Although clipping coupons can be time consuming, that doesn't minimize the longer term benefits of using them and if you're in the process of saving money towards your 1st home down payment, they can pay long term benefits in terms of helping you reach your savings goals.
Let's look at some common products that we all use every day and discuss how to find coupons for them and how to use coupons and other discounts most effectively when you're shopping. Even if you're not a coupon shopper today, you could become one very easily when you discover just how easy it is to take advantage of the savings that are offered.
Saving Money On Common Household Products
Most of us are simply not all that brand conscious when it comes to many products such as laundry detergents, fabric softeners, air fresheners or toilet bowl cleaners which we all use regularly. Unless you're really tied to a brand, it makes a lot of sense to take advantage of coupons for all of these products. Sunday newspapers almost always have at least one coupon for these items and often you'll find an advertisement for a store that is selling that item on sale in the same week. Chances are that even if you're not currently out of the product, the cost savings that could be available to you by taking advantage of the coupon and the sale might be worth the early expense.
Stop and consider that if you have a $1.00 coupon off on a particular brand of detergent or cleaner and there is a local store selling that same product at an additional savings of $1.00 - that means that you get a total of a $2.00 savings on just that single item and that $2.00 can be added to your home down payment savings. If you do this only one time per week for a full year your savings is going to grow by as much as $104.00 from one single product. This amount added to your home loan savings plan grows weekly and the small deposits you add from your savings will quickly add up and pay long term benefits. You should carefully review all coupons and all sales flyers and use as many of them as possible on items that you'd purchase anyway, even if that means you're purchasing them sooner than you want. Stop and consider that coupon savings of only $10.00 per week can result in an additional $520 per year (before interest is added) which significantly impacts your savings.
Take Advantage of Discounts
You might be wondering how you can take advantage of some of the discounts that might be available to you. The first thing you should do is to investigate all available discounts and find out which ones are the most benefit to you and your family. You might be surprised to find out what types of discounts you are entitled to take advantage of if you really look into them! Some stores offer discounted shopping for students, seniors, military families or even "time" discounts where if you show up during specific times you can save 5%, 10% or more on items that you might need for your home. While these discounts are not necessarily common for groceries you might find they are useful for purchasing paper goods, linens and other essential items that would otherwise cost more.
If your local gas station has a discount day you can save upwards of 10 cents on every gallon of gas that you put in your car. While $3 savings on a tank of gas might not seem significant at the outset, just consider that if you added that amount to your savings even one time a week you're looking at a total savings added to your home down payment of more than $150 per year. This amount added to your mortgage fund can be significant especially in homes where there is more than one car.
Save Money on Paper Goods
We all are painfully aware of the rising cost of everyday items that we all use such as toilet paper, paper towels, tissues and more. If you have a local department store that offers discounts even as low as 10% then you can save a few extra dollars a month by taking advantage of these discounts. If it's a senior discount ask your mom or dad to accompany you to the store so you can use their senior discount, if it's a student discount ask your student to accompany you. If you're into bulk purchasing as a way of adding even more money to your home loan down payment savings plan then you'll save even more by taking advantage of any discounts that are available to you.
If you travel over a toll road to get to work every day, many toll roads now have automatic charge units that you can quickly and easily install in your car. Discounts on tolls range from ten cents per trip to twenty five cents per trip (not to mention time savings and less wasted gas waiting in line) and can contribute to your house down payment savings. Check and see how much you're currently paying on tolls on a monthly basis and find out if there are discounted rates offered to you - if there are take advantage of them and watch your savings grow.
Frugal Savings On Printed Checks
Like most of us we use at least some printed checks every year. While this may not seem like a significant expense it can mount up very quickly before you ever realize it. Find out if your bank offers discounts on checks but also look online for printed checks. Many companies will offer "teaser" rates as low as $4.00 a box to get you to re-order checks from them. This can amount to a savings of more than $6.00 to $8.00 per box over what your bank will charge and this savings can go towards your home down payment. If you use a lot of printed checks this can add up to a considerable savings. Another tip - Consider eliminating paper check altogether and use electronic billing.
Prescription Drugs - Lower Expenses
This is one of the most significant expenses that all of us face. It's incredible the high cost of necessary medications. Many stores now are offering ninety day supplies of the most common medications at significant discounts with no obligations for you to continue purchasing the medications on an ongoing basis. You have a choice of name brand or generic brands (with the generic brands being less expensive) and you should take full advantage of these savings and add them to your high yield savings account.
Using coupons and discounts are a painless way to save additional money. Whether you're obtaining your coupons from your local newspaper, your coupon swap at a local grocery store or searching for coupons online, you can save a considerable amount of money by taking advantage of coupon clipping. Combining coupons with items that are on sale means that you have the advantage of putting even more money into your house down payment savings account and adding discounts can offer even greater savings opportunities when coupled with coupons or by themselves.
Between our newspapers and the internet today there is no need for any of us to not take full advantage to all types of coupons and discounts that might be available to us. When we take advantage of all of the coupons and discounts that are practical for us and our families we are able to watch our savings climb in proportion to the effort that we put into searching for them.
Looking for even more information and advice on how to save money with coupons? I recommend checking out Top Ways To Save's article on coupon tips.
This article is written by guest author Doreen Martel exclusively for Save For House.