With a lot of free time on my hands, and after realizing that I’d been spending countless hours online for no particular reason whatsoever and even worse, more in front of the TV watching junky shows, I decided to use my downtime more effectively and start making some cost-effective improvements in my household budget. It’s not an understatement to say that by this point I’ve become a coupon enthusiast, and yes, some of my friends gave me that “Is everything ok with you?” look at first, but after I saved more than $2,000 in just the last four months, with no more than 2 hours a day spent looking for deals, people around me started taking me more seriously. I now have a partner in crime, my friend who actually advised me to write my little tips down and share them online, thus hopefully helping some of you to save more money as well.
- The first thing you have to do is organize your shopping list. This in particular is great advice for all beginners. Although you may think you have everything covered by assembling your list of necessities, be sure to think long term and find out which purchases will be most beneficial in the long run. Most coupons are for pantry items, but you can use frozen food coupons in larger amounts and they are getting increasingly popular year after year.
- Second, find a few cheap Sunday newspaper subscriptions. Some of these actually pay for themselves in coupon value. Be on the lookout for QR codes because mobile marketing is getting very trendy! Also be sure to investigate mobile paying apps as well. You might find something that works for you.
- Internet advertising is dominating at the moment, so you won’t go wrong if you base your search entirely online! Just take a look at these statistics: there was a record 263% increase in internet coupon redemption in 2013 alone! For those of you who have some experience, I hope you’ve already discovered these paytm coupons.
- Sign up for your local stores’ mailing lists and check them regularly. I’ve made even a little folder in my inbox for them and it helps my search a lot. Retailers are doing this just to market themselves, but also to build up their brand image and get returning customers.
- Once you are in the store, check every corner, literally. You can find coupons on the shelves, and in fact, if you have the time, visit your local supermarket the day before you get everything organized. Maybe you can even get a better deal or combine two products that you need.
- And last but not least, I started loving birthdays and holiday seasons! I got my kids all their much needed new and popular tablets and smartphones that I usually would never buy, but with my discounts they were really a steal, so we all benefited from it. The number of coupons available for modern technology is constantly increasing. And, ironically, I came across a statistic that if you own a smartphone or a tablet there is a 20% chance you will start using more coupons.
The last thing I’d like to mention is to not get discouraged. It was a real struggle for the first few months and the effect on my savings is just starting to show. The best strategy is to make your own system and stay on track with it. I would also advise you not to buy things just because you can get them cheap. But since I’ve been so disciplined for the past few months, I can finally indulge in some of my guilty pleasures. So when the effort finally pays off, just go for it. Good luck!