In a world where ignorance is at an all time high, it is time to bring things back in to perspective.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Time to save. Don’t be a coupon snob.

I can remember when I was in law school a friend of mine was always talking about using coupons at various restaurants and stores.  Although I was truly a poor college student, I think a part of me thought I was too good to use coupons. My….. how things have changed.  When I finally started using coupons I realized that I can really save quite a bit of money using coupons.  In this economy, who does not like to save money?  Here are a few ideas on how you can use coupons to help you save money. 

Store Coupons
I get the Sunday paper every week and go through all the sales advertisements and the coupons.  Many store advertisements have coupons in their weekly ads.  These coupons range from 20-40% off or $10 off a $25 purchase.  These coupons can add up to a pretty good savings rather quickly. 

Example We needed a travel system for my daughter.  Babies-R-Us gives 20% off coupons in the store, newspapers and in the mail all the time.  The travel system cost $179.99, with the 20% off we paid around $135 plus tax.  In case you missed it I saved $44 with that coupon.  

Example 2.  Since I did not have time to go to JCPenney on my lunch break I decided to do some quick shopping online while I at my lunch.  Armed with my $10 off $25 coupon I quickly find myself a deal.  I purchased a dress for my daughter that was on sale for $17.99 and SpongeBob pajamas for my nephew that was on sale for $9.99.  To avoid paying shipping cost I shipped to the local store.  My final bill with tax was $19.64. 

If you have a store you constantly shop at you should go to their website and sign up for their emails.  Most stores will email you coupons on a regular basis.  Below is a short list of stores I regularly receive coupons from via email and regular mail. 

Macy’s                                     Michael’s        
Target                                      Kroger
JoAnn’s                                    Children’s Place
Ann Taylor Loft                      JCPenney
Walgreen’s                               Babies-R-Us

Grocery coupons
I realize that many people don’t want to bother with cutting coupons out of the paper every week.  If you take the time to do this, you will see you can save well over $100 in grocery cost a year.  You will see the coupons in the paper for 25¢ -$1 off a particular item.  Most grocery stores will double coupons that are up to 50¢.   E.g. Kroger, Schnucks, and Meijer

Example.  Yoplait® yogurt at Kroger costs $2.49, with the 50¢ off coupon doubled I now pay $1.49.  Does not sound like much?  Well, I buy yogurt every week so if I save $1 a week I would save $52 in one year off yogurt alone.

Example 2.   Colgate® Enamel Strength toothpaste usually goes on sale at Kroger for $2.  With the 50¢ double coupon I normally pay $1 for toothpaste.

To really maximize savings on items such as these you should try to buy when on sale. 

If cutting coupons is not your thing you should try e-coupons.  With e-coupons you do not have to worry about remembering your coupons, just hand the cashier your card and all coupons will be deducted at the end. 

You can go to the following sites to add e-coupons to your Shopper’s Card. 

Text Coupons
In this great day of technology you can even have coupons text right to your phone.  If you do not mind sharing your location via GPS, some stores can send you a text while you are walking in the store.  There are also apps available for smartphones that will send you a text based upon your location.  Please be careful where you buy these apps from because as I previously stated your location will be shared.

Below is a list of stores I know have text coupons.  If you know of more please let me know and I will update the list.

Target              JCPenney         Walgreen’s          Express         Meijer              Babies-r-us

Coupon codes
Another source of technology savings is online coupon codes.  If you are going to purchase something online always do a quick Google for coupon codes.  There are codes available for free shipping, certain dollar amounts off and much more. 

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