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I stopped clipping coupons a few years ago when I left New York.
In New York, where most people’s housing expenses topped half of their income, coupons were a necessity. Stores catered to coupon shoppers with double coupons and no cap on the amount.
This meant that you could have a coupon of $1.50 and save $3.00 on the item when it only cost $2.97. Yes, you could actually make money at the grocery store!
Fast-Forward To Today…
When I moved south, where housing was much more reasonable, I found that the grocery stores were less accommodating to coupon shoppers.
Few stores offer double coupons and most put a $1.00 cap on savings.
However, considering the condition of the current housing market, it may be time for me to break out some of that brightly colored money in the form of coupons.
That’s what coupons are really… brightly colored money!
They are not just junk mail or inserts in your Sunday paper. You can literally spend them at the grocery store. You can use them as money, as long as you are buying the exact item on the coupon.
How To Maximize Your Coupon Shopping
If you really want to use coupons to your advantage to save money, there are some things that you need to know before you grab your coupons and head to the grocery store:
- Only use coupons for items you normally buy. Don’t buy an item just because the coupon makes it cheap. That is, unless you are attempting to buy things for the local food pantry (not your own). If your family will not eat it or use it (before it expires), then you are just throwing money away.
- Compare the coupon price of the discounted item with the store brand price. It might be cheaper.
- Don’t neglect to purchase fresh foods just because you don’t have coupons for them. Fresh fruits and vegetables in season may very well be cheaper than the frozen item — even with a coupon discount.
How To Get Coupons On Your Phone
It was recently announced that the Kroger grocery store is partnering with several consumer-goods companies to deliver coupons via the cell phone.
My first thought was “how do you clip mobile coupons?”
Here’s how it works:
Instead of clipping coupons, you need to download an application called Cellfire to their mobile devices. With Cellfire, they can view offers from Proctor & Gamble, Clorox, Del Monte, General Mills and Kimberly-Clark.
The tool then creates personal lists for the shopper, which is linked to the customer’s loyalty cards. When the customer makes their purchases, the loyalty card applies the discounts.
Personally, I have always been suspicious of loyalty cards that keep track of everything I purchase in exchange for discounts that all shoppers should get in the first place. But if this new change means I do not have to worry about losing coupons, I might be happier about using them.
Now if only CVS would use this system as I lose their valuable receipt printed coupons more than any of the others.
More about how Cellfire works. Get coupons on your phone now!
I have been a certified tightwad striving for financial freedom since I became pregnant with my first child — and I decided to find a way to stay home with him full-time. I enjoy sharing my personal experiences in my journey back to financial health and planning for a future — which will include sending 2 kids to college and early retirement.