How To Coupon: Beware of “Blink-of-the-Eye” Sales
Last week I made an amateur’s mistake. I knew hand soap at my local store was “buy one, get one free” (or “BOGO,” as those in the biz call it), and I had a good coupon for it, too, which would bring my cost down to just mere cents per bottle. I went in to pick it up … but no sale! After double checking my flyer, I realized the hand soap had only been on sale for the first three days of the weekly cycle. Frustrating!
While grocery sales usually run a full week, stores often run sales on “mini-cycles” for one, two or three days. To maximize your opportunities to stack coupons on sales, you must be vigilant about noting the dates of sales. It sounds like a lot of complicated logistics, but it’s easy, really. If you spot a great deal on something you need, but it’s only going to be on sale for a few days, you can plan your weekly shopping trip around that.
The flip side of this is that grocers also sometimes extend sales. Even if something is advertised in your flyer as if it’s only on sale that week, don’t be surprised to see it remain on sale the following week (or even month). I’ve rushed into stores, inconveniencing my personal schedule, to snag a product on what I think is the last day, only to see the product still available at the same sale price the following week. Again — frustrating! So I’ve learned to look carefully at store flyers and websites for sales dates, and I’ve even asked at the customer service desk when a particular product will “really” go off sale. As I’ve said before, if you’re friendly to the staff at your local store, they’ll usually be forthcoming with information.
Shop smart and save! Check out more tips on couponing and savvy shopping!