I’ve never been much of a couponer. I don’t do a lot of shopping, I guess, except for food. I’ve rarely found coupons for things like brown rice, vegetables, meats, or beans (which comprise a great deal of our diet). I do comparison shop between brands (and a few local stores) and take advantage of in-store sales, but most of the coupons are for processed or household items.
The one coupon I’ve been using for years comes from Joann fabrics. I never shop there without the 40% off coupon that comes each month in the mail (though I don’t shop there every month).
But in the last year I’ve started practicing a related form of couponing which works very well: Coupon Codes.
Coupon codes are primarily used online and help you save money with your order. They’re pretty easy to find, easy to use, and more common than you would think. It doesn’t require buying a newspaper or clipping and saving, it just requires remembering to look!
After I’ve decided to buy an item, I start hunting online for where the best price. I may compare prices at different sites or it may be something only available in one place. I used to stop there, my system was: find the best price -> buy.
Now, once I’ve figured out the best place to buy it, I visit a few couponing sites and run a Google Search with the brand or store name and “coupon code.”
If I’m buying an item that’s available from more than one retailer, I also look for coupon codes from other places which had higher prices. If I can save $10 with a coupon code, the place that charged $7 more turns into the best deal.
What I like about this method is that it doesn’t take too much time but it pays off. I’m very grateful to the people who run and participate in these sites. They make it so easy to do.
When I haven’t already made up my mind to buy something, I don’t spend much time looking at couponing sites and formus. I don’t want to end up spending more just because I can spend less of it. I know that I miss out on sales for items that I’d rejected as too expensive, but I can live with that. If I wasn’t actively looking for deals, I probably don’t need it.
One thing I need to work on: using Price Protectr to inform me of price drops on larger items within the refund eligibility period.
So there you go, that’s the Mrs. Micah not-intense-but-money-saving couponing method. To give credit, here are the people who first introduced me to coupon codes and who’ve kept me informed of some useful sales:
Kyle of Rather Be Shopping (first place I read about it), Kacie at Sense to Save (who had awesome amounts of CVSness going on and has branches out now), Alyssa/Kingdom First Mom, and Mommy Gets Paid (disappeared in May, so her site isn’t up-to-date but she has some good old articles about saving money), GreenStew. If you’re interested in getting more involved in sales and coupon codes, I encourage you to subscribe to all of their sites.