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Getting started with coupons can be tricky when you don’t know what you’re doing – Here are my tips for doing a targeted coupon shop to make things easier and hopefully save you lots of money
One of my favouite way to save money is by reducing the cost of my weekly shop. I do this in lots of ways: using coupons, getting cashback, using conditional spend voucher and buying reduced food. While I love using coupons when I have a lot to use in one go it can get a bit confusing. Quite often if I’m aiming to get a shop for free or very little I’ll do what I call a targeted coupon shop where I’ll do completely separate shop just for using coupons. This allows to focus completely on my coupon shop and I don’t get as muddled.
Doing any sort of targeted coupon shop does take a little bit of time and effort and I realize some people may just feel it’s not worth it in terms of rewards for the time expended or the amount of food obtained for free.
This is of course personal preference – if you’re time rich but cash poor this could be the perfect way save some cash on what is, for most people, one of their biggest monthly expenses.
Do your research
The problem with a lot of coupons and cashback offers is that they only valid at certain stores. I often feel I miss out on a lot free stuff simply because I don’t have a Tesco’s in my town and they seem to have a lot more offers than anywhere else.
It’s up to you how many supermarkets you decide to go to per targeted coupon shop. I actually really like supermarket shopping so would be happy to go a couple to get everything I wanted for free. It’s also worth doing a price comparison beforehand for the offers that are available at lots of supermarkets so you know are getting the best deal.
Once you’ve chosen a supermarket most of the cashback apps let you filter by supermarket so you can see exactly what offers are available there.
Make a List & Know how Many Receipts You need
I find making a detailed list of everything I plan to buy really helps – this includes things like product sizes and flavours – if you buy the wrong one your cashback won’t be accepted.
It’s also important to make a note of how any shopping needs to be divided up. While using both Clicksnap and Checkoutsmart is a great way to double up on offers, as these to apps are run by the same companies you do need to have separate receipts if you are claiming the same offers on both apps. It’s also worth noting that while cashback from Checkoutsmart usually only takes a day or two, Clicksnap can take considerably longer, even just for the cash to track, let alone be paid.
Combine Cashback and Coupons
Combining Cashback and Coupons is a great way to save even more. Recently nectar have been sending me £3 off a £20 spend and I’ve then been using these to double up with some fantastic cashback offers and save even more.
Super Savvy Me, My Mail Coupons, Caring Everyday Coupons are some of the best places online to pick up coupons which you simply print out at home. Looking to see if any of these can be doubled up with cashback offers is a great way to maximize savings.
Asda have an Asda Price Guarantee or ‘APG’ and will refund part of your shopping bill if it would have cheaper elsewhere. This can range from anything to a few pence to several pounds and the vouchers can be printed off at home and used to get money off of your next shop. If you do your main weekly shop at Asda this is always worth checking and could be used to make the cost of a coupon shop even lower.
Even if you don’t spend a fortune at Asda you could always try ‘Wombling’ some receipts from around the carpark or that have been discarded in trolleys.
Don’t forget to add your receipts to the cashback apps
Once home, take some time to upload your receipts to each of the cashback apps – most of them make it fair easy to do several products at once so it shouldn’t take too long. Don’t forget to enter the free prize draws on Checkoutsmart and Clicksnap too. If your shop was at Asda don’t forget to upload to the Asda Price Guarantee site as well.
If you’re not fed up with photographing and uploading after that little lot there are also Shoppix and Receipt Hog where you can earn rewards for adding your receipts. They won’t make you rich anytime soon but could be a nice little boost for Christmas or a treat later in the year.