Couponing is an important part of keeping a balanced budget. Whether you’re single or supporting a household, coupons and discounts are the norm when it comes to making sure ends meet. But you have to make sure you do it right, and avoid traps.
1) Expiration dates are your enemy: How many times have you found yourself staring at a coupon that is way past its expiration date? It’s even worse when this happens when you’re at the store with the product in hand! Keep track of the coupons you’re thinking of using, and make sure they are organized in a reasonable fashion. This way, you’ll be sure not to forget about the important deals.
2) Don’t buy it just because of the coupon: If you weren’t thinking of buying the product(s) anyway, don’t fork out your hard-earned money just because you found a coupon. The best way to save is to reduce your consumption.
3) Mobile Coupons are the norm: Instead of carrying around wads of paper coupons with you, use one of the many online coupon sources / apps to carry them digitally, on your phone. Less chance you’ll loose the coupons, and it’s much more likely you won’t forget about the ones you really wanted to use.
4) Stock Up When You Can: Found a good discount on toothpaste, with no limit? Stock up! That stuff never goes bad. But only if you know you’re going to use the product. Don’t buy tons of stuff you’re never going to use just because of the deal.
5) Friends help friends save: Your family, neighbors, friends etc. are in this with you. Share the frugal love with each other. Keep each other in the loop when you find an interesting deal. For instance, I like to send a quick text to my buddies when I’m at a store and I see something on special we all use. And they reciprocate.