23 - 2013

Top 5 Ways to Become a Savvy Shopper

young-girl-shoppingCouponing is still the easiest and fastest way to save money. With in-store coupons and manufacturer’s coupons, the potential to build a nest egg on grocery savings alone is tremendous.

Couponing also makes for a rewarding hobby. Reading the Sunday paper and any enclosed store circulars, checking your email inbox for deals, and swinging by online coupon websites can be done in five minutes and always amounts to major dollars in your pocket.

These days, grocery coupons are but one breed in a group of many—all of which serve to provide consumers an upper hand. The trick is to know where to look, how to take advantage of the best deals, and how to get the most out of coupons and any corresponding fine print they may entail.

Before beginning your coupon quest, here’s some coupon advice: Put a few basic strategies in place to yield the most money-saving results. Planning isn’t absolutely necessary, but always makes for a smoother, more lucrative couponing endeavor.

1. First, make a shopping list.

Sounds basic, but lots of people go shopping and wing it. This is a bad idea. You inadvertently end up spending more and buying things you do not need. With a clear outline of your prioritized needs, you can build a strong shopping list around this, then pad it with a few luxuries.

2. Next, peruse coupon websites.

Give preference to coupons whose deals reflect the most needed items on your list. Considering the tons of online coupons available, you shouldn’t have trouble finding all of those you need. Most online coupon sites allow you to narrow down your general search to all deals/coupons available in your neck of the woods.

3. Narrow By Store

After you pull up any and all deals/coupons available locally, narrow down your search even further according to store. This is where some coupon websites excel, by providing links to specific retailers and their unique in-store/manufacturer coupons. You can browse through literally pages upon pages of coupons, check those you need, and print them out onto a master coupon sheet. Bear in mind some coupons entail fine print and are only good if two or more items are purchased.

4. Look for Offers

For superstores, there are usually links that allow you to activate grocery coupon selections and/or coupons for other departments within the same store. Remember that coupons are also available on household items, furniture, jewelry, apparel, animal food, gardening equipment and paraphernalia, sporting goods, etc. It all comes down to how much work you put into your quest to find just the right deal.

5. Double Check!

Another piece of coupon advice: After you’ve checked/printed coupons for your required items, scroll the coupon list again. Look for super deals you simply shouldn’t pass up. If there’s a coupon offering $1 off a 6-pack of toilet tissue, grab it. Actively think ahead and take advantage of coupons offered for items you’ll eventually need. Just like sales, coupons come and go, so seize the really great ones whenever you can.

Now would be a good time to search for coupons on small luxuries. A new porch swing? That select brand of Italian ice cream? Print any related coupons and treat yourself as finances permit.

Don’t forget to search for other kinds of store-specific coupons (i.e. Old Navy coupons). These, too, are available at coupon websites. Some retailers only offer specific deals via coupon websites so as to maximize potential customers seeking online deals. Also, some places like AT&T have great phone trade in deals if you’re wanting to upgrade your cell phone.  Of course, you can do a search to find out how to get an obama phone, but it wouldn’t qualify through AT&T. 🙂

Couponing is fast and easy. By adhering to some or all of the coupon advice outlined above, you’ll be on your way to becoming the ultimate savvy shopper.

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