Did you know that American families and businesses spent about $1.77 trillion on food and beverages in 2019? The prices of food purchased at grocery stores rose about 1% from 2018 to 2019.
The price index for vegetables increased more than other food categories, about 3.8%. The price of eggs dropped by 10% between 2018 and 2019. In 2019, American households spent about 10% of their incomes on food purchases.
Those households with the lowest incomes in America spent about $4,400 on their food in 2019. This was about 36% of their income.
Couponing is a great way to save on essentials like food. This guide to couponing will teach you what you need to start saving today. Keep reading to learn more.
First Make Room in Your Schedule
A step by step guide to couponing should always start by emphasizing the importance of making time to get your coupons together. You’ll need to set aside a couple of hours, at least once a week, to find and organize your coupons for a successful shopping trip.
This might seem like a lot of dedication to saving a couple of dollars on cereal but the savings will start to add up. The extra money you didn’t spend on groceries can go to other important expenses.
Find Coupons in a Traditional Newspaper
The coupon finding process is the most important part of becoming an expert couponer! You want to make sure you’re getting the right coupons for the kinds of things you’ll be shopping for.
One great place to start is with the local paper. Depending on where you live you might get a free newspaper every week or you might have to pay for a subscription but it’s worth the number of coupons you’ll be able to find.
Mailers are also worth giving a second look to before throwing them in the trash. Many of these contain coupons for restaurants but you can find savings for groceries too.
Print Coupons From the Web
This article is also your guide to green coupons! There are endless types of coupons you can find on the web. While you might have to print some of these coupons, most can be saved on your phone and scanned in the store without needing to waste any paper.
Googling coupons for the items you want is one way to find coupons online. You can also rely on the many coupon websites out there to find the best deals.
Create an email account exclusive for receiving coupons. You’ll get regular emails from the websites you signed up for with great deals so you never have to miss a discount.
Find Store Coupons When You’re Shopping
As soon as you walk into a store look for a store flyer. This should tell you their current sales and might even have some coupons you can use the same day or for your next shopping trip.
Some stores have coupon dispensers, always check these to see if any of the items you’re buying have additional discounts. Some products even come with coupons on the packaging.
Make sure you print any in-store coupons ahead of time or have them ready to scan on your phone at checkout.
Most stores have their own apps where you can download digital coupons to use when shopping. There are also plenty of coupon apps that collect manufacturer’s coupons or store coupons in one place.
Signing up for these apps can help you find the most savings on your next trip to the grocery store. Looking at the dollar general scenarios on these apps and adding in other store coupons will bring the price of your purchases down.
Some apps even offer cashback on your purchases! All you have to do is upload photos of your receipts and you’ll start getting money back on qualifying items.
Keep Everything Organized
Any good guide to extreme couponing will tell you that organization is crucial. Getting the most out of couponing requires strategic planning and keeping things neat so you don’t get overwhelmed with all the research you do and coupons you print.
A binder with dividers or a file organizer is a great way to sort your printed coupons. Make sure you have the coupons that expire sooner in the front and organize them by categories.
You also want to keep track of online coupons and those on your apps. Go through all of them and jot down which ones you plan to use before getting to the store.
Consider a Store’s Policies
Overage is something that occurs when multiple coupons exceed what your groceries actually cost. When this happens the store might offer you cash or credit for your next shopping trip. Some stores might not accept overage.
Ask about loyalty cards because these can be a great source of savings. Ask stores about their policy with stacking coupons. Some stores will take expired coupons, do some research on these policies before heading to the store.
Plan Out Your Shopping Trip
Always make a list of what you need before leaving your house. Take the coupons you’ll need to make sure you don’t end up adding items and spending more than you budgeted for.
While you can get the weekly store ads when you get there, try looking for them online ahead of time so you can know what items you should be buying. Use your coupons on items already on sale so you can pay even less for them.
It’s also a good idea to look at ads ahead of time so your store can price match if a competitor has a cheaper price on a specific item and you weren’t able to grab it for that lower price at the other store.
The Perfect Guide to Couponing
Everyone wants to save on the things they shop for on a day to day basis. This guide to couponing will help you become an expert so you can score some great deals! Make sure you check out some of the other articles on our site if you found this one helpful.