coupon that fits your needs in the Sunday paper is very likely.  However, if you prefer to forgo a subscription and buy only what you will need check out  to see a list of the current weeks coupons in your area.  If you don't find anything you would use, or there are no coupons for that week,  than you won't need to purchase the paper.

Several magazines are also dedicated to coupons.  All You is a great source of savings.  In addition to coupons this magazine offers shopping coupons, and on-line savings codes.  The subscription cost is very reasonable and the savings are worth the cost.  If you visit the All You website,, there are additional coupon savings. Almost every magazine you purchase today will have a savings coupon for either food or shopping. The need for consumers to maximize savings has become a valued marketing tool.

Trends in couponing have grown widely over the past 10 years.  Internet coupons have sprung up everywhere.  Unfortunately so has the amount of fraud associated with these coupons.  Forged coupons have forced manufactures to pull back on the amount of savings a coupon will offer, as well as the number of coupons distributed.  Grocers have also been forced to address the issue by altering coupon policies.  One store in my area will not offer double coupons any longer due to the amount of loss forged Internet coupons cost.  Always be sure you print coupons from an established sites such as those I've included at the top of my blog page.  Be cautious of e-mails offering coupons for free items.  Some are forged, while others are legitimate.   Any valid printed coupon will have a scan bar, a "manufactures coupon" phrase and an expiration date.  Printing and clipping internet coupons will require paper, and ink which accumuliates a cost.  To keep these costs minimul only print what you will use.

Be sure to check coupon polices on your grocers website.  Print the policies and carry them with you if you must.  Don't be afraid to speak up if a cashier is not following the policies procedures.  Several realty programs dedicating to couponing have also contributed to skepticism.   Cashiers have been caution to be careful when accepting coupons.  Even though they may be wrong remember they are only trying to do their job.  Showing a copy of the current store polices to the cashier should clear up the issue quickly.  Be wise though and always make sure you are following coupon polices yourself.  The biggest blunder would be mistakenly trying to present an expired coupon.

My coupons are stored in an accordian file cateorgized by product type (ie canned goods, pet foods etc).  The expired coupons are weeded out at least once a month.  Instead of discarding the coupons they can be donated to Military Families who can continue to take advantage of them for up to six months after expiriation.  I encourage everyone to visit to get more information on this program and help support our soliders and their families.

Your coupon savings will always be rewarding if you follow these simple rules:
1)  Make sure your coupons are legitimate
2)  Check the expiration date before attemtpting to use a coupon
3)  Purchase only what the coupon advertises
4)  Check your grocers coupon policies

Happy Savings Everyone!!

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