By Darby Dugan
There is more to becoming a Savvy Couponer than just clipping coupons and redeeming them. There’s a lot more. Today, we have our first lesson on how to win this game. Here goes:
You cannot be Brand Loyal. Let’s say you and your family like Brand X, and it costs $3.69. Brand Y is on sale for $2 and you have a coupon for $1 off that item — of course, you’re going to buy Brand Y. Instead of paying full price for your preferred brand, you get the other brand for $1. Simple economics.
A lot of people tell me that they only buy generic or store brand items, thinking that they are always the cheapest. Not so. Brand items are often cheaper when they are on sale and combined with a coupon. My inventory is full of brand name items and believe me, I always buy the least expensive item that I can.
Shop stores that double coupons whenever possible. Our local Kroger doubles coupons up to 50 cents, so that 50 cents off coupon is worth $1 every day all day long. Anything more than 50 cents is redeemed at face value.
Call around and ask if your stores double. Make sure you know their policy on how many coupons they will accept and double in one transaction.
On occasion, K-Mart will double coupons. Be sure to watch the ads for details. This is a great opportunity to use your high value coupons for they often double up to $2!
As I write this, Walmart is doing a double coupon pilot program in some areas of the country. It is my understanding that Walmart is doubling coupons up to 99 cents. If it does start doubling coupons, this will be big! Let’s keep our fingers crossed!
Make a price book if you’re willing to shop at several stores in order to get the best price possible for the items you need. All you need is a notebook and some time. List the items that you purchase on a regular basis and then write down the everyday price of these items at the stores you shop. But don’t just blindly go to the store with the lowest price without checking the sales circulars and Internet forums for sales. Make sure that you watch for sales of these items so that you can take advantage of them.
Hold onto your coupon inserts. Don’t just clip the coupons that you think you will use and then throw the inserts away, because you are potentially throwing away great deals. There may be a killer sale coming up, that, combined with coupons, could get you free or very cheap items.
Don’t pass up deals that you won’t use. Someone will. If you find a great deal and are so inclined, get the deal and share with those less fortunate. Food banks throughout the nation are running low. Animal shelters are hurting. One beautiful benefit of couponing is that it enables us to be good stewards for others.
Frugal Tip of the Day
If you’re like me, and love when your incredible, sexy mane reflects the brilliance of the sun and the play of lights, when it has more body than Marilyn Monroe, when it holds its style and when frizz dare not come close, but hate paying those high prices for products that promise to perform but often fall flat, then do I have a tip for you! And it’s probably sitting in your cabinet right now. Apple cider vinegar. Yep, you read right. Just fill a spray bottle and keep it in your shower. Shampoo your hair and rinse. Spray your hair with the vinegar, work it in and continue with your shower. Rinse your hair before you step out. This conditions your hair, helps to strip away all the gunk that you’ve tortured it with, and leaves you with luminous, full bodied hair that Farrah would be jealous of. And no, you won’t smell like vinegar, it dissipates immediately. Trust me. Try it, you’ll love the results, and me, for turning you onto it.