Friday, October 7, 2011

Truth About Coupons


In today’s economic climate, with the rise in gas and food prices, people have had to get creative in their spending habits. They are using every trick in the book to bring down the cost of food for their families. One trick that has become very popular is to use coupons.

Coupons have been around for years, but only a few people have really taken advantage of them. During the years of prosperity here in America, when gas was low and food was relatively cheap, most people didn’t think about using coupons. Coupons were tossed away into the trash, which was equivalent of throwing away money.

Coupons Are Money
How can I equate coupons with money? I can say this because I’ve taken a close look at the wording on the coupons. In small print you will see the words cash value. There are instructions for the merchant (that word gives you a clue about how long coupons have been around) to redeem or turn in the coupon for a certain cash value or credit.

The food manufacturer issues coupons to get people to buy their products. When they are used at the store, the store owner or manager sends the coupons to the manufacturer to get cash back for the amount saved or a credit for future products.

That is why and how I can can call coupons money. The savings amount on the coupon is the same as cash off the price of the product. The more you have, the more money you save.

Extreme Coupons by the Experts
You may (or may not) have heard of the television show Extreme Couponing. It highlights different people who have mastered the art of using coupons to get their food bill down to pennies. Keep in mind the show is called EXTREME Couponing so it is not what the average person does. Those people find ways to save hundreds of dollars whereas the average person usually saves only a few dollars. But every dollar counts right?

Learn from the Coupon Experts Online
These websites also have coupon forums that are very active with people sharing where the sales are in your area. They also tell you how to use your coupons to get multiple items that are on sale at the time. Some website even go so far as to tell you what coupons to use. This is why it is important to collect the coupons for at least four weeks. 

This is the first post of a two part series about couponing. More are soon to follow, including a great video, with in depth information on how to organize, how to get started on the art of couponing and the how to develop skill of saving money.

This contribution is from Samantha Gregory. Gregory is an Atlanta mom, freelance writer, and editor at Rich Single where she writes about single mom money issues. Follow her on Twitter @RichSingleMommaand @Samantha Gregory