Coupons can super-size savings
Posted June 14, 2010
Coupons can save shoppers a lot of money, but they need to know the best places to find coupons and how to best use them.
WRAL's Smart Shopper Faye Prosser is a dedicated couponer and said she typically feeds her family of four for $55 a week.
"For that $55, I bring home anywhere from $125 to $200 a week worth of product after the sales and coupons," Prosser said.
Georgine Kaczmarek is another couponer who helps other shoppers by posting deals online. She recently paid $9.59 for groceries worth $111.35.
"Every little bit helps, and even if it's not the volume that I do, you can save at least $100," Kaczmarek said.
Shoppers also shouldn't forget about deals at drug stores, Prosser said. Retailers such as CVS have rewards programs that combined with coupons yield great deals.
"If I ever pay for toothpaste again, it will be a miracle," Prosser said.
The key to super-sizing savings is tapping as many sources of coupons as possible and combining them for bigger deals.
"You want to take the manufacturer coupons typically found in the Sunday newspaper inserts, along with retailers' coupons in their store circular," Tod Marks, with Consumer Reports, said. "Doubling up on these coupons can really knock down your costs."
It's also worth looking for coupons on websites such as CoolSavings.com, GrocerySmarts.com and Coupons.com. Be aware, though, that those deals aren't completely free.
"You really want to be aware that when you sign up for a coupon site, you open yourself up to spam that goes along with getting coupons," Marks said. "So you want to open up a separate e-mail account, devoted solely to coupons."
Sign up to get coupons from brand names on Facebook, or join a couponing forum like MomsView.com – again using a separate coupons-only e-mail account. There are also in-person coupon-swapping groups whose members save and socialize.
WRAL also regularly offers deals of 50 percent off and more from our partners around the Triangle.
Organizing coupons is a key to getting the most savings. For best results, keep coupons in binders organized by type. It helps shoppers find coupons more easily, especially at the cash register.