The Advantages of Coupons

This article is to help you see the advantages on using coupons and how to use them to get the maximum rewards.

I am a firm believer in coupons. I am of the belief that if you do not take advantage of coupons then you would be throwing money away. We live in a society where the economy is not in very good shape. Jobs are hard to find and sometimes even hard to keep.  Many do not give you enough money to live on or enough hours to help pay the bills. Then there are times when you may become laid off or have to be on foodstamps. Times are hard.
 Clipping coupons doesn’t take as much time as you may think. Just a couple minutes here and a couple minutes there, you can clip them while watching TV or talking on the phone. You can have them sent through the mail or in your email. There are web sites you can even find them on. If you ask to be put on companies mailing list for products that you use many times they will even send you coupons in the mail.
Still not sure clipping or using coupons are worth the time? Well here are a couple of examples that I have witnessed personally as a cashier, to the benefits and the power of coupons.
Example 1:  A woman comes through my line and puts her groceries up onto the belt. She separates them into about four little separate orders. She is buying bread and soup and cat food. We have a promotion going on at the store where I am working that said: “buy five cans of the soup and one loaf of the bread and receive a custom coupon for $5 off of a future order. Limit one coupon per transaction.” This is why she does them in separate orders. She also has coupons for the cat food and the soup.  Then as an extra bonus at our store every coupon that is 50₵ or less will double. A 50₵ coupon will deduct a dollar a 30₵ coupon will deduct 60₵. We also allow you to use one store coupon and one manufacture coupon per item. She does this two days in a row coming through my line. I figured as an estimate she got about a hundred and twenty dollar of groceries between all of her little orders and between both days. After using her coupons she has only paid about 3 dollars for it all. When asked what she was going to do with all that soup and bread and cat food she said she was donating it to the food bank. That is very good a hundred and twenty dollars of groceries and only paying around three dollars for it all, she now even has a tax deduction of that hundred and twenty dollars
Example 2: A man comes through a u-scan lane with his groceries. He scans them through the register then rings his coupons. This brings his total down to twenty dollars even. He then pulls out his wallet and I thought he was going to pay. Boy was I wrong. He pulls out a coupon he received from our pharmacy about five or ten minutes before for “$20 dollars of your next grocery purchase for using our pharmacy for a new or transferred prescription”. By using this coupon he wiped out his entire bill saving over forty dollars. I saw his receipt because I was curious on his savings. He walked out paying nothing.
As I stated earlier there are many ways you can get coupons. The most common is in the Sunday newspaper. But if that is the only way you get your coupons then you are missing out on a great more savings.  You can look for coupons inside boxes or packages of food. There are also coupons in your favorite magazines. As I also said you can write to your favorite brand companies and request to be put on their mailing list. They will then send you coupons on occasions.
Next there are also many stores now days that will print out store coupons at the register. This is their way to get you to come back to their store and shop some more. Yes you may think this is just a gimmick for you to spend more money at their store. But that isn’t all. If you are already going to that store to shop anyways you may as well take advantage of using their coupons.  
There are also web sites where you can go and print coupons from their web site with your printer. Here is a couple that I have used personally but there are so many more if you have a few moments to look. www.smartsource.com , www.couponmom.com and www.coupons.comall you have to do, is open up your web browser and type in “coupons online” in the search box. It will give you a list of places to go to get coupons. Just be careful of picking up viruses on some sites, just as you would when searching for anything on the internet.
There is one more that I will pass on that I have used and you can to if you are able. If you happen to live in a state or an area that has a Meijer store then this is a site you will want to take advantage of. Go to www.mperks.meijer.comsign up using a text enabled cell phone. You will use your ten digit number (aria code included) as your account number. They will send you a code on your phone when signing up to complete the process. Once you have signed up they will have coupons that you can clip. You do not have to print the coupons out but I suggest that you write down the items and the number needed to buy in order to use the coupon that you clipped. When you get to the store and make your purchases you will be able to enter your ten digit phone number on the number pad while the cashier is ringing up your items. As long as you have followed the specifications then it will automatically deduct the coupons that you clipped online. Be sure to check back on the site every few days because they are always adding more. I also happen to know that Meijer will double coupons that are 50₵ or less, not including Meijer store coupons.
When using coupons it is also good to find stores that also double coupons and if there are any that will triple coupons all the better. But that will depend on where you live and if there are any that will triple them anymore. I haven’t found any near me that will triple and there is only one store that I know of around me that will even double them.
Another way to maximize the benefits of using coupons is to use coupons for items when they are on sale. For instance if you have a coupon for $1.00 off any 2 bags of lays potato chips and lays potato chips are on sale for 2 for $4.00 then you only pay a dollar fifty each bag of chips. You will be saving about 62.5% on average.
One thing to remember when using coupons though, if you have a coupon for $1.00 off of 2 and the item is on sale for buy one get one free then you have to buy at least 3 so that you are paying for 2 of them to get the coupon to work. So if you are going to do that then you may as well buy all 4 then not only are you getting the dollar off for the two items you are also getting two of them for free. When you stock up on these like this you are saving a lot of money.
Also, remember when you have a coupon be sure to read it word for word.  Follow it exactly to be sure that it is used legally and properly. I have seen many people get upset because they have a coupon and couldn’t use it because they didn’t get the right amount or the wrong size. This also includes watching the expiration dates closely to make sure that it hasn’t expired.
If you still do not think it is worth using coupons here is a challenge for you. Clip coupons and follow the advice in this article. Do this for six months. Every time you do, look at the receipt to see what your total coupon savings for that shopping trip is. Take that total and put the money into a jar. For instance if you go to the store and you save $2.50 in coupons then put $2.50 into the jar, at the end of the 6 months add up all of the money in the jar and see how much was saved. Do this for a year and you could have money to use towards Christmas or for vacation. Let me know how it goes and how well you do. I would love to hear feedback on this.

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