|Shed old beliefs about the limitations of these dollar stretchers. |
|Those dinky 25- and 50-cent coupons aren’t worth bothering with. |
Reality: Maybe not on their own, but if you buy an item on sale from a store that doubles coupons, you could turn a 25-cent coupon into a dollar or more of savings. And there are fewer of those bitty coupons out there than you think. The average coupon value is $1.37, according to the latest figures.
|Collecting and sorting coupons eats up too much time. |
Reality: True, reaping the savings does take some effort. But one survey showed that people who spend 10 minutes or less per week clipping coupons save an average of $7 off their weekly grocery bill. That’s like earning $42 per hour.
|If I join a company’s e-mail list, I’ll be deluged with spam. |
|Programs that you download to print online coupons contain spyware. |
Reality: The coupon printing programs used by most major sites, including Coupons.com, SmartSource.com and RedPlum.com, don’t contain spyware, which can record your keystrokes to find out your passwords. But these programs do restrict how many coupons you can print (the limit is usually two).
|Coupons are mostly for processed, packaged foods. |
Reality: Last year, convenience foods were only the fourth-biggest category for which coupons were issued. The leaders were medications, cereal and household cleaners. If processed foods aren’t your thing, you can still find coupons for items such as eggs, cheese, and organic food. And everyone needs paper products and health and beauty aids, for which coupons are plentiful.