A Money-Saver Shares Her Tips for Success
Ashley Minton, the Member Service Representative at Coosa Pines FCU's Pell City branch, has been our very own in-branch expert and adviser on smart couponing. We asked Ashley to share a few tips on saving money with coupons, without going extreme.
Ashley advises that you know a few tricks and be open to learn from others. We've learned a great deal just by asking Ashley. Money-savers love to share their successes, and don't mind offering a few tips. Here are a few of hers:
$$ Combine sale items or even regular-priced items with store coupons and manufacturer’s coupons when available.
Some coupons even double (her local Publix Super Market
doubles up to a 50 cent coupon, allowing Ashley to save up to $1.00 on the item.)
¢¢ Here's one of her own personal examples. Ashley's local Publix Super Market recently had Pampers boxed diapers on clearance for $7.00 per box. Ashley bought five boxes and used Publix store coupons -- which included coupons rewarding her with a free large bag of wipes for the purchase of a box of diapers -- in addition to manufacturer’s coupons and manufacturer's checks. Her total purchase price for 5 large boxes of diapers and 2 large bags of wipes was only $4.00! (Normally, at $19.00 per box of diapers and $6.99 per bag of wipes, this purchase would have totaled about $109.00.)
$$ Sign up for mail and email from your local store(s). The Publix Baby Club mails Ashley monthly coupons for free or discounted diapers, lotions, cereals, formula, antibacterial products, etc.
¢¢ Ashley combines these coupons with manufacturer's coupons and checks mailed out by the maufacturer. Go to the manufacturer's website and get on their mailing (or emailing) list also. There are mail-out programs other than the Baby Club -- for preschoolers, families, natural and organic items, pet owners, and more. Check with customer service at your local store to find what's available to you.
$$ Check price matching or competitor coupon policies at your local store(s), too. Ashley’s favorite store accepts coupons from a local competitor.
¢¢ Ashley advises that you get on the competitor’s mailing list also.
$$ Learn different ways to get the coupons. Ask at the customer service desk if they have any coupon books. Sometimes stores print their own coupon books, but you may have to ask for them.
¢¢ You can also order coupons on eBay.
If there is an item at a very good deal, or that she would like to purchase in multiples, Ashley logs into eBay
and quickly searches for available coupons by product or brand name, such as "Pampers coupons". The coupons are mailed to her home ready to use.
$$ Don't be brand loyal, but don't be afraid to become store loyal.
To be a smart couponer, you have to be willing to try different brands of items, and go where the discounts take you. But don't be afraid to become loyal to your favorite stores. Ashley uses iheartpublix.com
to check out sales circulars before they're posted, so she can get a jump on the next week's shopping list.
¢¢ As a busy working mother of two, Ashley doesn't have time to drive around to different stores or organize separate lists. "I've become very loyal to my store, because I'm accustomed to their policies, know how to earn great discounts, and save the most money and time there."
Read "You Don't Have to Be Extreme to Be a Smart Couponer" in News & Promotions Back to Consumer News