A simple example of using a coupon at the right time

Here’s a post from a new coupon shopper:

As a new couponer, I am trying to do my best to save some money for the family. And during the first purchase (after I started using coupons), I realized I might make the same mistakes as other shoppers who would take the coupon, which just comes out, to the store and end up only saving a small amount.

This is one of the most common mistakes that new coupon shoppers make — they get the newspaper, cut coupons from it, and then take those coupons to the store the same week. With rare exception though, the week that a coupon appears in the paper is typically not the best week to use it. This is due to stores’ pricing cycles, which are constantly fluctuating high and low. To use coupons effectively, time your coupon usage to sale prices with a savings of 50% or greater over the regular, non-sale price.

Look at this great example. This week, Archway cookies were on sale for .99 at a local store, Meijer.

This same little bag of cookies usually sells for $2.87! I love cookies, but I never would have bought them at that price.

But, this price drop from $2.87 to .99 is pretty significant. Already, if I wanted to buy these cookies, this would be a better time to purchase them, as the price has dropped about 65%.

Now, add a .45 coupon, and the cookies drop to .54!

While this sale was this week, the cookie coupon came out in the newspaper on September 18th – almost three weeks ago. If I had run right to the store with this same coupon, I still would have paid $2.44 for these cookies AFTER the coupon — not a deal.

There’s definitely a “good” time and a “bad” time to use a coupon.


  • ED14183910. Oct, 2011

    For me, if this was Wegmans, I would of gotten it free!

  • JBartels10. Oct, 2011

    Excellent purchase! I am new to this and can’t wait to find a deal like that.

  • Outlander11. Oct, 2011

    Is this sale over? Thanks!

  • oakleycoupons24. Oct, 2011

    If that was me, I would’ve settled for the first discount :) Still have lots to learn young grasshopper

  • gbonilla23. Jan, 2013

    I attended the super couponing class last week Saturday, and well I had my eye on the healthy choice frozen foods. They are normally $2.99, I saw the Jewel Ad which ends today and they were at 5/$10,(with preferred card)which brings it to $2 each. There was $1.00 off when you purchase 2,I was able to print off 4- then reached the print limit. I found a coupon on the manufacturer website for $1.00 off when you purchase 3. I didn’t stop there, I noticed that on Jewels website for signing up for their emails as a 1st time, you received a coupon for $4.00 off purchase of $25 (after coupons). So I played with the numbers a little bit, I purchased 15/$30, minus the manufacturer coupons which was $5.67, brings it to 15/$24.33 so I had to get something to get it over the $25.. After coupons I paid $21.67, oh almost forgot the healthy choice were on the sales add if you purchased $15 from that page you would get $5 for your next purchase. At the jewels that I went too, the machine was not printing so they gave me $5 in cash.. Well at the end I paid $1.11 for each one. 48.5% savings. I was pretty excited.