Well a lot of people think so. In fact, it is starting to influence the shopping behavior of consumers – especially those who purchase online. According to a study done by Shop.org, 54% of online shoppers during the back to school spending season said that they chose a particular store and purchase because of a coupon. A great coupon will even encourage consumers to make an online search about a product. With a 3.4 brand influence (from a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest), this is a tool that retailers will be using for a long time. Consumers will just have to search for the coupons that suit their household needs.
While the savings that you can get from couponing is there, it can get to be quite tedious. You have to clip and store or search and store these coupons before you can use them. Some of these usually have expiration dates so you have to keep track of that. For some people, the tediousness make them ask the question: are coupons really worth all that time and effort?
3 questions to answer to succeed in using coupons
Yes it is. When you use coupons, it will help you practice smart spending choices when grocery shopping. If you need to lower your expenses to pay for debt or something similar, you may want to take the effort to use coupons from now on.
If you want to get started on couponing, you need to ask three important questions: where, when and how.
Where can you find coupons?
First of all, you have to know where exactly can you find these coupons. There are many sources where you can get them. It is important for you to understand that tapping into a lot of resources will help you gain more access to coupons. Given that, here are the places where you can get coupons.
Newspaper. Most of the time, the Sunday paper has coupon inserts. Find out which of the local papers have these inserts and make it a point to buy them.
Magazines. Some magazines include coupons in their publication. Don’t just stick to your magazine however. You can explore other publications to see if they have better deals.
Online site. Couponing is very popular online and naturally, you can find a couple of online sites that offer coupons that you can print out. Just be careful and make sure you only get from reliable and trustworthy websites.
Tearpads. These are the coupons that you can buy off the shelf. You can find these in stores. Explore or ask your local stores if they have one for sale.
Catalina printouts. These are coupons printed right after you go through the cash register. You may want to keep these for your next store visit.
Emails. Another source of coupons are those emailed to your personal inbox by the brand of your choice. Explore the websites of your favorite brand or store and subscribe to their email newsletters. These usually bring coupons and promo information. According to TADA.com, 47% of consumers who usually use coupons prefer to get it from emails. 24% get it from flyers from the mail and 24% also get it from online searches.
When is the best time to use coupons?
In couponing, it is not enough that you use the coupon. The best way is to understand when it is right to use them. That way, you can maximize the benefits that you will get from it. For instance, you may want to wait for a sale event before you use them. That way, you can get some further discount for your purchase. Most of the time, these sale events happen regularly (e.g. holidays, payday weekends, etc.) Be aware of these cycles so you can schedule when to use your coupons. If you buy a product when it is at its lowest price, you get to slash more from the regular amount. If a product is discounted by the store from $5 to $4 and you have a $1 off coupon, you only get to pay $3 for that purchase.
How should coupons be used?
Did you know that competitor coupons are sometimes accepted in some stores? You need to ask about this because this is one way that you can save. Ask them if they do the following:
Competitor coupons. As mentioned, some stores accept coupons of competitors. This is probably to encourage patrons of other stores to shop in their store instead. Ask if your local store does this.
Combining coupons. Ask the store if they can accept two coupons (one from the store and the other from the manufacturer). If they do, you can put one discount over the other and thus get a bigger price reduction from your purchase.
Double coupons. There is a thing called double coupons wherein the store will double a $1 coupon to become $2. Ask them to explain how that works so you can use it the next time you visit.
Different ways that coupons can help you save on household expenses
The great thing about couponing is it will really help you with your household expenses. According to a compilation of coupon statistics from AccessDevelopment.com, 89% of consumers have become more resourceful when it comes to spending because of what happened to our economy. It is really effective because in 2013, consumers were able to save up to $1.8 billion by using coupons. If you think that kept retailers from a full profit, that is not really the case. Coupons are known to encourage consumer to buy. In fact, 83% of consumers make unplanned purchases because of these coupons.
Couponing is also not limited to those who come from low income families. Study reveals that those with income of $100,000 or more prefer to use coupons for their purchases. But what exactly can you get from coupons?
Lower household expense. The primary reason for using coupons is to lower the monthly spending in your home. Most coupons are for basic necessities and you can really find a lot of coupons for the things that you usually buy.
More funds to fulfill financial goals. Indirectly, couponing can help you with your financial goals. As you lower your household spending, you get to put more money into your debt payments. Or you can put more money into your savings so you can buy that home that you have always wanted to own. It also frees up money for possible investments.
Practice smart spending. Managing coupons will encourage you to be wise with your expenses. It forces you to sit down and look at the things that you need and the coupons you can use to lower the amount that you have to pay for it.
Try out new products. Another benefit of coupons is it will help you try new products. That way, you can save and see if you can find better products than the brands you are currently using.
Techniques to organize coupons you stock up
One of the smart ways to manage your money involves organization. Things like budgeting helps you organize your finances to help you achieve financial independence. That means if you will explore couponing, you may want to make sure that you can organize it well. That is a bit tough but there are certain techniques to help you do this.
Use binders. Buy a binder with clear sheets and separate the coupons that you have clipped. You are arrange them by date or by brand or product. It is up to you.
Label envelops. The second way is to simply put the coupons in an envelope and label them accordingly. Separate them based on categories so you can easily take out the envelope based on the product you need to buy.
Money clips. Instead of using envelops, you can also use money clips. Since the coupons are exposed, you do not have to label them. But if you want to be meticulous about it, you can still put labels.
Couponing is a great way to help you live within your means. If you really want to maximize your limited resources, this is one of the ways to do it.
Diana hates debt just as much as you do. She is a finance writer for National Debt Relief. She aims to provide the best information to win the battle against debt.