With inflation soaring, families are looking for ways to reduce the costs of their everyday expenses. I asked Ryan McGonagill of Savings.com for advice on how to use coupons to save money in this environment. Here’s what he said.
The Epoch Times: What strategies do you recommend that families employ to incorporate couponing into their purchasing habits?
Ryan McGonagill: Planning your family’s menu for the week or month before beginning to clip coupons and hit the store is an ideal way to save on groceries and meals. Also, starting with the top 10 to 15 items on the grocery list, and couponing and stockpiling around those items first, will make your coupons go farther.
Adding your favorite brands on Facebook, where exclusive coupons are often shared, is a great way to stay on top of the latest and exclusive deals.
Getting the entire family involved in couponing makes it much more enjoyable and starts saving habits early. A great idea for the kids is to make it into a scavenger hunt—provide the kids with coupons and have them go hunt for the items in the store. Whoever gets the most amount of items the quickest gets to pick out something from the store.
The Epoch Times: What categories of purchase tend to be most conducive to couponing?
Mr. McGonagill: Most would assume that coupons would be used mostly in the grocery store, and that could be true. But 60 percent of printed coupons are spent on non-food items, such as clothing, cleaning products, restaurant meals, and office supplies. Also, 86 percent of spenders say that coupons typically have a strong influence on purchasing new products.
The Epoch Times: What are some common mistakes that people tend to make when it comes to couponing?
Mr. McGonagill: Purchasing shady coupons online. Watch out for scammers and their unwanted coupons. Always investigate first for positive reviews or credible reputation scores.
Buying more than you can afford. Keep to your weekly budget, because if you’re overspending or using credit cards, it’s not really a deal. Use cash. Don’t go overboard, no matter how good the deal.
Making a first-time purchase because you have a coupon. Just because you have a coupon, it doesn’t mean that you need that item. Use discounts to purchase necessities and bulk items.
The Epoch Times: What are some couponing options that you think many would be surprised to learn about?
Mr. McGonagill: Nowadays, the best coupons come from online: social media, email newsletters, and texts! We always recommend following and interacting with your favorite brands and shops so that you are familiar with their coupon schedule and stay up to date on the latest deals.