Couponing can seem like a daunting task for those just getting started. Sure, it is easy to find coupons in the newspaper for a few food items, but if you are new to couponing, you need to learn some simple basics on how to save on just about anything. The Internet is definitely your friend here, whether you are buying online, or just doing your homework before heading to the store.
Here are a few different types of buying categories and how to save in each.
Groceries, Personal Care and Household Items
These are probably the most common items that people think of when thinking of couponing. Coupons for items in this category are easy to come by. Sources include the Sunday paper insert, store sales flyers, store loyalty programs and online sites either dedicated to coupons or products. Be sure to not only stock up on the flyers, also look up the website for brands you like and sign up for their email newsletter to get more coupons. Some coupon websites include Coupon Monitor, Discounts Monitor and Coupons.com. Be sure to check your grocery store website for coupons also.
Tip: Sign up for a free email service and have a dedicated email address for these mailing lists — it keeps all your coupons and deals in one place and out of your regular email account.
Automobile maintenance, a day at the spa, haircuts, dry cleaning… the list is endless, really. Every service you can think of has a way for you to save money. When you are using the service, ask if they ever have coupons or advance notices of sales. You can possibly get on a direct mailing list or an email newsletter and be notified in advance. Again, turn to the Internet and search for the name of the service. Companies often give special deals only to subscribers of their newsletter. Keep an eye out for coupons in the newspaper or direct mailings like Valpak. The Valpak website also offers printable versions of their coupons and they have a search feature to help you.
Clothing and Accessories
You can save a bundle on clothing and accessories by using coupons, sales and clearance. Pair a coupon with a sale, and if the store policy allows it, split your transaction into two and use the coupon twice. (Most stores have rules about their coupons.) To get coupons for stores, first visit their website and look for coupons, newsletter, rewards program and catalog mailing list — sign up for all of these because some deals are only offered to subscribers. Some stores also have their own credit cards available that allow you to save more if you use it — but pay off the balance immediately or any savings will be eaten by interest charges. Sites like Retail Me Not also have many of the latest store deals and coupons listed.
From amusement parks to flights and hotels, there are a lot of travel deals to be had. There are several ways to save, depending on what kind of trip you are planning. If you are looking for a vacation package, travel websites are probably the best place to start. If, on the other hand, you are looking for hotel deals in Atlantic City, it pays to look up which hotels are located there, then visit those hotel websites, and even call the hotels. Some of the best deals are unadvertised, and many hotels have discounted tickets to local attractions as well.
The bottom line is you can save on almost anything you purchase if you just do a little homework first, and know where the deals are.
Marilyn Smith specializes in covering the latest news and events about the gaming and hospitality industry, including hotel deals in Atlantic City.