Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Your MBA in Couponing & Deal Making: Lesson One - TAPS

Couponing is indeed a strategy, it is both an art and a science.  After all, if getting rock bottom deals was so easy, everyone would be doing it, right?  Couponing requires some things that most people just don't want to deal with, such as:



Couponing requires some time, especially when you are just starting and learning the ropes.  As any veteran couponer will attest, there are so many different sites and blogs with so much information you can easily spend 12 hours or day or more absorbing all the information. At the same time, you will save more in the comfort of your own home than most people make at their part time job, that they spend money to travel to, pay for gas, parking, meals, etc... So taking time to learn to coupon is a good thing and it pays!

There is also time in finding coupon matchups.  That is, for the best deals, matching up your coupons with local sales ads is the way to go.  This takes time, luckily, there are a lot of blogs that will show you coupon match ups for your favorite stores.  I love it when they do the work for me!  I usually, follow their blog, like them on Facebook and subscribe to the blogs that take time to do this as a token of my appreciation.  But you still may find deals that the blogs haven't found that may just be specific to your local store, keep your eye out for these!


As a deal procurement specialist (that's you), it is your job to know the store policies at the places you shop. Believe it or not, the associates may not know the store policies or understand how coupons work.  I've had an associate call their supervisor one occasion at Walmart because she didn't understand how I could use a coupon that exceeded the value of the item.  Her telling me I couldn't use it, was contrary to Walmart policies.  I knew this, it was my job to stand my ground and when I did, I walked out of Walmart with $19 worth of items for 28 cents!

You have to be assertive sometimes (not rude), as the person behind the register may not be well-versed in dealing with coupons.  So know your stuff and stand your ground!


I always do much better on a shopping trip when I've planned ahead. Just winging it doesn't work. I maximize my savings by knowing the deals ahead of time, making a list and getting my coupons ready.  I do have a coupon binder, but its used more for storage than anything else :-/

The more planning you can do at home, the smoother your shopping trip will be and the more you will save.


Depending on the store you shop you may need a different strategy.  If I am shopping a Harris Teeter Super Doubles event I am making a bee line to the hot items...those items that are free or super cheaper after coupon as those tend to go the fastest.

Also, I look at coupon expiration dates to see how long I have until it expires.  This can mean the difference between a good deal and a great deal.  Say for example, you can get a good deal on a non-sale item with a coupon, and the coupon expires 3 months from now.  Unless you are in dire need of the item, wait for a sale!  Patience is key.  Almost everything goes on sale eventually.  If the item doesn't go on sale, you can still get the deal with the non-sale price.

Don't forget about rewards programs.  If I can get two items at the same price, at two different stores I will opt for the store that gives me rewards or points.  If soap is the same price, same quanity, same brand at Walmart and CVS, I am going to get it from CVS.  Why? Because CVS gives you 2% back on your purchases each quarter, Walmart gives you nothing.  

Finally, just because you have a coupon does not mean you need to buy an item.  Your goal is to find the best deals and save the most money coupon or not.

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