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How To Save Money Shopping With Coupons
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How to Save Money Shopping With Coupons

So what's all the hubub about coupons anyway? There are shows about extreme couponing (and what the heck is "extreme" couponing??), you're seeing more and more people using them in stores (some people have entire BINDERS they walk around with!), you can use them online, and on and on. But what's the big deal?

The truth is, shopping for the things we need (not to mention the things we want) has gotten more and more expensive and budgets are tight. And while the economy is starting to look like its heading in a positive direction (and the experts change their minds on this daily), many of us still need help staying within those budgets and providing for our family. I saw a ticker at the bottom of my favorite morning show the other day that said global food prices are going up again this month, for the third month in a row. Which means meat, fuel and even laundry detergents are affected by this increase. And with new, more expensive products coming out all the time competing for your dollar, many of us have to try a different approach to get by. And no, you don't have to be one of those "extreme" couponers you see on TV to do it. So, if you want to get started but are not sure quite how, try practicing some of basic strategies below, and you can save money shopping with coupons too.

Matching Coupons with Sales

Using coupons alone will not maximize your savings. But matching your coupons with sales will help you save money shopping and it's even better if you can match a coupon with a buy one get one offer. But you don't have to figure out all of those match ups on your own. There are plenty of websites to let you know which coupons will match what store sales. Look around and find the ones you really like.

Coupon Stacking

Coupon stacking is another way to save money shopping by using a manufacturer's coupon AND a store's coupon for the same item. And if it's on sale too? Hooray! Plus, there are stores who will take competitors coupons, so be sure you know your store's coupon policy and what other stores they will accept coupons from.

Rewards Programs

You can also save money shopping by utilizing a store's rewards program. Some stores offer a reward (ie: coupon) when you buy certain items during a sale week. When you buy these items, a coupon or "reward" will print at checkout that you can use towards your next purchase. You can leaf through the store's sale flyer to discover those products and a good coupon match up site will give you that info too. Then, you can save money shopping during your next transaction. But these rewards or coupons usually expire, so you want to be sure you use them before they do.

Start Saving!

The most important thing to remember when you are trying to save money shopping is to start slow, go at your own pace. Once in a while you will have your challenging days. Last week I came home from a grocery store run and my husband, who had gone to pick up a few things too, was so excited to tell me he used a $1.00 coupon on something he bought at the store. And then it hit me right over the head! I was so busy checking and re-checking my lists while I was shopping and then watching how everything rang up at the register I forgot to use MY coupons! I won't tell you what I yelled out load when I realized this, as this is a family article, but you can use your imagination ;)

All joking aside, once you get going and start to save money shopping you will find your rhythm and really start to get addicted into it. And don't forget to help out your fellow shopper save money shopping when you can. I was in the Publix deli the other day about to score one of my favorite brands of hummus at a BOGO price (BOGO= Buy one Get One Free) when a woman walked over to pick up some hummus too. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed she only picked up one. And was about to move on! A travesty! I turned around and and said "Excuse me, the hummus is buy one get one", I said. She thanked me, picked up another one and we both went off to finish our respective shopping journeys. Savers unite!


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