Using coupons for shopping - like free money?

The shopping bill was reduced from $81 to $53!

In these economic times, I think that hubs about money- earning it, saving it, investing it, and not so much spending it are sustaining everyone's interest. I know they are sustaining mine.

This article is not about a get rich quick scheme or any unpractical means of getting money. I've become a fan of many of the hubbers who often write about money and I think we're all on the same page. It's important to earn money legitimately, save money pragmatically, and invest money wisely.

There are also the old adages that we have to take to heart, i.e.- "a penny saved is a penny earned" and the like. As for "money can't buy happiness". Well, we all know we'll be much happier if we could take care of all our bills, worryfree by paying with guess what- MONEY.

So good luck with finding literally free money and kindly let me know if you do (and where you did), but allow me to share this advice: You should begin using manufacturer's coupons if you don't already. THEY are just like free money.

I know of what I speak. Just last week I saved $28 at the supermarket in coupons. I am not a true expert with the coupon savings yet because I know there are many people who can manage to save even more, but I must say that I smiled broadly when an $81 bill went down to $53 after I handed the coupons over to the cashier. In addition to food, some of which can be kept frozen and used as needed, I purchased laundry detergent and toiletries. I definitely got my money's worth and more.

Now some cashiers may not like scanning so many coupons as it adds to their work but in these bad economic times, more and more people are going to the supermarket with coupons.

  • Don't be embarrassed to do it.
  • Do what you've got to do and allow others on the line to have a little patience while you save $20 or more on your bill.
  • Many supermarkets offer double manufacturer's coupons up to 99 cents or even more. So if you clip a coupon to save 75 cents and take it to the store, you will really save $1.50.
  • You will find even additional savings when you match the coupons you have with the store's circular advertising what is already on sale.
  • Use coupons savings on sale items rather than full retail cost items wherever you can.

I have already joined www.coupons.com and highly recommend it but I also clip a lot of coupons from the Sunday newspapers. Everyone has a different take on saving with coupons. I once read an article that indicated that the interviewee would prefer to work extra hours at a job and earn actual cash than 'waste' that same amount of time clipping coupons.

I must say, I don't find it to be a waste at all. The key is to make it a leisurely activity. Much easier than anything you would do at your job. Read your paper and then clip your coupons. No problem. If you have kids that are old enough to at least handle a safety scissors, it might be a fun activity for them to cut some coupons. See who can save mom and dad the most money!

I carry a small envelope of relevant clipped coupons in my handbag just next to my wallet, just like free money. If you called me the queen of thrifty, I would be proud of the title.

Now, when I say 'relevant coupons', I mean it is efficient and time-saving to clip only the coupons you will actually use. Unfortunately, you won't find manufacturer's coupons in the paper for fresh fruits, fresh (not frozen)vegetables or raw meats. Bagged salad and spinach mixes are probably the closest you'll get.

I know that I don't eat many of the foods that you will find manufacturer's coupons for. Many of these foods are processed or high in sugar- some yogurts, sugary cereals, hot dogs, cold cuts. So choose wisely. If you know that you will not eat a certain type of food product, do not bother to clip the coupon.

That said, happy saving with coupons!


Save cash

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Clipping coupons

To do your grocery shopping, would you clip manufacturer's coupons from the Sunday newspaper?

  • Yes
  • No
See results without voting

Online Shopping and Sales

Do you like online shopping? I do but I never shop online without looking for a coupon code.

When you shop online at a retail store's ecommerce site, you can register as a regular customer by creating a username and password and logging into your shopping account.

If you think that your shopping at the store will only be a one time thing or you don't feel like creating an account at the moment, for some other reason, you can always check out your online shopping cart as a guest user.

For example, I often check out purchases as a guest user if I am short on time and do not want to go through the whole website registration process. Nevertheless, a website registration process can definitely be time saving in the end if you return to the site several times later on. Your subsequent checkout processes will be much faster.

When shopping online, you are asked for your name, billing address, shipping address and credit card information (credit card number, expiration date and credit card verification code).The typical shopping website usually asks for your coupon code shortly before the final transaction and the discount is reflected in your total cost on the screen. If you take the time to find a coupon code, you might save ten percent of more on your bill.

Coupon Codes

Looking for coupon codes in not a difficult task. You can just spend a few minutes on it by minimizing your online shopping screen and opening a new window on your computer to google coupon codes. I have found that the best websites to visit for finding coupon codes are retailmenot.com and couponcabin.com.

When you visit an online retailer website, you might also find a coupon code on the homepage. Be sure to look out for those too.

For example, a website might say something like "Welcome, start shopping now. Enter code: SAVENOW to save 10% at checkout.

By the time you have moved about from screen to screen to complete your online shopping, you might have forgotten about the coupon code that was advertised on the homepage. Be sure not to forget all about it before you complete your transaction. Write it down on an index card that you keep next to your credit card and computer if necessary for when your are ready to use it.

Best online retailers

 
 
 
walmart.com
cvs.com
oldnavy.com, gap.com, piperlime. com, bananarepublic.com, athleta.com
macys.com
avon.com
sephora.com
kohls.com
aveda.com
jcpenney.com
Just a sampling of some of the best online retailers. Packers for the ecommerce stores pack the items and ship them with care, often including generous free samples that you can consider at the time of your next purchase.

Best Online Stores

While I can not claim to know what ALL of the best stores are for shopping online, I have had experience with quite a few of them. Whether you are shopping for clothing or household goods, online shopping can be considered.

Old Navy, Gap, Banana Republic, PiperLime and Athleta are listed together in the table because they are associated and their websites link to each other when you shop their online stores.

According to Forbes, H&M has finally opened an e-commerce site for the United States. I'm really glad to hear that but I haven't shopped at it yet.

I love shopping with Walmart online for the convenience. You can buy an assortment of goods from Walmart's online store. They include:

  • paper towels (I like Bounty paper towels)
  • diapers (I like Huggies Snug and Dry)
  • crackers, cookies and other snacks (Keebler's Town House crackers are an example)
  • canned juices (V-8 fusion is my preferred one)
  • and lots more


I am a Avon Representative myself with an ecommerce store at www.getgoodsavings.com and I love that we are able to offer customers free shipping codes, catalogs and generous samples upon request. I think that the company definitely has the consumer in mind. I get all of my facial cleansers, lotion, makeup, antibacterial soap, shampoo, conditioner and more from Avon.

Before I began selling Avon and buying it with a Representative discount, my favorite beauty brands were Aveda and Sephora which will also send you lovely samples when shipping items to you.

Kohls currently has a reward program of offering the customer a $10 coupon for every $50 spent. I know some people that enjoy using this program.

Free shipping (typical)

 
 
 
Macys.com
free shipping on a $50 order
 
walmart.com
free shipping on a $45 order
 
avon.com
free shipping on a $30 order or on any order for 1st time customers
 

Free shipping

I believe in never paying for shipping when you shop online. Paying for shipping can really raise the price of goods and you want to keep costs low.

I suggest making a list of the items you need to buy from a particular retailer if you are shopping online and look for those items in the search box of the retailer's website. Perhaps, you can wait until you know your purchase if large enough to qualify for free shipping. This might mean putting in a Walmart order once a month, at the end of the month for example. Currently, Walmart offers free shipping on a $45 order. If you know that the total cost of your order will be at least $45, then you can proceed.

Shopping online

Do you shop online?

  • Yes
  • No, but I would consider shopping online with a trusted website
  • No and I probably never will
See results without voting
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I feel very content when I save $20 to $30 off a grocery bill or 10 to 20% on online shopping for clothes.

Some people do "extreme couponing" and become experts in saving much, much more! Some go as far as to dumpster dive to get additional coupons that have been thrown away!

Below are a couple of informative video guides for saving a lot of cash with extreme (but not too extreme) couponing.

Extreme Couponing experts discuss savings

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Comments 5 comments

DarleneMarie profile image

DarleneMarie 7 years ago from USA

Coupons are an excellent way to save money! "A penny saved is a penny you don't have to earn later."


Tom Rubenoff profile image

Tom Rubenoff 7 years ago from United States

Good advice!


Journey * profile image

Journey * 7 years ago from USA Author

Thanks for these comments, Tom and Darlene.


jim10 profile image

jim10 7 years ago from ma

I use coupons every time I go grocery shopping. I just wish they had coupons for more meats and vegetables.


Journey * profile image

Journey * 7 years ago from USA Author

I totally agree jim10. For fresh fruits and vegetables, when I can't rely on coupons, I look for store specials.

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