“Time is money.” This adage reminds us to be careful with our time – if we waste time, we might as well be wasting money. However, when it comes to using coupons to get discounts on goods, a little extra time, judiciously spent, can lead to a lot of extra money in your pocket.
First, take the time to prepare for your purchases. Often, coupons offer big discounts, but only for a limited time. If you’re not prepared to jump on a deal when it comes your way, you could miss out. If you miss any deal then you can check out at rebateszone. Planning a big purchase? Don’t wait until you have the ticking clock of a coupon expiry date hanging over your head to start your research. Work out ahead of time how many megapixels you want in a camera, what kind of printer is compatible with your computer, or how big a television will fit in your space.
Then when a big discount comes along – say, through your favorite online coupon site – you can grab it immediately, confident you’re getting the right deal for you. Even when you’re just doing everyday shopping, having a few notes in your wallet about what kind of toothbrush your dentist said to get or who your significant other’s favorite author is could end up netting you unexpected savings on everything from oral hygiene products to gifts, thanks to in-store coupons.
Second, take the time to stay on top of your coupons. You don’t have to spend hours developing a complex organizational system – although you can, if that works for you. You just need to spend five minutes a day reviewing your collected coupons. You’ll dramatically cut down on the number of discounts you miss out on because a coupon expiration date passed without you noticing.
Even – perhaps especially – those with serious coupon organization systems should take this advice to heart: slotting coupons into files sorted by expiry date is indeed impressively organized, but if you don’t actually check those dates against your calendar on a regular basis, you’ll end up recycling whole files of now-useless paper.
In the long run, you’ll find yourself saving less than the no-frills coupon-clipper who takes the time to thumb through the contents of the tattered old envelope on their hall table every morning.
Third, take the time to find the right store for your purchases. Shopping offline? Spend some time getting to know your local options. Some stores accept coupons more readily than others. Some offer a selection of store coupons or manufacturer’s coupons right there in the store, free for the taking. Your most coupon-friendly option might not be the closest store to you, but both the time you put in to find the best store and the extra time you spend to travel to it can pay off in great discounts. Shopping online? There are endless retailers offering great deals. We can be a little suspicious of a deal that’s “too good to be true,” especially when dealing with online retailers we’ve never used before.
But with so many reputable, easy-to-access online reviews of both products and sellers out there, a little time put into research can mean a lot of savings. Spend just a bit of time up front and you can go ahead and use that big coupon at that little online outfit you’ve never heard of, confident you’re going to get exactly what you ordered.
When we think about the time required by couponing, we tend to think about the time that goes into acquiring coupons: clipping them from flyers or saving them online. But getting the most out of your coupons means investing a little time elsewhere in the couponing process.
Take the time to work out what deals you want before they happen, so you’ll know them when you see them; take the time to stay on top of what coupons you have and when they expire; and take the time to find out what stores, offline and on, are your best coupon-friendly options. You’ll find that spending just a few minutes can save you quite a lot of dollars.