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Go Big or Shop Small? Three Tips to Maximize Your Savings With Coupons

Go Big or Shop Small? Three Tips to Maximize Your Savings With Coupons
Kate Loweth

Thousands of Americans spend time each week clipping coupons. With the addition of smartphone apps that can also provide coupons to your favorite stores, there is definitely some money that can be saved if you know how to play the coupon game. Check out these three tips for getting the most savings with the coupons that you have.

Tip 1 – Shop Small with Cents-Off

You have a 50 cents off coupon for Crest toothpaste. Check the fine print to see if the coupon excludes trial sizes. If it doesn’t, you can maximize your savings by going for the 99 cent trial-size tube instead of the bigger size that will run you around $4.00. The smaller size gives you a savings of 50% while the bigger size only 12%.

Even if your coupon excludes the trial-size item, cents-off coupons typically yield the biggest percentage savings when you buy the smaller sized product.

Tip 2 – With Percentage-Off Coupons, Bigger is Usually Better

I love using the Target Cartwheel app when I make my weekly (or daily) trip to Target. Coupons on coup2the app typically give 5-10% off a certain brand of product. Right now I have 5% off up & up brand trash bags coupon loaded on my Cartwheel. I’m in the aisle deciding whether the 65-count box or the 140-count box yields a better deal. Here’s how the math works out:

The 65-count box is $9.99

5% off of $9.99 is $0.49

That gets me down to $9.49 for 65 bags, or 14.6 cents per bag.

 

The 140-count box is $16.99

5% off of $16.99 is $0.86

That gets me down to $16.14 for 140 bags, or 11.5 cents per bag.

It is clear when you run the numbers that you will get a better bang for your buck with percentage-off coupons if you buy the bigger sized item. This is because you typically see a per item reduction in price when you buy the bigger sized product (because the store wants to encourage you to spend more).

Tip 3 – With BOGO Coupons, Similar Prices is the Best Strategy

Buy one, get one free coupons, also known as “BOGO” coupons, are a great way to save big. Sincecoup3 you are a savvy couponer, you know that the fine print on these coupons will give you the lowest-priced item for free. That’s why your strategy for these coupons is to pick items that are as close to
the same price as possible.

Let’s say you have a coupon that is buy one Softsoap liquid hand soap, get one free. It doesn’t make sense to get one pump hand soap at $1.47 and one larger refill bottle for $4.89. In that situation, the pump soap would be your free item so you’d have a savings of 23% ($1.47/$1.47 + $4.89 = 23%). However, if you purchased two pump soaps or two refill soaps together, you’d have a 50% savings because you are getting an equally-priced item for free.

It is not necessary to carry your calculator with you when you shop. Just remember these three tips and you can be on your way to maximizing your savings at the register!

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