Using Coupons: Size Matters
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Using Coupons: Size Matters

Posted on Thursday, June 18th, 2009 at 11:42 am
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Fake Coupons with US Coins

To save money, I often buy things in bulk. That usually means getting the largest size of a product. Most of the time this is a good strategy to get the lowest unit price (e.g cost per pound or cost per count). My strategy changes, however, when I have coupons.

When using most coupons it pays off to purchase the smallest size package that is allowable with the coupon. This is true even if the larger size is normally a better deal. By applying a cents (or dollars) off coupon to packages that cost less, you get a greater percentage of savings. In fact, if you apply the coupons carefully, you can often wind up with free products.

I’ll give you a current example. In recent Sunday coupon inserts there have been $1 off manufacturer coupons for both Kelloggs and Kashi cereals. Both of these brands feature cereal bowls, one serving size containers of cereal that come in their own bowls. Apply the $1 off coupons, and you will get these products for free. My first experience with applying coupons to the smallest size of a product happened several years ago, when I was able to stockup on 20 individual servings of oatmeal this way. That was 20 breakfast meals at no cost, something my family was grateful to have.

If your grocery store doubles or triples coupons, you can still apply this strategy. A $.75 coupon doubled will come to $1.50 and tripled will be $2.25. This is usually enough to cover things such as smaller tubes of toothpaste, deodorant and more.

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Good Tip: Saving money is important – especially if you have a lot of expenses like bills to pay, loans to pay off, and all the other things that drain your bank account. Figuring out a way to save money can feel tedious to some, and like a punishment to others. U.S. News suggests that you try one of these money saving challenges. The “No Eating Out for a Month” Challenge This one is self-explanatory. The goal is to avoid eating out for an entire month. This might be super easy for people who enjoy making meals at home. People who really enjoy dining out, or ordering food to be sent to their home, may struggle with this one. It’s worth a try because spending money on take-out is more expensive than buying groceries. The Pantry Challenge This one is a variation of the “No Eating Out for a Month” challenge. The goal is to use up all of your groceries before you buy more. It forces you to try and remember why you bought a food or beverage that you don’t know what to do with, and gives you the opportunity to find a way to use it. The one exemption to this challenge is the foods that have expired. Don’t eat them! Throw them in the trash. The “No Spend” Challenge Make a goal to avoid spending money during an entire weekend. The only exemption in this challenge is that you are allowed to pay bills. This challenge is interesting because it requires creativity. You must be creative and find workarounds for problems that you would typically solve by spending money. You may have a different outlook on spending after finishing this challenge.