When a manufacturer puts a coupon in the Sunday paper, it's hoping you will rush out and use it that week. Don't do it! Instead, lie in wait like the Guerilla Grocery Shopper that you are. As I mentioned, most coupons are good for about ten weeks, sometimes up to 15. That means you don't have to use them when they are new. Waiting can present some golden opportunities.
Remember, the premise of Creative Couponing is that you should never use a coupon by itself. You should always combine it with some other savings strategy. I call those Coupon Combos.
Manufacturers often promote their products in waves, first with coupons then with sales in specific stores, and finally with mail-in rebates. Sure, you could use the coupon right away and save some money. But if you keep your coupon until the sale starts or the rebate is offered then you can take advantage of both forms of discounts and SAVE BIG. That's the most basic coupon combo. Below are many more.
Sale + Manufacturer's Coupon
Matching up store sales with manufacturer coupons is easy because websites like HotCouponWorld.com, BeCentsAble.net and CouponMom.com do it for you. The CouponMom site is the easiest to use. Here are the three easy steps:
1. Click on Grocery Deals by State, just as we discussed in Chapter 22.
2. Choose a store and you will see a list of the best sale items organized by brand name.
3. If there's a coupon available for a product, you will see the dollar value of the coupon and the name and date of the circular where you can find it.
I just spent 30 seconds online and found a current example that shows that sales are good, but sales + coupons are better. Check it out.
Hot Shot Ant Spray
Regular Price: $2.99
FINAL PRICE= $1.49
BIG SAVINGS= 50%
OK, normally I'd be crowing about how that's half off! 50-percent! A purchase worthy of stockpiling. But check out what happens when you do a coupon combo, combining a coupon with a sale:
Yes, that's right, there was a coupon for Hot Shot Ant Spray in the July 19th Smart Source circular. And by waiting to use it until there was a sale, I could "buy"Ant spray for free. This is not some freak occurrence. If you pair sales with coupons you will routinely get groceries for pennies on the dollar or for free. If you see low cost or no cost opportunities like this for products your family doesn't use, you can donate them to a local food bank.