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Coupons, discount cards, sales, and rebates

There are many steps you can take to save money on items you buy. Here's a look at some common ways to save:

  • Coupons
    Coupons are tools you can use to get reductions on the cost of products. You can usually get coupons out of a newspaper or magazine, through the mail, on product packages, and online. It may help to organize your coupons by category. To reap significant savings, look for stores that offer double coupon days. This means stores will double or triple the value of a coupon.
  • Discount cards
    Some grocery and drug stores offer discount cards to customers. These discount cards are similar to coupons—a percentage or amount is taken off a product. The card is scanned at the cash register, and a specified amount is deducted. There is typically no fee to obtain one of these cards.
  • Sales
    Of course, sales are another way to save money. A store may have a 10 percent, 15 percent, or 20 percent off sale. Items that are on clearance are usually drastically reduced. However, be wary of buying something just because it is on sale.
  • Rebates
    Some stores offer rebates on products you buy. This means you can get a specified amount of money back. You'll usually need to have a receipt, UPC code, or barcode from the product, as well as a rebate form.

Keep in mind that saving a little each time you shop can add up. For example, suppose that while shopping for the best deals you manage to save an average of $60 per month. This adds up to $720 per year that you can use for something else.