How to Use Grocery Coupons
Grocery coupons are beneficial to every money-wise shopper. Most everyone has to buy groceries and everyone buying groceries would like to get the most for their money. Saving money on food and household items is especially important for the millions of American recipients of food stamps, now called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and grocery coupons can add tremendous savings to recurrent expenses for anyone inclined to using them. Find more coupon information below.
Can I use grocery coupons with food stamps?
You may wonder, “How can I use a grocery coupon if I am using SNAP to buy groceries?” There are several ways to utilize grocery coupons if you are a SNAP beneficiary and multiple reasons for making grocery coupons a routine part of your shopping trip. There are no rules barring anyone on SNAP funds from partaking of coupon savings unless the coupon itself explicitly says it cannot be utilized in combination with SNAP funds.
What is the economic way to use grocery coupons with food stamps?
The most important rule of thumb when utilizing grocery coupons with your SNAP funds is to separate your purchases into food and nonfood items. SNAP funds generally only pay for food items and often register clerks will not take the time to apply the proper coupon amounts to each type of purchase. If you separate your transactions, you can more easily check that your coupon amounts are applied correctly before you pay with SNAP benefits.
How will my grocery coupons be processed if I am paying with SNAP funds?
Learn the coupon policies of each store that you frequent; some stores allow you to combine manufacturer’s coupons, store coupons and other discounts with your SNAP funds so that you are getting items for free or nearly free. Other stores do not permit “doubling” of this kind so have a copy of the store’s policy on hand before you pay. You can stock up on food in this way and make your SNAP budget last longer.
What kinds of grocery coupons are available if I am using food stamps?
One of the major distinctions you first need to make about the items in your grocery cart and the coupons in your hand is whether you are holding a manufacturer’s coupon or a store coupon. If you have both, you must remember that a manufacturer’s coupon is really just another form of payment for your bill and that you will be charged tax on the items that you pay for with a manufacturer’s coupon because the manufacturer will be sending the store their portion (the coupon amount) of the cost of your items. You are expected to cover the sales tax on those same items out of your own pocket with cash or a debit card. By contrast, a store coupon is a discount on the total price of your items because the store will not receive any outside reimbursement for those items and thus you will not need the extra change to cover the tax; it will already be included in your total bill.
You can also take advantage of “buy one get one free” (BOGO) coupons in conjunction with your food stamp grocery allotment. Remember that SNAP funds can only be used for food items so you would not be able to use BOGO coupons for non-food purchases on your EBT card. Some stores issue “double value” coupons that are worth twice the face value on the coupon. This is a great way to stock up on extra food without spending extra SNAP funds in the process.
How can I maximize the benefits of grocery coupons when paying with SNAP funds?
It is essential to shop around when couponing with or without food stamps. Before you head out to shop, look up print and online ads for the stores in your area. Find out who has the items you have coupons for at the lowest initial prices so that your coupon savings are coming off the lowest possible starting price. Even though it may seem more convenient to simply make one stop at a large chain store, rather than several stops at smaller stores, remember not to presume that the large chain store always has the lowest price on any given item. It is helpful to make certain to present your coupons to the cashier first as EBT cards typically do not allow refunds if mistakes are made and this can cause you not to get the most benefit out of your grocery coupons. Smart SNAP shoppers will also sign up for rewards programs at drugstores to boost savings on grocery coupons even more. As most drugstores, and even some grocery stores, have rewards programs that tally discounts based on total amount spent, not payment method, this is a frugal way to extend savings on your SNAP budget.
Where can I find coupons to use with my SNAP funds?
The original and most popular place to find a vast array of grocery coupons in one place each week was the Sunday paper of the nearest large city to your town. While the Sunday paper is still a great place to find loads of grocery coupons, you can also go online to print coupons off the internet now. The bonus of online grocery coupons is that they can often be printed twice and thus used for double the benefit. You can also do online shopping at certain stores that will provide e-coupons for internet purchases only. There are even whole websites dedicated entirely to couponing. You can find out daily discount codes for online and brick-and-mortar shopping with the simple click of a mouse.
In recent years, couponing has become not just a smart budgeting habit, but also a trendy hobby. You can join one of the countless couponing groups available in every American city and enjoy the financial benefits of the mostly free memberships as members will share weekly coupons with you and help you to find or print coupons of all varieties that you might not hear about otherwise. Your status as a SNAP beneficiary does not inhibit your right and ability to save as much money as possible with grocery coupons.