June 16, 2011

Category: Smart Spending

Keep couponing in mind to save money

Stockpiling coupons for a few weeks may help consumers slash their monthly grocery budgets significantly. Checking out a variety of resources might allow them to find a number of high-quality deals on the products they buy all the time. 

 However, it's also important to keep in mind that some deals are better than others, and the savviest shoppers know that the best way to save money with coupons is to keep in mind the kind of deals they offer and allow, according to a report from Springfield, Missouri, television station KSPR. Studies have shown that Americans redeemed more than 3.3 billion coupons in 2009 - the most recent year that statistics are available - and taking advantage of these deals to the best of their abilities has helped many consumers. 

One of the best way to save money using coupons is to keep in mind that all offers are different, the report said. For example, consumers who live in areas with a number of newspapers may be able to find deals in the different Sunday circulars that come with each. These may be different, with one paper's offer cutting the price of a product by 55 cents, and another by 35. Often, deals like these can be combined to offer even greater savings on the same item. 

Consumers may also be able to apply this technique to deals they find online, a couponing resource that can often go untapped, the report said. A large number of sites - like Coupons.com and CouponMom.com - exist solely to help users find coupons and other deals. In addition, many companies now offer exclusive coupons through social networking sites. Facebook fan pages for various products may offer a deal at the same time the company's official Twitter account does, and combining these can lead to greater price cuts.

 In addition, some stores may offer different deals on products in a given week, so consumers who keep track of which items they typically buy are discounted at which nearby stores, they may be able to save even more money, the report said. For example, if one store is only selling gallons of milk for 20 percent off this week, and another one nearby offers a 25 percent discount on a family's favorite cereal, visiting both locations will save more money than buying both products at the same store. 

Further, it can be helpful for consumers who are looking for a deal on a specific product to ask for one, the report said. Those that can't find a coupon for an item they buy often may have some success by emailing the customer service department at the company that makes it. Even if they don't have a particular offer this week, consumers who express interest in finding one may be rewarded with a bargain offered only through this means. 

And for consumers who are hoping to save money on big-ticket items like appliances or televisions, for which coupons or other savings methods may not be available, it might help to simply negotiate, the report said. By doing so, they may find that the cost of an item can come down a little bit from the listed sticker price. Ace Cash Express is a leading provider of financial services including prepaid cards, short term loans, auto insurance and check cashing.