The approach to couponing is a personal one that depends on:
1) The amount of time you choose to spend on finding, organizing, and using coupons
2) The types of products you generally buy
3) Whether you shop more on the “outside” of the store vs. the “inside” of the store
Amount of Time You Choose to Spend
The more time that you spend on finding, organizing, and using coupons, the more money you can save.
But the return on your investment of time spent on couponing may depend on:
- Whether you have space to store excess groceries purchased with coupons
- If the groceries you purchase with coupons can be consumed before the pull-dates expire
- If there are coupons on the types of products you buy (see below for more details)
- If you shop the outside vs. the inside of the store (see below for more details)
- How much spare time you have to devote to couponing
The good news is that it’s up to you. You can spend the time on couponing that best suits your needs given your time constraints.
Types of Products That You Buy
The more you’re willing to buy any brand of product, the more potential you’ll have to save money using coupons.
This is because you’re not limiting yourself to coupons for specific brands only.
But if you are brand loyal, you still have great potential for saving money on coupons by stocking up when the items are on sale and using coupons even though the coupon requires that multiple products be purchased at one time.
Whether You Shop on the “Inside” Aisles or “Outside” Aisles of the Store
The inside aisles of the store are generally where you’ll find more of the processed, packaged, and canned items.
The outside of the store is generally where the fresh and perishable items tend to be, such as the produce, bakery, meat, deli, and dairy departments.
Although there may be coupons available for items on the “outside” of the store, they may not be as common as coupons from the “inside” of the store, with the exception of dairy items where coupons seem to be offered regularly for items such as yogurts, cheese, sour cream, and deli meats.
Generally, there tends to be more coupons for items located on the “inside” of the store.
When shopping for the perishable items (“outside” aisles) keep an eye out for those that are on sale. Consider buying extra for dishes you can prepare ahead of time and freeze, or that can be put directly into the freezer such as meats and certain fruits for smoothies.