Friday, March 25, 2016

Saving Big with Coupons

It is common for new college students have sticker shock on the cost of college housing, books for school, not to mention college tuition.  However, there are ways to save on basic living expenses.  Just remember the following acronym:

Sunday paper- purchase or have a friend or family member mail you the coupon pages.
A list of items bought on a regular basis, food, health and beauty aids, and basic household items is a must to know which coupons to be on the watch for. 
Visit the stores on or near campus and follow what deals they have each week.  Check to see if they have a mobile app for your phone to see their ads and online coupons.  Some stores only have flyers and then the coupons will need to be cut out.  Sign up for their free rewards cards.  Some stores even give special rewards on your birthday!
Items you don’t normally buy….beware of these coupons and don’t allow yourself to get swayed into buying them or you will just be spending and not really saving.
NEVER go shopping when you are hungry or without your coupons.
Go to the store with a list and coupons and stick to it.

Balance your couponing time with your school work.  The whole reason you are going to school is so you can make more money in the future, so….school needs to come first!
Invest in an inexpensive printer to download and print coupons from sites such as Dealspotr, Red Plum, and Smart source.
Get your roommates in on couponing and split the bill. With a combined effort you might be able to purchase $100 worth of products and pay only $25 each!

Whenever you can “stack” coupons do it!  Combine a store sale with online coupons, rebates and newspaper coupons to maximize your savings.  Krazy Coupon Lady is a great site that does a lot of the work for you.
Instead of going to the store whenever you want, plan on going once a week.   Most local grocery stores will offer BOGO (buy one, get one free.)  Combining this with coupons and you will save a lot!   Look for sales on items for which you have coupons, as well.
The occasional splurge:  use coupons for pizza, or other takeout food when there is no time to cook or you just need a little treat.
Have knowledge of the coupon policy for the stores at which you shop. 

Check your receipts:  Sometimes you can save up to 20% on your next purchase just by filling out a short online survey!
Online coupon codes…use these for saving on laptops, printers, textbooks, and anything else you might need for school or your dorm.
Use the in-store weekly ads.  Use rebate apps and send in your purchase receipt to get money back!  Use your student ID whenever possible for saving on purchases and ask if you don’t see posted discounts.
Purchase a 2” Binder with page protectors labeled my month and file coupons by expiration date to make them easier to find. 
Organize schedule to fit in an hour or so a week for clipping, filing, and searching online coupons.
Name brand verses store brand:  Most of the time you will spend less on a store brand item when using a coupon than when purchasing a similar store brand item.
Save money and enjoy your college experience with less financial stress by using coupons!

Essay by Alycia Carey, participant in the Dealspotr scholarship giveaway at .