Couponing Basics

When to Play Your Coupon: Timing is Everything

One question I get asked pretty often is, “Should I use my coupon now, or wait?” It’s a great question. In fact, it’s one that I wanted to know the answer to when I first started couponing.

Should I get toothpaste while it’s 25¢, or will it be free soon? Sure enough, I would buy the toothpaste and then it would end up being free after coupon the very next week!

I wish that I could put together a list that tells you how much to pay (or not pay) for certain items. But in reality, prices at any given time will vary by region and by store. Plus, if you are brand loyal to some products, then it may affect how you use your coupons. You may be able to get a tube of toothpaste cheaper with a coupon, but if it’s not your preferred brand, do you even want it?

After you’ve been couponing for a while, you will start to see trends in sales and coupons that apply to your preferred products/brands in your local stores. Most of the time you can expect a sale on an item soon after a coupon comes out for it. But, how do you know if it’s the best price you’re going to get? You don’t really. You just have to know how much YOU are willing to spend on an item. If the product’s price is in your target price range, stock-up rather than risk having to pay almost full price soon after.

The fastest way to learn your target price ranges is to start a price book. Just keep track of what you regularly pay for certain items. If you start to realize that you can get toothpaste free at least every 3 weeks, then you know that you probably don’t need to pay for toothpaste at all. After you’ve been couponing for a while, you will have these prices committed to memory, and you will be able to tell immediately if something is a good deal or not.

There’s not magic formula to when to get the best prices on products, so this is the best strategy that has worked for me.  Just know that no matter if you get the product 75% off or 90% off, you are still getting a deal. You are saving your family money either way!

Have some free product coupons?  I explain the best time to use FREE product coupons HERE!


  1. If my store has salad dressing x price on a 9oz bottle, can I use coupons marked for a greater oz. ie. 12oz or 16oz.?


  2. Grisel Aguilar via Facebook

    I have limited amount of coupons because for some reason they don’t add coupons to my flyers on the week anymore. This happens all the time. I always try to stay informed with future flyers online.


  3. Sometimes I let my coupons expire – because they are for a “splurge” product and I’m not happy with the price (even with the coupon). We have to remember that coupons are ADS to entice us to buy – we have to be smart enough to make the buy/not buy call for ourselves!


  4. Definitely some great tips here on making the best use of your coupons. I find myself refusing to pay full price for just about everything. Like today I went to Stater Bros because they had Powerade for 15 bottles for $5, breaks down to 34 cents each. They ran out of coupons and wouldn’t give me the sale price so I didn’t buy them. A dollar a piece is not a good deal when I know in a week or so they will be down to 89 cents each or the Gatordes will go on sale.

    Happy Stuble’n!
    .-= Patty Reiser´s last blog ..{POTD} The Star Flower =-.


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