I’m a newbie at couponing, mainly because it’s changed a lot from my youth to me moving out on my own. It’s no longer all about the Sunday paper. It’s not longer hoarding little paper scraps (unless they come on the end of a mile long CVS receipt). It’s almost all digital, and thank God for that. But collecting coupons never seems fast and easy. There are thousands of ways to find them. They take a long time to gather together.
So what have I found to be the answer?
Having a few sources for coupons: I find that if you only have two or three apps it saves you not only money but time. Sure you might miss a few deals, but a lot of the deals are the same app to app, also I’m not sure the 50 cents off is worth losing ten minutes of my day. I’ve found the most useful apps for me have been the acutal grocery store app, whether it be Lowes Food or Food Lion. They have deals that you can load to your “MVP” card. No fumbling with barcodes on your phone. No holding up the line. Just a simple phone number and swipe and your out of there.
Another app I love? Fetch Rewards. It has a ton of brands on its app and you get points every time you buy one of them! It’s easy to use, all you have to do is scan your receipt and it gives you points. The points take a while to add up, but once you get enough you can turn them into giftcards for a ton of popular stores (like Walmart, Target, and Amazon) in $5, $10, and $25 amounts. I have a code if you create an account that will help me get more points, but whether you use it or not, I think you should download the app. My code is EFMVE
Look at the apps at least once a week, not just right before you shop: Stay aware about whats on sale. It can not only help you remember to grab it when its in the store, but you can use it to help plan your meals in advance. After all, some ingredients we use in everything, others are only for certain things.
Don’t buy to save: I feel like couponing has a bad stereotype because people tend to stockpile mass amounts of things that they may or may not use before it expires. I don’t just try snack foods because they are on sale. I don’t buy eight things of Tide because I get cash back. It’s okay to do this a little bit, let’s say have two things of Tide, because you know you’ll use it soon. But when we go overboard we might be saving a small amount of money in the long run, but we’re spending way more than it’s worth up front. Also, let’s be honest, coupons cycle, they’ll be back around sometime soon.
Watch the name brands: A lot of coupons focus on name brand items, which is great because they are more expensive, but for certain products there isn’t much difference between the name brand and the generic. Make sure to do the math, sometimes even with a coupon for the name brand the generic is still cheaper and will be the right choice to save you money.