I’ve mentioned in the past that I used to clip coupons like it was going out of style. However, it was a habit I had to quickly give up because it can be very time consuming. I do enjoy using coupons for toiletries and baby products. I also use coupons for clothing and other items I don’t purchase frequently. Whether you are using 2 or 3 coupons a week, or keep a massive coupon binder with you at all times, there are 5 things you must know about coupons. Most of these are just plain common sense, but it’s still amazing how many people get confused on these basic coupon rules.
5 Things You Must Know About Coupons
1. Pay attention to the wording.
The manufacturer wants you to purchase the most expensive version of their product. That means that they will probably show a picture of the largest size product and the most exclusive version. But that doesn’t mean you must buy the item pictured. Instead, look at the wording. Does the coupon say “Save .50 on ANY product of this brand”? There may be a size requirement or a particular product that you have to buy, but always checking the wording before you assume you have to buy the pictured product.
2. Check for restrictions.
Read the coupon carefully before using it in the store. Does it say you must buy 2 products to get the savings? Is the coupon only good at one particular store? Is there a particular size that is included on the coupon?
3. Never use expired coupons.
Most coupon registers will not allow you to use an expired coupon, but just to be safe you should always check the expiration date. You also want to save yourself the embarrassment and keep you from spending more than you anticipated. Seriously, there’s nothing worse than stocking up on a product just to find out that your coupon is no longer any good.
*I’ve heard of a few stores that accept coupons up to 6 months after they have expired. I suggest you verify the store’s coupon policy first.**
4. Never copy a coupon!
Back in the beginning days of printable coupons, people were printing a coupon and then making copies so they could get additional savings. This is illegal and can result in prosecution. Bottom line, don’t do it. It’s not worth getting in trouble just to save a few dollars.
You can read more about how to ethically use coupons from the Coupon Information Corporation
5. Don’t use them all.
Just because you have a coupon does not mean you must use it. It is crazy to spend $3.00 on an item you don’t need just to save .50! Be careful that you don’t end up overspending your budget just because you want to save a little money with that coupon you found in the newspaper.
Do you regularly use coupons? I would love to hear your tips for new coupon users.
Looking for more money saving tips? Check out the following: