I am fairly new to the couponing world, but it didn’t take long for me to realize how much money you can save. I am now completely sold on using coupons every time I shop, and take pride in ALWAYS saving over 50% off my grocery bill. Yes, ALWAYS.
I love saving money, but the time it takes to clip coupons and search online for deals is a HUGE time commitment. Sometimes when I am clipping out the Sunday paper I have to remind myself why I do what I do. I’ve heard about buying coupons, but honestly, that sounded ridiculous to me. But I recently read this article from Buxr.com and they seem to make a lot of good points, check it out:
The Article: When Buying Coupons Makes Cent$ from Buxr.com
I never thought I’d ever buy any coupons. After all, they’re readily available everywhere for free – from the Internet coupon sites or directly from the manufacturers’ web pages, Sunday newspaper inserts, magazines, in-store blinkies. So you’re probably wondering why in the world I would even consider buying them. Well, there are 3 reasons. First, due to increased coupon fraud, many stores are refusing to accept Internet printed coupons. Second, there are times when there’s a really great opportunity to stock up on a big supply of sale products that we use regularly, but I only have a limited number of coupons for those items on hand. And third, the clipping and organizing can get so time-consuming that it’s worth it to me to let someone else do the work for a small handling fee.
So that’s when I started exploring other possibilities. Legally, coupons themselves cannot be sold, most are marked “nontransferrable.” So the coupons are technically “free” and what you actually pay for is the collection, clipping service and organization, or a handling fee to send them to you. You have to decide if it’s worth those fees to get more coupons than you can already find for free on your own. Here are 3 ways to spend a little to get them and save a lot when you use them.
Buy Coupons on eBay
The largest collection of coupons can be found on eBay, and you can have a successful experience there if you shop carefully. Choose reputable sellers with lots of transactions and positive feedback. There is an excellent guide, as well as a new designation for “Top eBay Seller” that means you are dealing with someone who is reliable and has good performance based on their detailed seller ratings. To get started, just search for the specific name of the coupon you want, or browse food coupons here. “Buy It Now” auctions are the best choice, because they are the fastest and easiest way to order. If you bid on the coupons, there will be a delay until the auction closes, so the final price could be higher and you may not get them in time to use for the current sale. Always order actual coupons that have been clipped from paper sources; never order Internet coupons because you can’t tell if they are illegal copies.
The way you can make this method work best for you is to check the sale previews on Thursday for the coming week at CVS, Walgreens, or your favorite stores. If there are some really good sales or freebies coming up for items you’d like, you can place your order for the extra coupons to get them in time to shop during the week that those deals are available. Try to get everything you need in a single order to save on the handling fees. The number of sale items you can get depends entirely on your storage space.
Join a Coupon Train
For no cost beyond postage, you can join or organize a coupon train to stockpile coupons for future shopping trips. You and a group of friends or relatives will exchange coupons by snail mail. It works best if the members of your group have different needs, so you can get rid of coupons you don’t use in exchange for the ones you want.
- Choose members who are in different parts of the United States to maximize the variety of coupons.
- Organize the names and addresses in a numbered list, with your name at the top, and distribute it to everyone.
- Collect up to 50 coupons you won’t use, and start your train by mailing them in an envelope to the second name on the “train route.” That will only require one stamp.
- Instruct that person to remove the coupons they want from the envelope you sent, replace them with other coupons at least equal to the number and value removed, and send the envelope on to the next person on the list.
Each person should follow the same procedure, keeping the envelope no longer than 2 to 3 days. That will insure that the coupons are passed around before they expire.
Pay the Kids
You can always encourage the kids to clip and organize the coupons for you by offering to reward them. You can pay them an allowance for the time they spend. Or you can give them the opportunity to “bank” part of the savings from clipping and using the coupons, and allow them to spend it on something they want. This will include them in the planning and budgeting process and they will learn responsibility and money management, too.