Virtually everyone is now looking to save some money when they shop. Even wealthy people report they actively look for ways to save and cut some of their expenses. Now here’s a startling statistic: food costs around the world have surged 75% since 2000! It’s no wonder that we’re all checking out all the ways to save. Coupons are one of the most popular techniques for today’s savvy shopper. You can find a huge selection of shopping coupons in the newspaper, in your snail mail, in specialist publications like the Spree Book and even in your local grocery store. Some coupons are for store brands while others are called ‘name brand coupons’. So what’s the difference? In either case, you’re saving money, right? Not necessarily. Let’s see why.
Let’s take butter as an example. You’ve picked up a coupon for a nationally distributed brand of butter. This name-brand butter ordinarily sells for £1.75 per pound. Your coupon entitles you to £0.50 off this price. You use the name brand coupon and go home with your pound of £1.25 after-coupon butter. Now, while you were shopping, did you comparison shop? How about the store brand butter which isn’t on sale, but is priced at £1.10 per pound. By using the name brand coupon, you actually lost £0.15!
Now, let’s look at the other side of this butter coin. It is a fact that some of the cheaper dairies produce butter that has a higher water content. Perhaps you’ll be ahead by using the name brand coupon, but then again, perhaps not. The only way you’ll know is by using the butter. However, unless you’re an extreme gourmet, it’s unlikely that you can tell the difference, unless you buy the very pricey ‘European-style’ butter as your benchmark. In any case, you’re probably saving money on the store brand for normal cooking and eating needs.
Granted, you may have certain name brand items on your list which are truly superior to your taste. So if you have a coupon for that product, use it. You may pay a little more, but you’ll enjoy it more.
Here’s the trick to using name brand coupons to your wallet’s best advantage. Let’s say you’ve got the name brand coupon for that expensive butter, which is not currently on sale. Check the coupon expiration date. It’s usually good for at least a few months. When you go shopping, comparison shop. Buy today’s best buy, which is probably the store brand. Hold on to the name brand coupon, until it goes on sale. That’s when you buy and really save.
Another tip for using name brand coupons: grocery stores have those little coupon dispensers, adjacent to the product location. When you see coupons for an item you regularly buy, pick up several. Consumers believe they are only allowed to take one for each product. Not true. Note the expiration and squirrel them away in your coupon organizer. When the product goes on sale, out come the coupons and big savings at the check stand!