Coupons are a tried and true way to save money. Many people can remember their parents clipping coupons from Sunday fliers and later using them at the grocery store. However, many people wonder if they can get the same amazing deals without actually using a coupon. The answer is yes – and no. There are many ways to get deals without coupons, to be sure, but in many cases a coupon can be used along with these methods for even greater savings.
The Pros and Cons of Coupon Clipping
There are several benefits and drawbacks of couponing. First, it requires time. People need to find the coupons for things they use, clip them, and take these with them to the store. Second, there are limitations on what you can buy with coupons. Most coupons are for groceries, both food and household items. In most cases, these coupons are for namebrand items, leaving frugal shoppers to wonder whether buying a cheaper generic product would be cheaper in the long run. With grocery bills running second only to mortgages in most people’s monthly budgets, coupons still remain a viable savings strategy. However, there are ways to get the deal without them.
Shop Loss Leaders
A loss leader is simply a product sold for less than its value in order to bring you into a store. You can see many deals like this on Black Friday and other shopping days when stores compete for foot traffic. Retailers assume that you will buy other things while you are there, making up the lost profits.
However, there is no rule forcing you to buy other items. You can get excellent deals by buying only the loss leaders and then leaving the store immediately.
Many retailers, including big box giant Walmart, will match other stores’ prices. This keeps frugal shoppers from having to spend extra time and fuel money shopping around. Walmart even will match the prices of store brands, so you can get Great Value products for the advertised price of Western Family or other store’s generic brands.
Price matching is an even better deal when you combined a coupon with the savings, but this is not necessary. In most cases, it is still a great deal. Walmart is not the only major retailer that offers price matching. Call your favorite stores to see if they have a similar program.
Many retailers, from Safeway to Victoria’s Secret, offer additional savings if you use a loyalty card. These cards often come with immense savings. Card holders can partake of special deals, special sales, and even earn free products. If you often buy products from a store, you will find that you get even better deals with a loyalty card.
These cards often are a gateway to even better deals. For example, Victoria’s Secret sends out coupons for free products to card holders. There is no deal as good as a free product! Safeway allows people to ‘load’ coupons on their card and get all of the savings at the register with just a swipe. This offers the benefits of coupons without carrying them around and having to actually redeem them.
Online sales don’t always offer the best deals, but sometimes they do. Sites such as Amazon routinely offer incredibly cheap deals in areas such as groceries and cleaning products. Because few people shop at Amazon for these types of items, few are aware of the deals to be had. In addition, you can often find Amazon coupon codes that can be applied to these already stellar deals.
Amazon is not the only website offering incredible deals. Online deals are waiting to be found if you merely look for them. The time you spend finding deals will be made up for by the time you save in having the product delivered to your door rather than having to purchase it at a brick and mortar store.
There are many websites dedicated to informing you of deals. They will give you a list every day of the best deals available on the internet and in physical stores. While it can be hard to resist impulse shopping with all of these great offers, these deal websites can save you money if you have self-control. It is important to be able to resist the things you don’t need and buy only what you need. While this can be difficult, these sites are often the best ways to get a deal without using a coupon.
Seek Out Freebies
There may be no such thing as a free lunch, but there is free laundry soap and other free items. Manufacturers routinely offer free samples of new products on their website, with no purchase necessary. In most cases they even cover shipping. There are many forums, websites, and apps dedicated to getting these free items. Having free shampoo and detergent delivered to your door is almost addictive, and it can take a decent chunk out of your household expenses if you put just a small amount of time into finding these deals.
Know What You Pay
You will have a hard time recognizing an amazing deal if you aren’t aware of what you normally pay for similar things. Many people keep a price book in which they record what they spend on the things they buy. This makes it easy to quickly find whether a seemingly amazing price is actually the best deal you can find. After a while, many people begin to remember these details and no longer need a price book to tell if something is an amazing deal.
It is definitely possible to save, even to save big, without using a paper coupon. However, in all of these cases, adding a paper coupon would increase savings even more. Coupons remain an excellent way to save money on all of your daily needs, although they are not the only way to get an amazing deal.