8 Easy Steps to Using Coupons to Save Money on Your Shopping

By Chika


Last Updated: September 6, 2023


The ability to make sound financial decisions is a critical skill for navigating today's turbulent economy.

Persistent inflation has exacerbated the cost of living crisis and reduced the purchasing power of the dollar. Assets have lost their value, while household debt has spiked to record levels. Given the current economic turmoil, the importance of improving your financial literacy and independence cannot be overstated.

One strategy that can help you navigate the current financial turmoil is couponing.

In this article, we take a look at coupons and credits, including the areas in which they intersect and why they are smart choices for navigating financial challenges.

Using coupons is a savvy way to save money on your everyday purchases. 



What is a coupon?

A coupon is a voucher that entitles the holder to a discount on a purchase. They have always been a popular tool for saving money on purchases by bargain hunters and thrift shoppers.

A 2021 study by Coupon Follow estimated that coupons could save about $1,465 in expenses annually for the average US household. As such, this simple act of finding paper clips and getting the best deals could actually accumulate significant gains when used efficiently!



8 Steps to Using Coupons to Save Money

Here's a step-by-step guide on how to effectively use coupons to save money when you go shopping.


Hunt for Coupons

The initial step is to search for discounts. There are numerous sources and methods for obtaining coupons. Newspapers and periodicals are the conventional methods for obtaining deals. Sunday publications' coupon sections are popular. 

However, technology has also enabled digital coupon distribution. Coupon-specific mobile applications include Ibotta, and  RetailMeNot. You can also search for deals on numerous websites online. Simply enter the manufacturer or retailer's name and the coupon code into the search engine. 

There are some retailers that include them in their weekly or monthly circulars. They are frequently combinable with manufacturer coupons for additional savings.


Organize Your Coupons

Now that you starting to build a collection, the next step is getting them organized.

Consider using a small accordion-style folder or an envelope to keep them organized under different categories (e.g., groceries, household, personal care). This will help you quickly find the ones you need while shopping.


Read the coupon's fine print

Prior to visiting the store, familiarize yourself with its coupon policy.

It can be embarrassing to have your coupon rejected due to expiration or ineligibility. Each retailer may have distinct usage policies, including expiration dates, stacking, and doubling. Understanding these policies will prevent confusion and dissatisfaction at the register.


Create a shopping list

Make a list of the items you need to purchase before you go shopping. Note any deals that correspond to these items.


Combine them with sales

Maximize your savings by using coupons when the items are already on sale. This "stacking" technique can lead to significant discounts. Pay attention to items that are on clearance or marked down, as these are excellent opportunities to use them.


Stick to your shopping plan

When you get to the store, stick to the list you made.

Be disciplined and avoid impulse buying. Even though they can be tempting, don't buy something just because you have a coupon for it if you don't really need or want it.


Review receipts

Check your receipt after you've made a purchase to make sure that all your coupons were used properly.

It's important to catch any mistakes before you leave the store.


Keep an eye on sales, promotions, and new coupons. 

Sign up for newsletters or emails from your favorite shops and coupon sites to find out about new deals.

If you follow these steps and use your coupons carefully, you can save a lot of money on your normal shopping costs. It's a smart way to stretch the money you've worked hard for.



How to use coupons the right way

Couponing isn’t a one-way ticket out of debt, but there are ways to use them to your advantage without falling victim to retailer tactics.


Incorporate couponing into your lifestyle

There are some matters over which you have no control.

You may lack control over your mortgage, rent, tuition, and child care expenses.

However, you do have control over your purchasing habits. The amount you spend on consumables, personal care products, entertainment, and travel is entirely up to you, and you can adjust it to fit your budget. Using coupons can assist you in adjusting your spending and staying within your budget.


Use coupon savings in a smart way

Coupons no doubt help you spend money, but how about taking it a step further?

If you can, invest the extra amount saved. If you get a 20 or 30 percent discount, rather than just being comfortable with the money saved, why not put that money into an investment like index funds or ETFs?

You can even use it to pay off some debt. The reality is that you would have spent that money without them, so putting what you have saved to good use is a financially smart way to use them. 


Get rewarded for your loyalty

Occasionally, manufacturers will send you complimentary items to show their appreciation for your adoration of their product.

Thank the manufacturers of your favorite brands by sending them an email. You could receive deals in exchange.


Start small

Some coupons may only save you a small amount of money, but don't be disheartened.

A dollar here and there can accumulate over time. Consider it a dollar or two less than you would have otherwise spent. Consider your savings over a month or year as opposed to a single shopping excursion.



Final Thoughts

Coupons are an effective method for overcoming financial obstacles, and more importantly, they teach how to use money efficiently and strategically.

Whether you are seeking a discount or borrowing to purchase a property, it is important to realize that how you use money will either make or break your financial future.

You will begin to see progress as you learn how to:

  • follow your sales cycles
  • pair coupons with sales
  • create a stockpile
  • and locate discounts

Like Legos, these little objects begin to pile up on top of one another. They somewhat fit together. As you connect them, your tower grows in height, and as your tower grows, so do your savings.



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