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Money Matters Blog

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Smart Couponing Tips

On average, people spend up to 15% of their monthly budget on groceries. Considering this amount and the rising cost of groceries, it makes sense to seek out ways which could help us stretch our dollars at the supermarket. Community Financial team member Melanie has a few shopping tips to help you lower your spending.

Melanie has been saving money with coupons for as long as she can remember. Her best tip for other coupon savers out there is, “Don’t buy something simply because it is a ‘good’ deal--only buy items you need.”

Couponing has taken off tremendously since the economic recession of 2008. The I Love Coupon Month* website tells us nearly 80 percent of consumers started using coupons in 2012.

Local newspapers clippings, advertisements, and the Kroger mobile app are Melanie’s sources for coupons. She stresses the importance of the Kroger app for customers who frequent that grocery store. Melanie said, “If you download the 2 times fuel points coupon to your card, you will get double points when you shop on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.” She also added, “Just yesterday I saved 70 cents a gallon which equaled $11.20 on a tank of gas!”

To Melanie, clipping coupons hasn’t turned into another full-time job like it has for some of the people you see on TV shows like Extreme Couponing on TLC. Melanie looks for coupons that are delivered in free publications of community newspapers, but lately she prefers coupons that she can download on her phone. “I really no longer ‘clip’ that many coupons. The Kroger and Costco apps are great,” she said. 

Other couponing apps that have been getting a lot of attention lately for their money-saving value include SnipSnap, RetailMeNot, and Yowza*.
Melanie has many tips for shoppers who want to save more money by couponing. She sticks to this plan when shopping:
  • Make a list of what you need
  • Look at the sale ads and coupons you’ve accumulated from your various resources
  • Make a menu for the week based on your coupons and what’s on sale
  • Stick to what’s on your list
  • Don’t go to the store hungry
Melanie prefers getting a dollar amount off when searching for coupons. “I love to be able to say that I would have paid ‘x’ dollars for an item,” she said. Melanie’s yearly savings from using coupons add up to an average of $2,000. As she put it, “I think everyone should use coupons because there is no easier way to save $2,000.”

*Community Financial does not endorse the information, content, presentation or accuracy, nor make any warranty, expressed or implied, regarding the websites and/or apps mentioned above.

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