Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Printable Coupons

I'm not trying to get you to spend a bunch of money (because, let's face it, sometimes coupons make you want to buy stuff you wouldn't buy normally), but if you plan on buying stuff anyway, you might as well use coupons! In fact, here's a good rule of thumb: Using a coupon is only a good idea if you would buy an item and/or need it before you know about the coupon.

I've come up with some tips specifically about printable coupons for this post:
  • A good site for printable coupons is: Mommy$avesBig. Check it out! You must! You can also, of course, check the store sites/weekly ads.
  • If a coupon has a bar code on it, try to print with normal or best quality, so it will scan at the store.
  • If you go to a certain store a lot, sign up for e-mails. They often include printable coupons.
  • Make sure before you print coupons from the web that they aren't expired and that what you want isn't excluded on the coupon. Also make sure you can use the coupon locally (sometimes they're only for certain locations, but not often). In other words, read the coupon before printing.
  • Many coupons can be used once per day, per person, per store. That means you can print the same coupon more than once and either 1) go to multiple stores in one day, 2) go to the same store as many days as the coupon is good for, 3) take someone with you and each of you purchase something separately with the coupon, or 4) combine 1, 2, and/or 3!
  • Beware that some more specialty-type stores may be overcharging for stuff you might find at a regular store, so compare the price using the coupon with the price it normally goes for elsewhere. This is where some of the work comes in; you have to already know or go to the stores selling the item(s) to price compare.
Remember that couponing takes time, effort, and ink/paper (for printables). It also requires being more aware of your options (like price comparing), which you may need to get accustomed to. The most important thing is to be willing to wait for a good deal. Coupons are only good for a certain amount of time, so wait for a good one if the item isn't needed immediately.

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