Today’s guest post is from Marcia Layton Turner, a writer I’ve known for years and one of the smartest businesswomen out there. Marcia is also a savvy couponer, and is the author of Extreme Couponer: Insider Secrets to Getting Groceries for Free. In this post Marcia offers her advice on the 6 most overlooked ways to save money when shopping. Take it away, Marcia!
Free groceries are hard to come by, despite what you see on TLC’s “Extreme Couponing” show. However, there are some lesser-known sources of savings that can help dramatically trim your weekly grocery budget. Here are six of the most overlooked:
- Take advantage of rebates. We hear a lot about print and Internet coupons that can save us money, but the truth is that rebates can save much more money, and with much less effort. The biggest distributor of rebates is beer manufacturers, who frequently post tear pads of rebate forms on displays in the supermarket, liquor or package store. Check eBay to see what is currently in circulation.
- Ask for coupons. If there is a particular product you love and would like to buy more frequently, email the manufacturer and tell them that. Express why you like their product and ask if they can send you some coupons. In most cases, they will.
- Earn them. Rewards programs like MyCokeRewards and Recyclebank offer coupons in exchange for points earned. Those coupons can be printed and redeemed immediately.
- Order them. If you find a high value coupon for a product that will be on sale in the coming week, stock up on as many as you can by ordering them from a coupon clipping service. You pay a few cents to have the coupons you need clipped and mailed to you, but this is how you can reduce your spending and build a stockpile of items you use regularly. Five coupon services I use are ClippityQ, Coupons by Dede, Rebecca’s Coupons and Forms, The Coupon Clippers, and The Coupon Master.
- Like them. Facebook has become the place for manufacturers to connect with consumers. By “Liking” their fan page, you can often receive high value or free product coupons. Search Facebook to find brands and manufacturers you buy regularly and then click “Like” to qualify for special savings.
- Make multiple trips. With grocery stores now limiting the number of coupons you can redeem in a single trip, it may make sense to make several trips to the store each week – especially if it’s on your usual driving route.
Gathering high value coupons doesn’t have to be a full-time job. You just have to know where to look for them.