In these times of expensive goods and services, it's necessary for the savvy shopper to put in a concerted effort to save money. There are a few ways to do this, but one which has fallen out of use in only a short decade is the coupon.
I grew up in a flurry of coupon clippings. Pull-outs from local supermarket catalogues were salvaged each week and scanned for those deals that would apply to my family's needs. These money-saving gems would then be carefully cut out along the dotted lines, and stored in my mother's voluminous purse - along with her shopping list - ready for shopping day.
And of course we still have coupons nowadays, but we don't use them with the same fervor that we did in years past. Instead we wait for sales, we seek out discounts - but we don't clip coupons like we used to.
Why is this? Part of the reason may be that the medium has changed. Now coupons come in every form you can imagine. They are found on websites, accessed via QR scanner codes on your mobile, or emailed to you by websites you subscribe to. There are even coupon codes, which can be used at the checkout screen when buying online.
While all these manifestations of coupons make them even more accessible, coupons are increasingly less tangible. And we seem to like the tangible - one reason print books, for instance, remain popular, despite the introduction of e-books. There is a place for coupons, and although the format may be different, the benefits are the same as they ever were during my 80's childhood.
You Will Increase Your Savings
Frugal may not yet be fashionable, but my wallet sure likes it. So will yours - and that alone is reason enough to get coupon-clipping.
Whether you find a coupon that offers outright savings on a full-priced item, or a 'two for the price of one' type of coupon, it ultimately means more bang for your buck.
They exist for computers, sports gear, holidays, food, clothing, cosmetics, shoes, books, flights, flowers and more. Seek out the coupons, and you will find a lot. You do need a little patience and planning though. Make a list of items and services you expect to need in the coming months. The coupons you want may not be readily available right now, but if you know what you need, you can be on the lookout for appropriate coupons when they show up.
If We Don't Use Them, We Might Lose Them
Already, Australia has much less of a coupon-culture than other countries like the United States. In light of that, we should use the coupons still available to us to send out the message: give us more coupons!
To Support the Businesses That Make Coupons
Great businesses that offer coupons or ones that oversee the provision of coupons - like Shop-a-docket and the Negotiator website - benefit from our use of their services. This keeps the coupons coming.
Some stores still have shop-a-dockets on the back of their receipts
There's nothing like hunting down a coupon for something you've wanted to buy - and getting that thrill of the saving. It's totally in your advantage to give yourself this particular shopping pleasure.