We all know that coupons can save us money on items that we were going to buy anyway, but there's more to using these paper savings tools than meets the eye. Kansas City moms Chrissy Pate and Kristin McKee perfected the art of using coupons when they were having trouble reducing their families' food bills. Once they became experts at saving about $400 a month on their groceries, the duo started charging $25 for others to attend coupon parties led by them and created their website Be CentsAble. They say attendees will save at least that amount in their first grocery trip after applying lessons learned at the parties.
Good Morning America ran a spot on Chrissy and Kristin, and the pair gave several examples of how to make better use of coupons. I certainly learned something new. They're all about "layering savings strategies"; to see some of their tips on how to do this,
- First look for sales, then look for coupons for the sale items.
- An even better idea is to go to a store that gives double-coupon credit.
- Get the best deals by combining the manufacturer's coupon with a store's coupon.
- For manufacturer coupons that cover entire product lines, ignore the picture and pay attention to the bar codes. A more expensive item is typically pictured, but you can use the coupon on cheaper products.
- Buy one get one free: You can use two coupons on these promotions because you're buying two items. You can even use a buy-one-get-one-free coupon and end up getting both for free.
- If you have a store coupon, like $5 off any $20 purchase, give them that coupon first while the total is more than $20. Once that discount has been taken, hand over your other coupons for individual products.