Readers share their favorite coupon tips
My readers are never shy about sharing their couponing and moneysaving tips, so here's a roundup of great ideas for saving with coupons straight from my inbox to you.
Ever hear of "throwaway " coupons? I get coupons in the mail from area restaurants and what not. I live in an apartment complex. Everyone else just throws away these coupons in the trash can in the mailroom. So, I retrieve the coupons and always get up to 50 percent off meals.
I have a post office box for mail, and on Wednesdays there is a local newspaper that has small coupon inserts in it. I make sure to go get the mail that day because everyone else throws the coupon insert into the recycle bin. I pick out whatever I need and get free coupons!
Here's a tip I haven't seen in your column before. If you get your hair cut at a chain that takes coupons, see if they take competitor coupons. I get coupons all the time in those coupon packs in the mail that have coupons for local businesses. I keep all the haircut coupons and whichever one is the best value, that's the one I take to get my haircut. My salon takes coupons from anyone and it's a great way to save!
Here is a tip for your readers about text coupons. If you have a phone that receives texts, it is worth signing up for offers from stores you like. I get $10-off-$25 text coupons from a major department store pretty regularly and they are usually better coupons than I get in email or in the postal mail. I also subscribe to text coupons for my favorite hair salon and they send out $10-off-$40 coupons for styling and other treatments. They don't offer coupons any other way. Just something to look into! Plus I love the surprise of getting a coupon I didn't expect.
Here's an online shopping tip that I learned when I was going to send a cheesecake to someone as a gift. I put the cheesecake in my shopping cart and then decided to think about it until the next day. Well, the next day, I got a coupon code in my email reminding me about the cheesecake in my shopping cart! It gave me 25 percent off if I placed the order in the next three days. So I did, and then it cost much less than I planned to pay. I have read about abandoning your shopping cart for a day or two and in many cases, it works to get you a better deal if you don't need to order something right away.
I love coupons and I have a tip for your readers. Do not forget to look for coupons where you least expect them. When all the back-to-school merchandise went on clearance, I bought some extra lunchboxes for my kids for next year. My daughter broke the handle off her lunchbox, so I got one of the new ones out for her. When I opened it, there was a coupon book inside with a lot of great coupons for things we buy! If I didn't open the lunchboxes until next year, I would have missed out on all of these.
Here's a tip on holiday clearances. Right after a major holiday like Halloween or Thanksgiving, my supermarket puts all of the decorations, tablecloths and what not at 50 percent off. Sometimes not everything sells and it sits there for a while. So, I asked my store's manager if they could push it to 75 percent off, and I promised to buy up all the paper plates and cups. He said yes! You don't always need a coupon when you can "create" your own sale!
Jill Cataldo, a coupon workshop instructor, never passes up a good deal. Learn more about couponing at her website, www.jillcataldo.com.