The world of savings can be a savage place if you’re not prepared. Between the lingo, the cashiers who are sick of scanning coupons, and the way your ‘buy one-get one’ coupon always vanishes by the time you get to check out, it can get intense.
It’s our mission to streamline the savings process as much as possible for you. If you’re looking to save some serious coin on your next shopping spree, check out these 12 trending coupon tips and hacks.
1. Strike Your Sales Cycle While the Iron is Hot
Sales at the grocery store or even at the hardware store are not random. Most stores operate on a sales cycle. For instance, new sales typically begin at Target on Sundays and last for one week. For a grocery store such as Publix, sale cycles normally begin on Thursday and last anywhere from a week to two weeks.
If you want the best sales and the best selection of items, always try to strike at the beginning of the sale cycle. This will grant you first access to the best deals.
2. Brush Up on Acronyms
Retail has a language of its own. BOGO, MIR, OYNO – at first glance, these might look like gibberish. But, these acronyms hold strong meaning in the world of retail. Fully understanding this lingo will give you an advantage when hunting for the best deals.
Here’s a brief overview of the most common acronyms you’ll stumble across:
- BOGO – Buy One, Get One
- MIR – Mail-in Rebate
- OYNO – On Your Next Order
- MFR – Manufacturer
- WYB – When You Buy
- Q – Coupon
3. Decipher Double (or Triple!) Coupon Deals
Do stores in your area offer double coupon deals? Essentially, doubling coupons is when a store accepts your coupon and matches the value of it up to a certain amount. Many stores will double or triple your coupons as an effort to have you shop there.
For instance, if your coupon was for $1 off an item, the store would match your $1, giving you $2 off the item. This process happens automatically at the register when you’re checking out, however, you may need to scan your loyalty or rewards card first to take advantage of the promotion. This leads us to our next hack.
4. Join Loyalty Programs
You’ve most likely been pestered at the register countless times to sign up for a loyalty or rewards program. Take advantage of the offer! In addition to racking up points on purchases that could potentially earn you dollars off your next grocery trip, you’re also eligible for exclusive sales and promotions.
5. Stack your Coupons
Does your store allow you to stack manufacturer with in-store coupons? This means that you can use a manufacturer’s coupon in tandem with a store coupon. For instance, if you’re purchasing a can of Campbell’s soup, you would be able to use a coupon from the store you’re shopping at plus a coupon you received from Campbell’s.
Stacking coupons is a sure-fire way to reap some serious savings.
6. Stock Up While the Going’s Good
Okay, please take this tip with a grain of salt. If every day essentials, such as toothpaste, toilet paper, or paper towels go on a great sale, feel free to splurge and strike while the iron’s hot. But, if the deal is on a dozen bottles of mayonnaise, do not feel like you need to purchase just for the sake of it.
Remember: this process should be saving you money. Therefore, only purchase things you’ll actually use.
7. Watch Dollars and Percentages
While many stores will allow you to stack coupons, they won’t accept multiple discounts if they’re two different varieties. For example, if one coupon is for 20% off and the other is for $1 off, the store most likely will not accept both. Instead, you’ll have to choose just one to use.
For future reference, only stack X% off with X% off and $X off and $X off.
8. Take Advantage of Price Comparison
Go ahead, take the blinders off. Apps like Basket are bringing transparency to brick-and-mortar stores, showing you the best prices for the items you want in stores closest to you. Before spending an unnecessary amount of money on a purchase like groceries, always price check to ensure you’re getting the best bang for your buck.
9. Understand Pricing
A bright yellow sale sticker can surely get your blood pumping and catch you off guard. But, don’t get too caught up in a “sale.” Just because something is labeled as a sale in one store doesn’t mean the savings are significant. In fact, you might be able to get the same item for cheaper at a different store, even at that store’s normal price. This leads us to our next point…
10. Be Flexible
Be flexible. Whether that means shopping at a different store than normal or switching up the brand you’re buying, stay open-minded. That’s the key to savings hacks, you have to be willing to get crafty.
11. Go Digital
Even if you’re still trying to fight it, the world has made a shift toward digital. And truthfully, that’s great news for bargain hunters. In addition to price-comparison mobile apps like Basket, many stores offer reward programs and mobile apps as well. This means access to sales, coupons, and promotions are always at your fingertips.
You can drop the scissors, you won’t need to be cutting coupons much longer. Simply swipe up for them.
12. Price Match Where You Can
The beauty of having apps for your favorite stores? If you see an item you want in one store you can easily price-compare on the spot. Scan the item using the app for the store you’re currently in, and then scan the same item on a separate app for a different store.
If the item shows as cheaper at the different store, many retailers such as Walmart or Target will match the lower price. Simply take the item to the service desk and the employee should price match the item for you.
Geared with these 12 tips, you should be ready to tackle any savings that come your way. Happy shopping!