From weekly ads to apps that help you find deals, there are plenty of ways to save a few cents, and sometimes even more. Sometimes sales, deals and coupons might feel like a trap to spend even more money than you need to on things you didn’t necessarily need, but with the right habits and mindset, you are sure to be saving money more than spending it. In this post, we’ll be discussing the importance of mastering the skill of couponing and how to make the most of coupons. 

Bottom-line importance

Yes, couponing will take a slight investment of time, but when you use the most of the tools provided and have a few handy tricks ready, whatever time you spend, you’ll receive much more in savings. 

Statistics from Statista in 2016 determined the United States saw a total of 307 billion coupons in distribution, according to a Statista post by Emma Bedford. Of those 307 billion coupons, consumers only redeemed two billion. To translate these numbers into financial value, Statistica determined the value of free standing insert (FSI) coupons and food FSI coupons had an average face value of $1.22 and non-food FSI coupons had an average face value of $2.29. While $1 to $2 doesn’t seem like much, if that’s how much you can save every time you purchase household items, you’ll see how every little bit does add up. With coupons, the little bits add up in a good way. 

This brings us to the stigma around couponing. As Donna L. Montaldo describes in her article on The Balance, some consumers feel embarrassed to use coupons, perhaps seeing it as a sign of financial weakness. Yet, statistics from Hawk Incentives, published through Cision, show income doesn’t play that big of a hand in determining who’s looking for deals. 

The report broke respondents down by annual household income, with one segment reporting annual household earnings between $20,000 to $39,000, another segment for those with earnings between $100,000 and $149,000, and a third segment of those earning $200,000 or more. Each of these segments had 87 percent, 85 percent, and 86 percent, respectively, reporting they look for deals. With such small differences in percentage, deal-searching certainly are not a sign of financial weakness, but rather a way of life a multitude of consumers participate in. 


Basics for success

How you set up your system also contributes to either your success or stress in regards to couponing. First, find tips that work for you. There are plenty of articles available to help make sense of the couponing process that also offer useful tips, such as this article by Veneta Lusk on Dollar Sprout. Donna L. Montaldo offers an article on The Balance that can help you avoid the common couponing trap — buying things you don’t need and spending more money than you need. Her solution is to figure out where to find coupons for items you actually use and need.  

Another good habit to build a strong foundation for your couponing needs is to familiarize yourself with the coupon and deal policies of stores you frequent. If you’re not up for reading the fine print, you can also easily find articles that help breakdown the coupon policies of well-known stores. For those who shop fairly often at Target, it’d be worthwhile to check out Donna L. Montaldo’s article on The Balance, which discusses the coupon policy of Target. 

It pays to be a conscious and knowledgeable consumer, and that includes understanding the resources available to you. It’s never too late to start building new habits and it’s certainly never too late to start saving money.

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