Thursday, April 29, 2010

Coupon Advice from a Friend

This post was written by Lindsay from One Day At A Time.

So I get an e-mail from Oxana asking if I could write a post on what motivates me to use coupons. Honestly, my coupon use isn't as frequent or as top notch as hers, but I was honored that she asked! The other day I shared a story with her, that I'll share with you, too.

I am currently living at home with my parents and try to help out where I can. Dad had told me he had a coupon for CVS for $29 of ECB (Extra Care Bucks) and asked if I'd pick up a few things we needed. We had also just received the Sunday paper, full of other coupons. From the paper, I saw they had Cokes on sale, 4 twelve-packs for $10 and toilet paper on sale. (I can't remember how much, but cheaper than we normally pay) I also had a coupon for a $ amount of off Kellog's Corn Pops.

That day, I ended up buying 4 packs of Coke, 16 rolls of toilet paper, one box of Corn Pops, re-wetting drops for my eyes, and a nail file for only $2.61. I had an Oxana moment for sure and I couldn't wait to tell her!

That same day, I stopped by Lowe's grocery store for something random, honestly I can't remember. That same morning I had grabbed a coupon for Jell-o- products and picked up the new Mousse product that they have. Much to my surprise, when I was being checked out, they were having DOUBLE COUPON rewards. I had heard Oxana talk about this but never experienced it first hand. I think my coupon was for $.80 off a Jell-o-, and I ended up getting $1.60 off! It was great!

I'll share something else though, while I may not be great at grocery coupons, I am pretty good at retail coupons. Before I started working at Gap, I was a frequent shopper of other stores. If you get in close with a manager or sales associate who works at that store, they will give you a heads up on when things are being marked down, or when promotions are coming up. When it comes to retail, it's all about loyalty, and when they can get people to come back- they are the ones benefiting!

For example-at Gap, we have a coupon that gets people coming back in on Wednesdays. It's 40% off one full-price item, and 45% if you use your Gap card. When we get these coupons from the higher powers we pass them out to customers, but I know I keep some in my purse and pass them out whenever I can.

Another tip I can share from experience is to ask if you can use expired coupons. I know Bed, Bath & Beyond's coupons never expire! I did, however, have a bad experience at Ulta the other day when it came to expired coupons and not being able to use them. Bummer. So always ask! The worst they can say is "no".

I definitely think you have to be super organized to get the most out of coupons. I, on the other hand am not super organized. I think once I move out, and have a place of my own, and have to be responsible for my own groceries, I'll get better at being grocery coupon organized.

It's always nice to know that you've saved some money whether you're shopping for groceries or clothing!

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