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Coupons and Financial Planning: A Simple Solution for Spending Less
Learning how to save money and spend wisely is a skill that will always come in handy—yet it’s something most people struggle with. In fact, a 2017 Bankrate survey found that nearly 60 percent of Americans wouldn’t have enough money saved to pay for a $500 expense.
In addition to budgeting and saving, spending wisely is an important factor in financial planning. One way to make smarter purchases is to use coupons to save on everything you purchase, from your take-out dinner on Friday night to the living room renovation you’re planning in the spring. In the end, if you do it right, you can enjoy life even more, doing more of the things you love with less money coming out of your pockets.
You may be thinking, “I just don’t have time to look through the paper for coupons!” but the days of sitting at your kitchen table with the latest Sunday circular are gone. Now, digital coupons are the way to go. Between coupon websites and mobile apps, “clipping coupons” is now easier than ever—you can skip an hour browsing through your circulars and instead simply search for what you need online.
Use these tips to find out how coupons can help you spend less, allowing you to put more into savings and set a strong financial foundation for yourself and your family.
Save on Groceries
Coupons are a great way to save on groceries, which add up quickly. Our 2017 grocery spending survey found that 64 percent of people shop 0 to 2 times per week, spending $50 to $100 each week. That adds up fast if you’re not using coupons to spend less.
After searching for brand and manufacturer coupons with a site like CouponBox.com, you can use GroceryIQ, for example, to search for coupons specific to your region and list. The key to getting the most savings, however, is being diligent with your research and preparation. There are a number of ways to make sure you get the most savings on your groceries, including:
- Research before making your shopping list: If you don’t have anything specific in mind, or want to find inspiration for new dinners for the week, head to the food and drink coupons section of your preferred site. You may be inspired to order a few Schwan’s items when you see that you can get $10 off sitewide.
- Research after you write the list: If you already know what you want, you can do more targeted searches. For example, head to CouponBox and simply search “gourmet coffee” or “Safeway” to find coupons.
Use Coupons for Every Purchase
You may not realize that coupons can be used for a wide variety of retailers, food products, services and more: "You may be surprised to know that you can find coupons for services like Uber Eats, Delivery.com and GrubHub; grocery stores like Safeway and FreshDirect; and online food ordering with brands like Peapod and Schwan's,” says Marco Piu, General Manager Couponbox.com.
Whatever the purchase, your first step should be to check online for coupons. This allows you to spend less on everything you buy, and slowly but surely, you’ll be able to save more without sacrificing.
Mark Annual Sales on the Calendar
Knowing what goes on sale when is another tool to add to your savings toolbox. We’re all familiar with the big sales dates: Black Friday, Memorial Day, Labor Day, President’s Day, etc. However, you should also know about common annual sales that happen through the year and search for coupons for those products at that time to find the best deals.
There are certain months that specific items are often on sale, according to NerdWallet, so mark you calendar with the following:
- January – Linens and bedding, exercise equipment, TVs
- February – TVs, winter apparel
- March – Winter coats and winter weather gear, golf clubs, grills
- April – Vacuums and jewelry
- May – Small kitchen appliances and furniture
- June – Gifts for dad, gym memberships
- July – Summer apparel, personal electronics
- August – Office supplies and school supplies, lawn mowers
- September – Mattresses and appliances
- October – Outdoor furniture
- November – Tablets and laptops, gaming systems, appliances
- December – Cars, toys, Christmas decorations
Start Spending Less and Saving More
Coupons can be used as valuable tools to save money without sacrificing the things that are important to you, like Friday night take-out or a new outfit for a party. Use these tips to make the most of every savings opportunity, from grocery shopping to house furnishing. Don’t forget to track your spending with these top 10 budget apps to see how you can continue spending less, building a strong financial foundation for your future.