Learning how to coupon is how my family started our journey to living a debt free life. We now are paying off our mortgage and continue to use coupons to cut our grocery bill in half. Avoiding these three things will take your savings with coupons to the next level.
I have been couponing for almost 7 years now. I've always loved saving money on products but once I learned how to extreme coupon things took a turn for the best. Couponing is how we started our debt free journey. Although there are times couponing can burn me out, it is always worth the effort.
If you are new to couponing get started on the right track by avoiding these three common mistakes I see newbies making. Below you will see three things you should never do with coupons.
LEAVE YOUR COUPONS
I see this ALL THE TIME! Just the other day I was in our local grocery store Tops Markets( its a great coupon week with Dollar Doublers) and there was the $0.60/1 Olive Garden Dressing coupon sitting in front of the product. This person did one thing right- they didn't use a coupon on a non-sale item.
They also made a HUGE beginner mistake. They left it.
Sales come and go and everything usually goes on sale at some point right? This coupon has an expiration date of 1/24/.
That gives you after this weeks sale cycle to wait and see if Olive Garden Dressing will go on sale. That coupon also is worth a $1.20 at Tops and Wegmans for my locals, because they double coupons up to $0.99 everyday! Many other grocery stores do this as well. It's key to know your coupon policies. Let's say this dressing goes on sale for half price next week. That means it will be $2.29. Now when you use that coupon you will pay $1.09 and earn 10 extra gas points for using a coupon.
Do you want to pay $1.09 or $4.59 for every item you buy?
The only time it's okay to leave your coupon is a day before it expires or the day it is expiring. Otherwise, you are missing out on mega savings.
DO NOT INCREASE COPIES OF PRINTABLE COUPONS
When you go to print free coupons from the number one coupon site here, you will see your settings to print. All printer settings allow you to choose how many copies you would like. Many online coupon sites allow two prints per device. That means if you have a computer and laptop you can get four coupon prints.
So what if you print from your computer and just change the copies to four. Is that okay?
That is coupon fraud. You're basically photocopying the coupon.
Each coupon comes with a little id on it. When you hand in those coupons and they go back to the manufacturer they can be traced back to your IP address. You can not increase the copies of coupons. Two prints per device or whatever the website has set the amount to.
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STACKING MANUFACTURER COUPONS
This is a HUGE deal. I made the honest mistake when I started to stack two different value coupons on one item. Fortunately, the cashier explained it to me and I walked out embarrassed and not sure couponing was for me.
I see this with a lot of BJ's members. BJ's sends monthly coupon books and has in store coupons as well as occasional coupon flyers. Members will take two BJ's coupons and use it on one BJ's item.
The same goes for any other store. When you take two manufacturer coupons on one item it isn't allowed.
Don't get it confused with stacking coupons THE RIGHT WAY.
At Target you can stack Cartwheel offers with Manufacturer coupons AND Target coupons.
At BJ's Wholesale, you can stack BJ's coupons WITH Manufacturer coupons AND clipless coupons.
There are times when stacking is allowed but again know your coupon policies. Hopefully, this isn't deterring you from getting started with coupons. If you want the best place to start with coupons and how to stack you need to follow coupon matchup lists.
These lists take sale price items at various stores and pair them with any coupons- and safe stacking.
You can view those matchup lists here.
If you made one of these mistakes don't beat yourself up over it. You are here learning and now you know what's right and wrong. Couponing can be an amazing tool for saving money, so don't give up. If you have any questions leave a comment below.
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