Coupon clippers scurry first in line at the peak of dawn to acquire retailers’ best deals of the season at their Black Friday “Early Bird” sales. As many retailers pass out gift cards to the first 100 or more shoppers, it comes to no surprise that those who love coupons find gift cards irresistible. The frenzy continues as coupon clippers scour the web for coupon codes and hot bargains on Cyber Monday. As more people are joining the group of conscious consumers in this fragile economy, I will share my best shopping experiences as a coupon clipper and tips for Black Friday and Cyber Monday shoppers.
Tip #1: Choose Retailers That Offer Both Gift Cards and Coupons
My best coupon deal was when I used a “$10 Off $25” coupon in combination with a $10 gift card, bringing my total down to $5 for a $25 purchase value. From this incredible shopping experience, I’ve learned to take retailers up on their offers of both coupons and gift cards since gift cards are equivalent to cash and can combined with coupons.
Tip #2: Know What You Want and Plot Your Black Friday Shopping Course
Since stores differ in their Black Friday opening times (from 12 midnight to 8 am), you will maximize your savings by planning to visit at least three stores that give out gift cards to “Early Bird” shoppers. For instance, by knowing exactly what you want and spending no more than 30 minutes in one store (some stores have cut off times for using gift cards), you can visit three different stores that open at 4 am, 5 am, and 6 am.
Tip #3: Take Advantage of 20% and 25% Off Entire Purchase (Including Sale Price) Coupons
I have found that using coupons that take percentages off the entire purchase including sale items saves both time and money. Specifically, as a knitter and crocheter, I enjoy using 20% and 25% off entire purchase coupons on yarn that is on sale. Unlike 40% off and 50% off “one regular priced item” coupons, 20% and 25% off entire purchase coupons have the advantage of allowing you to buy in bulk, thus saving you from making multiple trips to the store.
Tip #4: Read Fine Print on Coupons
It is important to be knowledgeable of the fine print on coupons that lists exclusions in certain name brands; decimal ending of prices; clearance, sale, or regular prices as well as afternoon cut off times. This will prevent surprises at the register and save you time.
Tip #5: Look for Free Shipping Coupon Deals on Cyber Monday
My best Cyber Monday shopping experience involved using a free shipping code on the entire purchase of many skeins of one of my favorite yarn name brands that happened to be on sale. Remember that “free shipping” coupons cannot be combined with “percentage off regular price” coupons so it pays to use “free shipping” coupons when buying items already on sale, which encourages you to buy in bulk.
With these five tips in mind, you are ready for wholesome Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping. Being a savvy coupon clipper means having your spending well-thought out and getting the most for your money. Take charge of your finances by being a conscious consumer.