How to use coupons effectively
To her online subscribers, Tracie Fobes is the “Penny Pinchin ‘Mom,” a wife, mother and blogger who sells coupons.
She advises rebate seekers on how to buy what they need for less – and she speaks from experience. Like many Americans, Fobes has already found herself burdened with debt.
Several years ago, Fobes and her husband seriously decided to save. They used a combination of techniques to eliminate their debts of over $ 35,000, including selling unwanted assets, creating a realistic spending plan, and using tax refunds to pay off what they owed.
These contributed heavily to their savings, but Fobes also changed his mindset about money. One of the keys to this new buying mentality was use coupons, which allowed her to free up some money that she was able to use to pay off her debt.
“I had always tried using coupons, but they didn’t really work for me,” Fobes says. “I just felt like it was more complicated. But I knew they had to work, so I started researching, reading, and trying to put systems in place.
She took the time to look at the coupons, comparing what was offered with the brands she typically used. She began to study retailers to learn about their prices, store brands and discount programs.
Eventually, she says, “I started making it work and realized we started saving 30-35% on our grocery bill every time we went to the store.
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An extract on coupons
Grocery stores aren’t the only places to offer coupons. The little discount squares that people once had to cut by hand from the Sunday paper are now available online, in apps and on all social media.
The coupons were created in 1887 as a marketing tool for soda giant Coca-Cola, according to Sherpa coupon. Now coupons are prolific.
“People might have thought there was years of stigma with using coupons because you couldn’t afford things or were too frugal,” says Jeanette Pavini, savings expert for Coupons.com . “This is simply not the case. These days, using coupons or other strategies to save money is like the new black man. It’s cool.”
Is mowing better for the consumer or the retailer?
Is it realistic to save thousands of dollars with coupons? Remember that Coca-Cola started offering coupons as a marketing tactic. Companies distribute coupons to encourage increased spending on their product or brand.
“A coupon is a classic price promotion,” says Utpal Dholakia, professor of marketing at Rice University.
He takes the example of a peanut butter manufacturer. In general purchasing behavior, there are two types of consumers. Some buyers will be so serious about their taste for peanut butter that they will only buy the chunky version of their favorite brand, regardless of the price. But other less loyal consumers will turn to the brand on sale.
This is where coupons come in. When a manufacturer issues a coupon and lowers the price of their product enough to make it attractive, the brand can attract a new segment of buyers.
“The marketer made sure the price was low enough that other people, beyond this small group of brand-loyal users, bought this peanut butter,” Dholakia explains.
The danger here is obvious: coupons can trick you, as a buyer, into buying more or different products than you normally would, just because you found out that an offer exists.
“Coupons can make you, as a buyer, buy more products or different products than you normally would, just because you found out that an offer exists.“
“Using more coupons isn’t necessarily a good thing,” says Dholakia. He approves of their use in one particular situation: “If you use coupons wisely and selectively for things you’re going to buy anyway.” “
Rather than finding a coupon and feeling the urge to buy the product in question, take the opposite approach. Look for discounts on items you already know you should buy. Or use a coupon to replace the purchase of a brand you usually buy with a similar, more affordable brand. This is when coupons can save you money.
How to use coupons the right way
Coupon isn’t a one-way ticket out of debt, but there are ways you can use coupons to your advantage without falling victim to retail tactics:
1. Adapt them to your lifestyle. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t necessarily have to buy in bulk to save money. Make coupons part of your regular routine.
“It’s such a psychological thing,” says Pavini. “I think people are getting discouraged. They just feel like they have to steal Peter in order to pay Paul and live from paycheck to paycheck. The reality is, there are certain things in your monthly budget that you really have control over. You may not have control over the amount of your mortgage or rent, your children’s school fees, or child care, but you do have control over what you spend on groceries, household items. personal care, entertainment and travel.
2. Look for them everywhere. You can still find coupons in the Sunday newspaper, but there are plenty of other places too. Start by doing a Google search for the name of the retailer and the word “coupon.” You will find that there are some websites dedicated to aggregating offers from all over the internet, and there are even apps that provide notifications of nearby deals.
3. Get rewarded for your loyalty. Sometimes manufacturers will send you free items just to let them know how much you love their product. Fobes said she made a list of her favorite brands and then emailed manufacturers thanking them for their products. In some cases, she received coupons in return.
4. Develop a process. If you really want to reduce your monthly bills, stack the discounts. For example, sign up for a store’s free loyalty program to earn reward points while you shop, and become a member of a cash back website such as Ebates.com or BeFrugal.com to earn rewards. extra money on your purchases. Then combine coupons, if applicable. Diligently using all possible avenues of rewards can be time consuming, but it pays off when you shop at the same store regularly.
5. Start small. Some coupons may save you a small amount, but don’t be discouraged. A dollar here and a dollar there can add up over time. Think of it as a dollar or two less than what you would have spent otherwise. Look at your overall savings in a month or a year instead of a single shopping trip.
“Start small and you’ll start to see progress as you learn to track your sales cycles, relate coupons to sales, build your inventory, and find discounts,” says Fobes. “These little things are all starting to build on top of each other, much like Legos. They click together. As you assemble them your tower grows and as your tower increases your overall savings also increase.