When it comes to finances, college students are usually dealing with a slew of financial weirdness. Amidst borrowed money, grants and hourly wages, students are in a place where saving money on things like groceries can be crucial.
Couponing is a great way to save money on everything from groceries to clothes to dining out, and they can be found in newspapers, apps and online.
Grocery shopping can be especially tricky, but that’s where newspaper coupons come in. They are full of flyers with paper coupons you might have seen your parents or grandparents cutting out.
We tend to think that only older people coupon, but according to Fact browser, 79 percent of consumers who are 18 to 34 say price is an important factor when shopping–this is what causes them to use coupons in the first place. When it comes to 35 to 44 year olds, the percentage goes up only 7 percent.
One detracting factor with cutting out paper coupons is that there are all of these little pieces of paper hanging around. The solution? Get a binder that separates them into categories. If you only have a few coupons you’re going to use, just put them in a Ziploc bag and grab it before you go shopping.
There are several red flags to look for when using these coupons. Look out for the coupons that say “save one dollar when buying three items or more”. Sometimes this can be a good decision, but the coupons that say buy one get one free are the best deals. Sometimes less is better.
For example: Buy one box of Kellogg cereal, get the next box free, or more than likely, buy one box of Pop tarts and receive one dollar off when you buy the next two.
You don’t want to be that person who buys five of the same item just because the coupon says two dollars off. In the end it will not be worth it and you will just be sitting there wondering why you bought five bottles of Listerine.
On a lighter note, if you can’t get a monthly subscription to say, the AJC, remember that just past the sliding doors of Kroger or Publix are coupons you can grab for free.
Free Coupon Apps
Groupon: This app gives discounts on entertainment such as concerts, restaurants or recreational activities. You can search for activities by city, making Groupon a great app for travel.
Scoutmob: This is a great food app that gives you coupons for restaurants, cafes and even bars in Atlanta. Just type in your location and it will give you a variety of places that accept the coupons.
Kroger/Publix: both have apps that offer specials. Before you go in the store you can just quickly scan the app for details.
Retailmenot.com: This is a great website if online shopping is your vice. There are coupon codes for hundreds of searchable online retail stores.
Coupon.com: The name says it all, but this site only offers coupons for food. There are both codes and printable coupons for grocery stores. In my experience, the printable ones work best.
Also, make sure to look out for the expiration dates on coupons, as with any type of coupon they can become an issue. The expiration dates are usually in very fine print and can range from expiring in two weeks to lasting several months.
A note on discounts: Georgia State students are surrounded by plenty of restaurants around campus. Most of them will offer student discounts, but you have to show them your ID, and most importantly, you have to ask.
Before you go shopping anywhere, make a list of all of the items you need and then find coupons for them! Start saving your receipts from your frequently shopped stores. Many times the receipts themselves are also coupons.
After seeing how much money you’ve saved on your last shopping trip just by using a few coupons, you’ll start to realize that they’re not a waste of time–they’re a financial investment.