Thursday, November 4, 2010

Thrifty Thursday: Buying Coupons

This might seem completely counterintuitive, but there are situations where you need to spend money to make/save money.

One example of this is buying coupons.  If you find out about a deal more than a week before it ends (or even begins), you can buy coupons in addition to what you would receive in your paper.  For instance, if I find out that Colgate is going to be on sale for $1 at my grocery store through the next two weeks and I know there's a $1 (or $0.50-$0.75 if you store doubles coupons worth less than $1) coupon available, sometimes I'll order 20 of them so I can stock up. 

My favorite source for coupons is Ebay.  You can search based on the product type ("cheese coupons") or brand ("Colgate coupons") and survey what is available. 

A favorite source of some friends (especially if you want to buy an entire insert) is The Coupon Clippers.  There are many other services out there--just search for "coupon clipping service" and you'll find many websites that offer this for various prices.

Just remember that you want to do this if you're going to use an item.  If I find a great deal on dog food, I might take a package of free dog food, but I'm not going to pay $5 for coupons to buy a ton when I don't even have a dog.  This is a really simplistic example, but just *think* about what you're stocking up on--will you actually use it?

Another example of spending money to make money is at places like CVS or Walgreen's.  We'll talk more next week about how these work, but to give you a sneak peek:  You buy an item at CVS for $1 after coupon but you get $2 in Extra Care Bucks to spend at CVS in the future.  You've spent $1 to make $2 to spend later.  Yes, if you never walked in there, you wouldn't spend ANY money, but if you're spending money there anyway (or *could* spend money there), you're making money by spending money. 

As always, please post any questions you have--I love talking through this stuff and explaining dealing to people!

1 comment:

Cassie said...

This is a great tip, and it's one I've actually used. Ebay is a great place to get those $5.00 off formula coupons that Similac always sends out. Of course, I'm not using Similac anymore since the whole beetle debacle, but it WAS great for us at one time.