We’ve found your newest hobby! Home goods and appliances can be a major wallet drain, but a few scissor snips (digital snips count!) can easily soften the blow. Want specifics? Get this: according to Today Money, intelligent couponing can save you as much as $100 a month! If you’re ready to dip your toe into the home-coupon waters, these tips will help you get started.
Be unbiased with your sources. You may be a lifelong, die-hard Tribune reader, but that doesn’t mean that they’re the best source for local coupons. Check every magazine and newspaper in your area for coupons to get the lay of the land. Once you’ve found the best coupon source, you’ll know which newspapers to clip in the future. Also, don’t forget about the interwebs – the internet is a great source for coupons, large and small. Bonus: Many online coupons can be used on a smart phone, so printing isn’t necessary.
Learn the lingo. “OYNO,” “MIR,” and “BOGOF” may sound like useless teenager texting acronyms, but they’re actually really valuable coupon lingo. Look for “OYNO” (On your next order), “MIR” (Mail in rebate) and “BOGOF” or just “BOGO” (Buy one get one free) on every coupon.
Organize your coupons. Once you’ve started clipping – especially if you’re going the newspaper route – you’ll have a lot of loose paper lying around. Organize it, or you’ll end up missing out on valuable deals! We recommend using baseball cardholders or clear sheet protectors in a binder. Organize by coupon type or expiration date – whatever makes the most sense for you.
Go digital. If an organized binder of paper is a little old school for you, then digital coupons are the way to go. We recommend using Pinterest or some other online organization tool to keep track of your coupons and deals.
Look for sales. Using coupons in addition to regular store sales is the ultimate coupon-master trick. By doing the money-saving double-whammy you can save up to 90 percent off of the initial purchase price.
Shop during off-hours. If you’re in a crowded store with a ton of coupons and a busy cashier, you’re going to get frustrated. And if you’re frustrated, you’re going to get off of the coupon boat quickly. To save yourself a headache, go shopping during off-hours (weekday mornings are the best time to shop and avoid crowds). If that isn’t possible, at least trying to avoid Sunday afternoons!
Know a store’s policy. Once you’ve picked out a coupon and an item you want to buy – say a microwave at Best Buy – it’s time to research. Knowing a store’s coupon policy will help avoid confusion with the cashier and even an unpleasant encounter with a manager. Tip: be polite. “Please” and “Thank you” go a long way when you’re couponing.