How to get biggest bang for your buck from coupons
More ways than ever to take advantage of the savings they can bring.
Ninety-one percent of women use coupons to get a good deal, according to a national poll from Smart Magazine. And they're gathering coupons from multiple sources: newspapers, e-mail and snail mail, online, at stores and from mobile phones. There are plenty of deals to be had; you just have to know a few tricks to get them.
Here are tips from the savings mavens at CheapSally.com:
Save the inserts that come with your local newspaper, especially the Sunday editions. Note special sales, and cut coupons from the ad circulars.
Bookmark websites that offer online coupons such as www.smartsource.com,
www.couponmom.com and www.CheapSally.com. You'll find printable coupons, e-coupons, promo codes and special deals for brands as well as retail stores.
Keep your eyes open for in-store coupons. You can find them in automatic dispensers along store shelves, on tear pads, and even on your store receipt. Some retailers print coupons along with your receipt. They're called Catalinas and can be used in the store on your next visit.
Some grocery stores have loyalty programs that give you access to additional coupons, either online or, in a more recent trend, through e-coupons that you can load onto your rewards card. When you swipe the card, the coupons automatically get credited to your total.
Check manufacturer's websites for coupons. You can also "Like" them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter to get even more savings. Consumer Reports recommends setting up a separate e-mail account for couponing to help minimize spamming.
Smart couponing tips
Stacking coupons is a great way to get a real steal. Look for sale items that you need. Then use a manufacturer's coupon and a store coupon on top of it. If the store doubles the coupon's value, that's even more savings.
Use coupons with "buy one, get one free" offers. Using one coupon for each item saves you even more.
If you find good deals on items you'll really use, then it can pay to stock up. But don't fall into the trap of buying something just because it's
Grocery stores in North Carolina that double coupons include Ingles, Bi-Lo, Harris Teeter and Kroger. Check with the store to see how high they will go. Does it match up to 50 cents, up to a dollar, in doubling coupons?
Don't forget about the coupons in your local Yellow Pages book — they are usually in the back and range widely from discounts on eye exams to auto maintenance and repair.
Websites with printable coupons for the Triangle area (Raleigh, Durham, Morrisville, Cary and Holly Springs are among cities listed), www.couponsnc.com; for the Triad area (Greensboro, Winston-Salem, High Point, Burlington, Jamestown and Kernersville are among cities listed), www.coupons4thetriad.com; and for Charlotte, www.charlottecoupons.com.
Live in a city or town not listed above? To find local coupons on the Web, put your zip code and the words "discount coupons" in a search engine such as Google or Yahoo to get printable coupons for your town or community. You can also put in your town's name, but the zip code angle seems to get better results.