After the holidays, many will be looking for ways to pay off credit card bills. My advice is to start by whittling down your grocery bill with coupons. My goal is to save at least 75% every time I shop and have been successful most of the time. In the past year, I’ve covered many topics on how to maximize your savings with coupons. Now, the trick is to know where to find more coupons.
The most obvious place is the Sunday newspaper. For the best savings, you should have several copies of the same coupon. (Why buy just one box of pasta for 25 cents, when you can get three or four? That’s only possible with multiple coupons.) You could just go out and purchase three or four copies of Sunday’s paper, but that will run you about $10 in most major cities. And, in my “cheap” world, that defeats the purpose of using coupons: To save money. There are a few tricks to getting more coupons at no cost.
First, turn to friends and family, for their extras. Even though I wish everyone clipped coupons, most people do not. Every week, most coupons are simply tossed in the garbage or recycle bin. To me, it’s just like taking money out of your wallet and throwing it away. Ask neighbors or co-workers to save the coupons for you. I regularly make my rounds to pick up extra coupons. I even have a few neighbors who graciously leave them on my front porch. As the famous line goes, “Ask and you shall receive.”
Next, search your community recycle bins for coupons. For many savers, it’s a gold mine – just know your city’s ordinances before jumping in.
Third, if you get the newspaper delivered at home, make friends with the “paperboy.” I’ve known friends who regularly get a few extra copies in their Sunday paper, thanks to a generous holiday gift. A $20 bill during the holidays can pay off long-term. Don’t offend your delivery person with a “bribe,” but it’s worth asking just exactly what happens to all of those extra coupons, right?
Finally, the best kept-secret is probably right down the street from you. (Many of my fellow super savers will not be happy with me for sharing this tip.) If you go snooping around on a late Sunday morning (or early afternoon) at your local coffee shop or fast-food restaurant, you can often find a treasure trove of coupons among the Sunday papers left behind by customers. We all see the papers strewn about the tables, sofas and chairs, but few are bold enough to pick them up and rifle through for the coupons. Yes, you might get a few weird stares, but who cares? You’re saving money! I’ve had the best success at Starbucks and McDonald’s.
Your greatest savings will always come from being a smart shopper in the grocery aisle. With a few great money-saving shopping trips, you could easily have an extra $100 each month (even more, if you’re really good) toward those pesky credit cards bills. Living on the Cheap always has a great source of manufacturer’s coupons. Companies load new coupons at the beginning of the month, so now’s a good time to start preparing to tackle those soon-to-be-due holiday bills.