I’m not sure how many of you know this, but I became an extreme couponer back in college. That’s right, my parents had a stock pile of household products, cereal and more just from me! It also helped me become a better shopper outside of the grocery store. Here are a few quick tips that can help you save big bucks on that next shopping trip.
1. Add yourself to email/direct mail lists.
When you go to make a purchase and the cashier asks for you email/address, this is actually a good thing. Signing up for promotions from you’re favorite stores means you’re more likely to hear about great sales and discounts first. You may even get a few “newsletter-only” coupons. (You already know how much I love those!)
Don’t want to crowd your inbox? You can always check here for my curated lists of the best sales/discounts or try my next tip:
2. Sign up for rewards cards.
No, I don’t mean credit cards. Those APRs can get way too high for my liking. However, places like Century 21 let you get just reward cards where every purchase gives you points toward things like a discount, premier shopping days and so on. If it’s a store you frequent often, those bonus points add up.
3. See if your local mall/outlet mall has a savings/sales program.
I know for a fact that the Chelsea Premium Outlets (my favorite!) have coupon books for the stores at that location. You just have to pick one up at the customer service desk. (AAA members get it for free while other pay just $5. Either way, it’s worth it for the discounts.) What you find inside can be anything from 10 percent off a purchase of $100 or more to an overall savings with any purchase. Check your favorite locations to see if they offer similar programs.
4. Combine your store coupons with prominent sales.
This is KEY for extreme couponers. Do your research before hitting the stores. You may be able to combine a coupon or additional discount with those in-store/online sales that pop up throughout the year.
Here’s an example: When J.Crew Factory has the entire store on 40 to 60 percent off (not just one percentage), you can also use your student discount on top of that! Just keep in mind that this is only for in-store shopping and you need to show your student ID.
5. Watch out for specific discount days.
You know how Macy’s has those “One Day” sales and other stores shell out big discounts during their anniversaries? Take advantage of those and plan your shopping trips accordingly. That skirt you’ve been eyeing may get a significant price drop that you don’t want to miss.
When you sign up for email lists, like I mentioned before, you’ll be notified when these days are coming up.
6. Look into the options at that give you money back/gift cards.
Places such as the Ibotta app and eBates.com give you a sort of kickback in the form of gift cards/rebates when you go through their sites to buy your favorite products. We talked about this back when I did a news blast on Shopular. It’s easy enough to look at your favorite site and end up spending at least $100. These options may be worth looking into so you get a some money back.
Don’t want to do the extra leg work? Target may be your best bet. They offer gift cards when you buy certain items in bulk. (Think everything from shaving goods to cereal.) The best part: You can still get those $5 or $10 cards even if you buy the products with a cartwheel, their store coupon and a normal one from the Sunday paper. Just make sure you only get the things you actually need. If you need help, TotallyTarget.com breaks down how to take advantage of the store’s latest deals for beginners. Then, you can use those gift cards on clothes, beauty products, or whatever else you want.
7. Pin coupon sites against each other.
My rule of thumb is to check more than one site. Before making a purchase, do a quick scan on RetailMeNot, your savings apps and/or the store’s coupon page to see which has the better values. Checking is as easy as a google search and can save you some serious bucks.
Hope this helps! If you liked this post, please share it and let me know how much you saved! My favorite part of couponning is looking at my savings total at the end of the receipt.
Happy Monday, everyone!