Making the Most of Your Money at Stores

With student loans hanging over your head, the steep prices of textbooks and the miscellaneous costs of living on your own, it’s inevitable that a lack of finances can make some of the most exciting years of your college life pretty stressful. A solution to these burdens though could be way easier than you think.

Every college student loves a good deal, but who actually has the time to clip coupons? Luckily, times have changed and you no longer have to take all that time just to get a great deal. There are countless other ways to coupon and make your grocery shopping experience dirt-cheap and easy. Costco, for example, now has “streamlined savings,” meaning you just show the cashier your coupon book, or you can download Costco’s smartphone app and show the coupons in the app to redeem them. You just have to keep your eyes peeled; because great coupons are all around you (websites, Facebook, newspapers, magazines).

There are three main types on coupons:

Print coupons. Every week, newspapers across the country print coupons for consumers to use at grocery stores, department stores, and restaurants, allowing consumers to save money on everyday goods and services.

Online coupons. Another source of coupons is online. Printable coupons and coupon codes can be found at many manufacturers and coupon related websites. Once you find a coupon you want to redeem, just print it then use in a physical store or enter in the coupon code for an online purchase.

Mobile coupons. Mobile devices put the money-saving power of online coupons right in your hands. To find savings from your phone, start by downloading a mobile app such as Targets Cartwheel App or Walgreen’s App for instant savings saved right in your phone.

With these coupons, the saving possibilities are endless and we’ve got the #moneytools you need to make them most of your buck.

  1. Right as you walk into a store, grab the in-store weekly advertisement. Most stores will have them right at the front.  Peruse through all those coupons and enjoy the savings. This is a no-brainer.  How many times have you purchased shampoo or something and not realized that there was a $3 off coupon only 2 feet from you when checking out?
  2. Go to a grocery store’s website and check for coupons. Go to your favorite grocery store’s website and check their coupon or clearance section. Even Whole Foods has coupons. Just Google your favorite stores and see what savings are in-store.
  3. The Sunday paper. Whether you live at home or on campus there are plenty of resources for coupons. The first place to look is in the Sunday paper. Sunday papers are available through subscription, the local stores, or possibly friend and neighbors
  4. Follow your favorite brands and stores on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. Store are trying to communicate with their customer via social media, spoiling devout customers with flash deals and extra savings. Make sure you “Like” or “Follow” your favorite brands to stay up to date.
  5. Download smartphone applications to help with grocery shopping. Almost every chain store has a mobile app with coupons you can save right to your phone. Make sure you download it since there will be accessible coupons within the apps.
  6. Look for surveys on your receipts. Not only do receipts provide you with accountability for your spending, but many stores will give codes that unlock coupons online after taking surveys. Chances are if you have a receipt from a store, you will end up there again soon enough. Most surveys take less than ten minutes and sometimes the receipt alone can be used as a coupon. What’s there to lose?
  7. Use your .edu email address. A tip we’ve found  is that many local and national stores give discounts to students. All you have to do to receive these discounts is show your student ID or type in your .edu email address. Student discounts can help you save on things from clothes to travel. Looking for more student discounts, check out our previous blog post.
  8. Just ask for discounts. This leads us back to a very important principle mentioned earlier: if you aren’t aware of a discount, just ask for one. There are many discounts that are not well publicized, but clerks will often disclose them to you.

 

Last Minute Tips to Save

  • Many local stores and businesses will give a discount with a student ID card. This is one quick way to keep cash in your pocket. If you don’t see any sign, ask! Many college and student discounts are not posted.
  • If the deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Coupons are safe and user friendly.
  • Buy store brands, clip coupons, and get the store’s membership card for all discounts. These are free.
  • Sign up for geographically targeted coupon notifications through iPhone Passbook or Android Wallet.
  • Don’t let the coupons lure you into spending too much.  It’s easy to feel like you’re saving money and end up spending more than you thought you would because of all the great deals you’re getting.

 

 

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