A simple example of using a coupon at the right time
Here's a post from a new coupon shopper:
As a new couponer, I am trying to do my best to save some money for the family. And during the first purchase (after I started using coupons), I realized I might make the same mistakes as other shoppers who would take the coupon, which just comes out, to the store and end up only saving a small amount.
This is one of the most common mistakes that new coupon shoppers make -- they get the newspaper, cut coupons from it, and then take those coupons to the store the same week. With rare exception though, the week that a coupon appears in the paper is typically not the best week to use it. This is due to stores' pricing cycles, which are constantly fluctuating high and low. To use coupons effectively, time your coupon usage to sale prices with a savings of 50% or greater over the regular, non-sale price.
Look at this great example. This week, Archway cookies were on sale for .99 at a local store, Meijer.
This same little bag of cookies usually sells for $2.87! I love cookies, but I never would have bought them at that price.
But, this price drop from $2.87 to .99 is pretty significant. Already, if I wanted to buy these cookies, this would be a better time to purchase them, as the price has dropped about 65%.
Now, add a .45 coupon, and the cookies drop to .54!
While this sale was this week, the cookie coupon came out in the newspaper on September 18th - almost three weeks ago. If I had run right to the store with this same coupon, I still would have paid $2.44 for these cookies AFTER the coupon -- not a deal.
There's definitely a "good" time and a "bad" time to use a coupon.