My audience for this presentation would be a group of JMU students that are looking for a way to save money but may a very limited knowledge of using coupons for things like groceries, personal items, household items, medicine, etc. This presentation will show the basics of using coupons but in a way that is more relevant to college students.
Here is a list of the objectives that I would like you to gain from this PowerPoint presentation.
Why do people coupon? People coupon for many reasons. They may include limited incomes, large families, the thrill of couponing, as a hobby, etc. Do you know anyone that uses coupons regularly or have you ever used a coupon?
Have you ever seen the show Extreme Couponing on TLC? Well, here are some video clips that show just how intricate the couponing process can be. People on this show are sometimes very funny in the way that they go about couponing. After 2 of these clips, we will discuss some of the things we have seen. Pick 2 clips on the website
Discussion of 2 clips. What are some of the things you saw in the clips? What are some of the things that you do not understand about the couponing process? As you can tell, these couponers main objectives are to stock up and save as much money as they possibly can, some even walking out of the store with negative bills! However, for the purpose of this presentation, we’re going to take a much smaller approach to couponing to make it more manageable for college students to coupon. I mean who at JMU has enough storage space for this much of a stockpile?! Stockpiling silly un-useable items that are irrelevant to college students such as 150 cans of tomato soup or 600 rolls of paper towels are not what this presentation is about. It is about trying to cut your grocery bills to about 50% of what they usually are. With some practice and this presentation, you are well on your way!
Some of you may be asking : “Where can I find so many coupons?” Coupons can be found from many different sources. The most common source is the Sunday newspaper. Coupon inserts like the P&G Brand Saver, SmartSource, and Redplum all give valuable coupons in many Sunday papers across the country. The downfall to obtaining coupons from Sunday papers is that you have to purchase the paper. Typically, I would recommend buying 1-2 papers every Sunday. This can get expensive but it should not cost you more than $5.00. Other ways you can obtain the Sunday paper is by asking friends, family, neighbors, classmates, coworkers that may not use their coupons inserts. Other places you can find coupons are from online sources such as the ones seen here. These sites have printable coupons that you can print out directly from a home computer and printer without much hassle. The only downfall to this would be counterfeit coupons. This can be distinguished by getting coupons from a legitimate source and keeping in mind that if something is too good to be true; then it probably is!
There are different places that coupons can be redeemed at. Some places in Harrisonburg are listed on this slide. Coupons do expire so it is important to make sure that any coupon you use is not expired! For instance, if you want to buy 5 boxes of Special K with coupons, you must have 5 coupons for Special K and you must have the right item. If the coupon says “Must be over 7 oz”, then you must buy the boxes of Special K that are over 7 oz. You cannot simply use the coupon for any box unless the coupon has no restrictions listed. Something to keep in mind, a lot of the time companies add pictures of their higher priced item or new products. This does NOT mean you have to specifically get that product. Companies do this so that you will be more influenced to buy the higher priced item; but a smart couponer knows that this is not true!
Here we can see a basic break down of a coupon. Let’s start at the top. As you can see, this is a coupon for Quaker Chewy Granola Bars. It says you can save $0.75 on 2 boxes of granola bars. It is important to point out the fact that this says TWO boxes meaning this coupon will only scan if you purchase 2 boxes; this would be considered only if the coupon has stipulations and not every coupon comes with stipulations. Next, we see the expiration date. An important thing to remember when clipping coupons is to make sure that you do not cut off the expiration date and the barcodes. These are essential for the scanning success of the coupon. The expiration date tells you up until what date this coupon is useable. Most stores do not accept expired coupons! The barcode is the code that is scanned and the only thing that you will need to know about the barcode is that if your store doubles coupons; coupons that begin with a 5 like this coupon will double at the register. Coupons that being with a 9 will not.Next, we’ll move on to the customer and retailer directions. The customer directions in this coupon says “limit one coupon per specified item purchased.” Again you can see the reinforcement of having 1 coupon for each item. You don’t particularly have to worry about the retailer’s directions; they just tell the retailer how to redeem each coupon for cash back.
Here is a list of some common couponing terms. You will see these at most stores and within some coupon inserts.
Organization is essential to good couponing. One way to ensure that you are using coupons efficiently, is to use the idea of FIFO or First In, First Out. Stores sometimes use this with inventory and it can also be applied to coupon organization! First in first out couponing means that the coupons that you clipped first get used first. Example: You have held on to a coupon for 3 weeks and have a similar coupon that you just found in Sunday’s paper. You would want to use the older coupon first to ensure that it doesn’t expire before you get to use it. This can all tie into coupon organization because you want to constantly check over your couponing organizer to make sure that older coupons are in front and older coupons are in back.
Depending on which way you organize best, there is no set way to organize your coupons. Any of these ways are appropriate and you have the freedom to create a completely different way to organize!
Here is a classic example of coupons and how to use them to maximize coupons properly.
In order to easily keep organized and keep your time at the store to a minimum, keep a section of your portfolio empty and labeled “COUPONS USED IN STORE.” This allows you to take the coupons out when you pick up the item and place them away until check out.
Steps to use at the register.
Here are some pros and cons of couponing. You can place more weight or less weight on the criteria you think are important. For me some things that are important are saving a lot of money, stocking up on things I use daily, and time involved. For me, the pros outweigh the cons; but everyone is different!
Here are some questions that you may want to ask yourself if you decide to start couponing as a college student.
Tips for taking your couponing to the next level. Here are some common misconceptions people have about coupons. People who coupon do not use every coupon they receive, because quite simply they don’t need the item! This is a process, not something you can just jump right in! So take your time, learning the proper steps and it will pay off in the long run.
A review of the objectives that I wanted the audience to gain from this presentation.
Here is a list of the websites that feature pictures on this presentation.
couponing for college students cara stecher
objectives After this presentation you should be able to: 1. Understand the basic principles of coupons including expiration dates, correct usage, and organizational methods 2. Understand and weigh the benefits and negatives of using coupons 3. Be more informed about the coupon process and how you can potentially use coupons as a college student
where coupons can be found 1. Sunday Newspaper Inserts: • P&G Brand Saver • SmartSource • Redplum 2. Online Sources: • Coupons.com • CouponNetwork.com • TheKrazyCouponLady.com 3. Manufacturers/Store websites
coupon basics • Coupons can be redeemed at: – Grocery stores like Martin’s and Kroger’s – Superstores like Wal-Mart and Target – Pharmacies like CVS and Walgreens • Coupons do expire and usually cannot be used after they are expired. • There must be a coupon for each item sold. – Meaning 1 coupon can not be redeemed for more than 1 item.
dissection of a couponSavings andstipulations of Expiration datecoupon Barcode that scans for savings at the end of your purchase Customer and Retailer directions
couponing terms • BOGO – Buy One Get One free • Double Coupons- coupons that grocery stores double up to face value • P&G-Proctor and Gamble • Catalina- Coupons given at the register at the time of purchase
coupon organization • Coupons can be organized in many different ways • Depends on whether you are a beginner, intermediate, or veteran “couponer” • Organization is essential because it allows for less of a headache at the store and allows you to see exactly what coupons you have
different organizational methods • Folders • Binders • Portfolios
looking for the best sale • The way to maximize coupons is to purchase items when they are at their lowest sale in stores. • For example: – You have a coupon for toothpaste worth $0.75. Toothpaste is currently being sold at $3.00. Even if your store doubles your coupon, you would still pay $1.50 – Let’s pretend that you skip that deal and wait another week. Now, that same toothpaste is on sale for $2.00. With doubling and the sale, you would end up paying only $0.50. Not only did you save $1.00 from the week before, but you also paid only a fourth of the price!
once you’re in the store…• Keep an open section in your folder/binder/portfolio Coupon(s) being used Empty section of binder• Use multiple coupons for multiple items – You can use several “like” coupons at the register for like items – You MUST have the same amount of coupons for items that you wish to use that coupon on
at the register • Once you are at the register, 1. Put all items in onto the checkout conveyer 2. Allow cashier to scan each item and then give any coupon you may have 3. Keep careful count to make sure that none are missing or misplaced 4. Give the cashier a store discount card if you have one 5. Pay your bill and check over it to make sure you have the proper savings!
pros & cons of couponing pros cons 1. Can save a lot of money over a long 1. Time consuming- college students are period of time already always so busy and couponing 2. Allows you to stock up on items that can take many hours a week you need regularly without going to 2. It can be overwhelming and confusing the store every week at first 3. Saves money for other things such as 3. You may not use everything you buy rent, bills, social events, books, etc with a coupon-but you can always 4. It is fun! Couponing can be a way to DONATE! relieve stress and can be a hobby for 4. Couponers have a tendency to buy some people items that they do not need; just for 5. You can develop life long habits that the shear fact that they have a coupon can help you later in life
questions to ask yourself • Some questions to use when weighing out pros and cons: 1. Do I really need this item? 2. Do I have the time to coupon? 3. What portion of my monthly budget do I spend on these items? What portion of my monthly budget would I like to spend on these items? 4. How often will I use these items? 5. How much of an item will I use in a months period?
tips of the trade • Items go on sale about every 6 weeks; so do not worry if you do not use a coupon right away or it expires • Just because a sale may say “10 for $10!” does not mean you have to buy 10. Only buy 10 if you need to or the ad says MUST BUY 10 • Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to be an “extreme couponer.” • Couponing is a process that takes time; so take time to understand the steps and lingo!
in review • Coupons can save you a considerable amount money. However, couponing can be time consuming. • There is a process in which coupons should be used in order to maximize savings • Coupons can be helpful to college students who are often on a very limited budget