~ The Do’s and Don’ts of Couponing ~
~ Coupon Etiquette ~
There are a lot of online coupons out there. You may come across offers that appear to be legitimate coupons, but you aren’t sure. Here are some simple guidelines on how to verify and get the most from online coupons.
· Look for coupons on manufacturer Web sites or respected coupon sites such as Frugally Thrifty. You can find a list of trusted coupon sources on the right side bar of most of my pages.
· Activate the coupon print tool. Most providers make this is a very easy and seamless process. This will enable you to download and print coupons.
· Make sure the offer makes sense. Does the offer sound too good to be true? If so, it is probably not real. The generally accepted guidelines for Internet coupons include no FREE offers, and nothing exceeding $5.00 unless the cost of the product is higher or it is a $10 off $50 purchase for example.
· Review the coupon’s appearance. Valid online coupons look very similar to those you find in the Sunday newspaper and should include a picture of the product or logo, a description of the product, the manufacturer’s legal notice, an expiration date, a bar code.
· After printing the coupons, cut them out. Cashiers will appreciate receiving the clipped version of the coupons instead of the whole sheet of paper.
· Do not photocopy an online coupon. This same rule applies with coupons in the Sunday paper. Online printable coupons have a unique code much like a finger print and copying them is illegal.
· Do not try to print multiple copies of the same coupon. Some coupon sites will allow two prints per coupon before restricting further prints.
· Do not use coupons that come to you via email unless you have knowingly registered to receive online coupons at a manufacturer or credible coupon Web site.
By following these simple guidelines you can ensure proper coupon usage and etiquette. If we all follow the rules and don’t take advantage then we should be able to save a lot of money with coupons for many years. If not than manufacturer will most likely stop issuing coupons and we will all suffer.
· Also, don’t forget that expired coupons can still be used overseas by those serving our country. The commissaries overseas accept coupons that are up to six months past their expiration date.
· Instead of throwing unwanted coupons in the trash, take them with you when you go shopping. As you walk down the aisles, place the coupons you won’t use next to the items for which they are good.