Monday, August 16, 2010

Look or Ask for a Coupon

During this economic recession, I've noticed many retailers are more generous with coupons. In some cases, a retailer has accepted an expired coupon or provided one on request. In most cases, I'm using a coupon for a planned purchase, one that I would have made with or without a coupon. Thus, a coupon is pure savings.

Here's my plan for finding coupons for future significant purchases:
  1. Regularly check coupon mailers. We receive monthly coupon packets and magazines in our area for restaurants and local retailers. Recently, we needed our water heater replaced and the store we selected had a coupon in the mailer.

  2. Search the Internet. Our water heater company also had the same coupon on their website, in case the paper one expired. As it turns out, they gave me the coupon discount just for mentioning the coupon on the phone.

    Last week, I needed a major car repair and didn't have any coupons from the dealer covering the repair. I searched the Internet, and found a coupon for a 10% discount on the parts which the dealership honored. In fact, when I ordered the parts over the phone, I was given the 10% discount by mentioning the coupon.

    A couple of local retailers have told me they have 10-20% off coupons regularly on their websites.

  3. Ask for a coupon. When I arrived at the service department, I showed the representative a related coupon and asked if any apply. He responded with, "No, but you can use this $20 off coupon that we have." It was a flyer the dealership had distributed and, even though it was expired, they reduced my price by $20.

Overall, the coupons saved us $25 for a water heater and $70 on my car repair for the company we had already decided to use. Pretty good return for about 30 minutes worth of effort.

For more on Strategies and Plans, check back every Monday for a new segment.

This is not financial advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

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