People have been saying for years that it’s possible to cut thousands of dollars from your annual grocery bill, simply by using coupons. But is that really true without becoming a glorified hoarder?
When it comes to coupons you have to admit that it takes a certain savvy know-how to maneuver through all of the promises and get to the actual savings. It becomes apparent early on in the process that reading all of the fine print is crucial. Often a coupon is only good for a specific size, or only if more than one of the items is purchased at the same time.
This is where your firsthand knowledge of your household needs will become the most important tool you have. For example a coupon for 50 cents off a pack of sandwich meat may seem like a great deal. But if the coupon is only valid for 2 20 ounce packages you’ll need to decide if your household can honestly use that much before any of the meat goes bad. Buying food which is almost guaranteed to spoil in your home just isn’t economical.
As for where to get coupons there are several options. The Sunday newspaper often has plenty of coupons, but if that’s the only reason you’re buying the paper it may be better to ask you not so coupon savvy neighbors for theirs instead.
There are a lot of websites which offer printable coupons. These are wonderful, but you want to make sure you only print what you’re sure you’ll use, as ink can be expensive as well. Unless of course you find a great coupon on printer ink, in which case print away! You’ll also want to check your store’s policy on accepting online coupons, as not all stores do.
Some people offer coupon services and will mail you various coupons for a price. This can get pricey pretty quick, so unless you’re absolutely sure you will save more than you spend this route isn’t recommended.
The bottom line is that couponing should enhance your lifestyle by allowing you to spend your money on more enjoyable activities. If saving money becomes so labor-intensive that it starts to take over your life you might want to think about giving TLC a call; the channel recently premiered a show called “Extreme Couponing”.