They can make a reality show out of just about anything, including the use of coupons. TLC's Extreme Couponing show allows us to meet people that have taken the art of bargain shopping to a completely new level. For some people highlighted on the show, tough times created the need for using coupons to stretch their food budget. For other people, using coupons to save or take advantage of deals seems to have triggered compulsive tendencies such as buying 35 bottles of heartburn medicine because it is an awesome deal or hoarding 75 boxes of cereal and dozens of other groceries in a closet.
There are a variety of tips that can help you save money at the supermarket. Here are some coupon tips and resources to help you get the most from coupon savings without having to go extreme.
Facebook Freebies - So many of us use social networks such as Facebook today. You can also use them as a great place to find daily deals. Search on the site to find coupon and deal pages to "like" or set up a Google search using the phrase "Facebook freebie" to receive notice when deals go live.
Visit store websites for printable coupons - If the Sunday paper doesn't have coupons for products you use, consider going to the source. For example, Whole Foods offers the Whole Deal Coupons to help you find and print coupons you want and need before visiting. Target offers an online coupon resource center containing both food and non-food items as well as a calculation of potential savings. Before you head to the store, check online link lists for the stores and company's you use most.
Try electronic couponing - If you are tired of cutting and carrying coupons to the store, you might want to try electronic coupons. Load electronic coupons to a store shopper card then receive automatic savings when you check out. Companies like Cellfire, Shortcut$.com, and P & G eSaver allow you to save electronically on groceries, restaurants and entertainment through PC and mobile phone access. Need to save for college but just don't seem to be able to make it fit in your budget? Consider saving with Upromise, the electronic shopper card coupon program that provides savings to a college savings fund.
Pay attention to checkout coupon opportunities - Have you heard of Catalina coupons? Catalina is the name of the company that makes the printing machine for many of the checkout coupons. Websites fondly refer to checkout coupons as Catalinas. Your purchases at check out generate coupons for savings at your next visit. Usually coupons for items you use are generated and make this type of coupon easy to acquire and applicable to your purchasing patterns. While there is a strategy that can be applied to get the most from these coupons, simply remembering to take them and use them can be the first step to checkout coupon savings.
Coupons are desirable to retailers to reach customers, announce sales, and encourage repeat business. For consumers, a few basic steps can save money and stretch retail dollars on more and more items today than ever before.
What coupon strategies do you use? How much do you typically save on your weekly or monthly shopping by using coupons?
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