How to Save Big with Coupons (despite the “Extreme Couponing” crackdown)!
Have you seen the show Extreme Couponing yet? Well, while it is a great thing to watch and see the awesome savings you can get, it is really giving couponing a bad name to a lot of people. I personally have never seen the show because we don’t get cable, but I don’t feel like I am missing out. This makes me SO sad to have people look at me and think negatively about coupons and about me because I use them. BUT, I don’t let it get to me, since I save 50-90% on almost every shopping trip I make with coupons, so I know that the benefits of using them way out weigh the negative thoughts and comments of other people!
Because of a lot of reasons, retailers have started cracking down on their coupon policies and manufacturers are starting to get more ‘chincy’ with their coupon values…BUT don’t despair. Even with these major set backs, you can still score BIG at the store just by following these few simple tips. Over the next few days I am going to post different tips for you, to help you save as much as can while shopping – with or without coupons.
Part 1: Understanding the Rules and Policies
This may be about the most important part of using coupons. Before you head out the door to go shopping with your coupons, make sure you understand and follow these two simple steps:
(1) Know the Rules – Using coupons can be confusing. Once you understand the rules, it clears up a lot of the questions you may have had and it makes shopping so much more enjoyable knowing you are doing things the right way. If you are new to using coupons, and want to get better “acquainted” with how they work, then read more about Using Coupons here.
(2) Policy – Before you leave, be sure to print out the Coupon Policy for the store that you are shopping at. Not all stores will have one, but a lot of them do. Make sure you read over it and understand everything in it. This will let you know a lot of helpful things, like if you can use buy one get one free coupons with a buy one get one free sale to get two free items, or if your store doubles coupons and how that works.
If the store that you frequently shop at doesn’t have a coupon policy, talk to the Manager the first time you go to use your coupons, so you know what their policy is. This way there is no confusion and frustration when you get to the checkout lane.
Most of the time, the policy will clear up any understandings. There will be that one cashier or manager that still wants to do things their way, and when this happens, be sure to call their corporate offices and complain! I have had to use my coupon policy several times to clear up disagreements between me and the cashier, and the manager was more than happy to back me up. So it is important to have.
Here are quick links to the following stores policies and guides: