I have a thing for coupons. I inherited it from my mom. She is the all-out queen of coupons.
For example, if I save $6 on an item that costs $10, my mom will outdo me by getting the item for free (with a rebate) and getting more money off by using a coupon. Better than free. She's got me beat. So, for everyone who is not as coupon-smart as my mom, I offer some tips:
1. Double coupons
I shop at Vons. They'll double your coupon up to $1
Only buy items that are on sale. Be on the lookout, while in the store for items (especially toiletries) that are "reduced for quick sale." These make your coupon savings stretch farther.
While making out your grocery list, (yes, you should be making a list even if you don't have coupons) include the size of the item along with the quantity that the coupon requires. Do not buy anything not on your list unless you can get for more than 75 % off.
If possible, bring all your coupons with you. Many items may be on sale but not in the Ad. If you can't (my Mom has a box full of coupons) only bring coupons for items you know you will use. If your family doesn't like Cheez Whiz, there is no point in buying it even if it only costs 50 cents.
You may need to buy a brand you wouldn't normally buy.
6. Stock Up
Buy items you know you will always use, such as toilet paper and toothpaste, when they are on sale.
7. Don't Fall for It!
Many of the coupons you get out of the Sunday paper are for "new" or "improved" items. Before you buy into these, make sure that the item is something you will actually use, does not cost more money in the long run (think refillable air fresheners), and there is not a cheaper, comparable item.
Clipping coupons is not for the faint hearted. It does take a little effort and planning but it is worth it when you see how much money you save.