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Important Truths About Using Coupons

July 10, 2013 0 comments

by Lizzy Bale

When the recession hit, a lot of people were faced with the need to take extreme measures just to save every penny. As soon as people lost jobs or had to make do with a smaller income, the had to deal with a house full of expenses and debt payments waiting to be paid. This called for some creative ways to cut back on spending.

Clipping coupons help you live within your means. It is gaining ground when it comes to helping people adjust to their lower income. Instead of using credit cards to pay for basic purchases, some people find joy in using coupons to get the savings that will help them make life comfortable despite limited resources.

How can couponing help consumers

Important Truths About Using CouponsCoupons represent a certain value of a product. The validity of the savings that you will get in a coupon will depend on the terms and conditions that is printed on it. When this is presented in a store, the retailer will have to honor the discount provided – unless otherwise stated in the conditions of the coupon.

Most of the coupons are distributed for free and can be found as glossy inserts in the Sunday paper. It is important to know that you are not allowed to sell this – even if you are selling your time clipping coupons.

Since you need to take time clipping coupons, some people find it quite tedious to accomplish. Not only that, they do not want to appear cheap. But when it comes to saving, you sometimes need to subject yourself through extreme measures. Here are some reasons that will prove just how important couponing is to consumers.

  • You save money on basic expenses. Coupons cover almost just about any product and you can really benefit from the savings that you will get from it.

  • You get to put aside money to pay debt, save or invest. The money that you save couponing can be put aside for your debt payments, savings account or any investments that will help you grow your personal net worth.

  • You are kept from buying unnecessary products. When you clip coupons, you spend time figuring out what you need at home. That leads you to create a list of things that you need to buy. This preparation will keep you from buying unnecessary things and sticking to your list.

  • You are given the incentive to try new products. Some people do not realize it but their refusal to adapt to changes keep them spending more than what they need to on a product. Coupons will encourage them to try something new that could end up being a lot cheaper than what they used before.

  • You practice proper spending habits. Couponing will help you take a closer look at brands and how you can get the best value out of them. That is a great way to practice smart spending.

Important coupon policies to be familiar with

Coupons are subjected through a couple of important rules and regulations. You need to aware of them to ensure that you will not be scammed out of your hard earned money. Yes there are people tricking people with coupons. Since this is your way of saving money, you naturally don’t want to waste any of it on a misleading coupon.

So if you are serious about this, make sure you understand the following:

  • Manufacturers and companies behind the products on coupons should never misrepresent the saving or discount. It should contain details like a scannable barcode, a valid remittance address, and an expiration date (or at least “no expiration date” if applicable).

  • Photocopying coupons are not allowed unless otherwise stated on the coupon.

  • Coupons are usually on a per item basis. If you have two coupons for a bar of soap, you cannot combine the two for one product. You need to buy two soaps to use the two coupons.

  • Be wary of excessive discounts, e.g. a $3.00 off a product that only costs $1.50. That is usually a fraud coupon.

  • Cash back on coupons are usually not allowed. (e.g. a $2.00 discount coupon in exchange of a $1.75 product will not be given a change of $0.25.)

Before you shop in any store that accepts coupons, you also need to answer the following questions:

  • When are coupons accepted? Some stores have specific days of the week while others accept coupons any day.

  • How many are allowed per transaction? Stores sometimes accept only a number of coupons for every purchase.

  • Is there a coupon value limit? There are stores that set limits as to the savings that can be redeemed through couponing. You have to know this as well.

  • Are there limitations per type of coupon? Sometimes, stores limit coupons that are printed from the Internet as against those that are taken from the Sunday paper.

It is highly advised that you know the laws and regulations concerning coupons. You can visit sites like Coupon Information Corporation or the CIC for more details on coupons.

Organizing your coupons

Couponing, as mentioned, can be very tedious because you will be subjected to a lot of papers. You don’t want to embarrass yourself by occupying too much time in the cashier sifting through all your coupons.

There are many ways that you can organize your coupons. Here are a couple of suggestions:

  • Labeled envelopes. Get envelopes and label them as meat, dairy, cleaning products, etc. Anything that you know you will need at home.

  • Binders. The KrazyCouponLady.com promotes this method. You simply get a binder and use the clear sheets to separate the coupons that you have clipped. There are two ways that you can do so – grouping by date or by category. The video below will help you understand both methods.

  • Money clips. Some people use simple money clips and put them in a box or a big pouch.

Find what works best for you. It all depends on how you want to use your time to do the couponing. Some people bring their binders to the grocery and simply select coupons as they need it. Some people organize their list and coupons before going to the grocery. It varies depending on your personality but the bottom line is, put your coupons in order.

Lizzy Bale
I am a freelance writer for DebtConsolidationUSA.com and I hope to share useful financial information to help people fight the good fight against debt.

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