Author: Amber Brubaker
If you’ve started clipping a few coupons on the side, you’ve probably already noticed a big difference in your savings each month. But couponing is only as good as your effort, and if you want to maximize your savings, you should know a thing or two about finding all the coupons available. Grocery coupons are a dime a dozen, but that’s not the only kind of coupon out there. You can save hundreds of dollars a year simply by couponing for other items in addition to groceries.
Before you begin, however, recognize that if you want to truly save money, you need to alter your entire way of shopping. Couponing is all about planning ahead, watching the sales, and avoiding impulse shopping runs.
Also, think about how you’re going to organize your coupons. Nobody wants to be the crazy coupon lady who holds the line up for ten minutes while she shuffles through her purse and argues with the cashier. You’ll want to organize your coupons into categories, and even consider getting a purse-sized accordian file holder with which you can store them.
With that in mind, consider these different categories of coupons and ways to find them so you can save big.
1. Household Goods
From cleaning supplies to batteries, most people always seem to be running out of something they need for their homes. To keep your house running smoothly, it may seem like you’re running to the store at least twice a week to pick up something or other. That’s no way to save! Plan ahead and look for coupons in magazines, coupon websites, sales ads, and more. Once a month, find and save coupons for household goods and buy them in one trip per month rather than in several a week.
Nothing beats the infamous BOGO (buy one get one) shoe sale, and shoe stores have them all the time. It’s the perfect opportunity to stock up on shoes you both want and need. So, instead of buying the shoe you love the first time you see it, wait until a BOGO sale comes around, and buy your shoes then. Look for these coupons on consumer websites and in your favorite store’s weekly ad.
Saving on clothes shopping doesn’t have to wait until there are sales. You can find coupons for clothing on a weekly basis. Before going shopping, check your favorite clothing stores’ websites and snag the coupons they always have there. Use your smartphone to download coupon apps or look them up on the store website at checkout. You may even be able to save 75 percent on one regular priced item!
4. Dining Out
You don’t have to say no to ordering pizza every now and then. Just look for coupons. You can get them for sit-down restaurants, take out, delivery, and fast food. Many newspapers and magazines carry coupon inserts, and sometimes you’ll get these coupons in the mail. Don’t throw them out! Use them the next time you don’t have time to cook.
Movies, concerts, and sporting events can break the bank. But don’t sweat it too much. If there’s an event you really want to attend, find a coupon. Common coupons include two tickets for the price of one or a certain percentage off large groups. Search the web for these promotions that can save you big.
6. Dental Care
You can also get coupons for services, such as the dentist. Many dentists offer a free cleaning with an exam and x-rays or a certain dollar amount off your first visit. Look for these coupons on the dentist’s website. Here’s an example of what some of these coupons might look like. Remember, just because you’re getting a deal doesn’t always mean you should take it, especially where your oral health is concerned. Do your research before redeeming a dentist’s coupon to make sure you’ll be in good hands.
7. Baby Supplies
It’s no secret that babies are expensive. They’re in constant need of diapers, formula, and wipes, and every time you turn around, they’ve outgrown another outfit. Luckily, other people have taken notice of this difficult situation, and there are entire websites devoted to coupons for baby things.
8. Personal Care
Personal hygiene products (at least the good ones) aren’t cheap, and you really can’t do without them. You can come close to breaking the bank with one trip! The solution is simple: Clip as many coupons as possible. These kinds of coupons are popular in magazines both in print and online. Likewise, it can be expensive to maintain your current hair cut and color. Look for deals and coupons with those things as well, switching salons if necessary.
The bottom line: Couponing for groceries will save you plenty, but you’re missing out if that’s the only thing you clip coupons for. Look for these other great deals, and you’ll be amazed at what you save!