When you go to the grocery store or when you have to buy clothing and shoes for your family, the increase in prices can be painful to confront. But you and your family need the foods, toiletries, cleaning supplies and those new shoes and clothing. Everyone needs to eat and your children are growing. Your house needs cleaning. If someone gets a headache or indigestion, they need a painkiller or an anti-acid medication. That’s money coming out of your account. You do have a way of dealing with the pain of price increases and spikes. Learn how online coupon use can save your family money.
Coupons and Brand Loyalty
Think about how you shop. Do you buy the same brands of foods, cleaners and toiletries every time you go to the store? Or do you switch brands, choosing a cereal from one manufacturer, then on your next trip, trying another brand of a similar cereal?
If you don’t worry about the brand of laundry detergent or toilet paper you use, then switching brands could actually help you in the long run–especially if you use online coupons to trim your grocery bills. Similar products can carry different prices from one store to the next. If you’re skeptical, check the prices on competing stores’ circulars when they land in your mailbox. If saving several dollars a week is important to you, keeping track with those circulars, as well as downloading and printing any applicable online coupons, could help you achieve your goal.
Coupons and Clothing
Clothing is not cheap. That last trip you took to the mall proved that. Before your next shopping trip, look for, download and print coupons for the items you plan to buy. Of course, you’re going to have to know what each store has in its stock of clothing, shoes and accessories before you make your actual purchases.
If, for instance, one of your children needs pants, shirts, socks and shoes because of a growth spurt, check an online coupon site and look to find out which stores participate with that site. If you find one of your preferred stores, check out the specials they have running. Chances are that you’ll find just what you need. Online coupons available on sites like MyCoupons, for example, are even more valuable when you need to buy clothing, shoes or accessories for more than one family member. This shopping trip doesn’t have to be as expensive as you fear. Print out coupons for what you plan to buy, and then when you’re back at home, check your bank account and look at what you saved.
A Coupon Savings Example
You probably already know that, if you use a coupon to buy something, you’re going to save what’s shown on the face of that coupon. For instance, if you have to buy a large bottle of laundry detergent, you know that’s going to cost about $16.00, depending on the size of the bottle. If you found a coupon online, you know that, depending on the amount that is listed on the front, you could save $2 or even $5. So: $16.00 – $2 = $14.00. Or $16.00 – $5 = $11.00. Multiply this by the face value of every other coupon you brought with you and you can see a significant savings.
Apply this to clothing. The items you have to buy cost $100.00. Your online coupon gives you $20.00 off if you spend $75.00. $100.00 – $20.00 = $80.00
National Brands and Coupons
For years, you have known that, if you opt to buy store brands instead of the better-known national brands, you are saving money. At first glance, this is true. Look just a little deeper. How often have you seen coupons for store-brand items? Probably not very often, if at all!
Store-brand items rarely go on special, either, so start looking at them as lost opportunities for saving money. If you move over a little bit and look at the national brands of canned green beans or whole wheat cereals, you’re much more likely to catch a sale and find coupons that will help you cut the cost of what you are buying. Start focusing more on buying the national brands of the foods, toiletries, paper items and cleaners your family uses. As you do so, you’ll see that doing so is actually helping you save money.
Pairing Two Purchases to Get Savings
You’ve seen those “BOGO” offers. Buy one pair of shoes at full price and, with a coupon, get a second pair for half-price. Should you buy two pairs of shoes just to take advantage of that savings? Or is it not a savings?
If you need both pairs of shoes, it will be a savings. But make sure that you’re replacing something, such as a pair of running shoes, as you buy two pairs of shoes. The second pair of shoes can be something you need for work or for an upcoming event. But remember, if you don’t need two pairs of shoes, taking advantage of a BOGO offer won’t save you money.
Some grocery store chains offer “double coupon” days one day of the week or two days out of every month. On these days, you can go into the store with your coupons and whatever you buy; you will receive twice the savings for each coupon that you take on your shopping trip.
If, for instance, you have coupons for bacon, fabric softener, milk, cereal, floor cleaner, facial tissues, shampoo and conditioner, and cat food, the cash register will be programmed to discount your purchases for twice the face value of the coupons. If the accumulated face value of all the coupons you will be redeeming is $11, your receipt will show that you saved $22.
Stacking Sales and Coupons
When you are thinking of printing a coupon, you should read it closely and see if you can use it along with other promotions or sales. If so, the manufacturer is allowing you to “stack” discounts: The discount plus the face value of the coupon means you can take advantage of two savings. Make sure that, when you are thinking of buying something on sale, that you truly need the item. If not, the savings you realized were a false economy.