You don’t need anyone to tell you that there is record inflation in the United States. You see it in the stores and smell it at the gas pump.
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According to the latest data, inflation jumped to 9.1% in the 12 months ending in June 2022. For reference, inflation has been between 0.7 and 2.3% over the past past 10 years, except last year when it jumped to 7%.
Fortunately, there are ways to combat these astronomical prices. Coupons and loyalty programs are often underused ways to save money without sacrificing the things or brands you love. Follow these five tips to save big despite rising costs.
Shop supermarket flyers for weekly sales
Whether you’re trying to feed a family of four or 14, there are ways to save in the grocery aisle. What many young people don’t realize is that grocery stores still print flyers that tell customers about weekly deals and may even have hidden coupons. You can usually find a supermarket’s weekly leaflet at the front of the store or have it mailed to you.
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If you have the time and the patience, you can use the flyers to buy at the lowest price. Supermarkets now have to compete with online grocers like Amazon Fresh and hybrid stores like Target and Walmart, which have been steadily increasing their grocery sections for more than a decade. Use the competition to your advantage and spend a few minutes browsing to find the best deals on the products you love.
Clip digital coupons on retailer sites and apps
Another way to save big at grocery stores and other retailers is to cut digital coupons. And guess what: there’s an app for that. Almost every chain store has an app that not only lets you buy merchandise and set up delivery or pickup orders, but also gives you dozens of digital coupons that you can clip and save.
The advantage of digital coupons is that you won’t have to worry about paper cuts or queuing at checkout while you rummage through your coupon book. Digital coupons are saved directly to your account on the app and will be applied at the end of your transaction.
All you have to do is download the retailer’s app and then create an account, which is usually free. Then start cutting. Just be aware that there may be a limit to the number of digital coupons you can store at one time, and you should keep checking (and cutting) to get the best deals. Target Circle and Kroger are two great examples of retailer sites offering superior ways to save.
Use discount and cashback programs
In addition to digital coupons, many retailers offer rebate and cashback programs. For example, Kroger (the parent company of grocers like Ralphs on the West Coast) gives shoppers a reason to smile with their cashback offers. Other non-commercial sites such as coupons.com, Ibotta, and Rakuten also offer cashback and rebates to customers.
To redeem the rewards, you will need to download the app and create an account. Depending on the site, you can receive your incentive by check, PayPal, or store credit. Think of these programs as free money. Just be careful not to start shopping just because they offer cashback. The cost of buying something you don’t need will quickly outweigh the benefit.
Join gas station loyalty programs
The price at the pump is exorbitant. Unfortunately, the majority of Americans have to shell out the money. So until you’re ready to go electric or hybrid, you need to find real solutions for the outrageous amount you’re paying to fill your tank.
The solution? Service station loyalty programs. Most large gas stations offer some kind of incentive to loyal customers. The trick is to try to use the same gas station. Most loyalty programs offer better rewards if you spend more. Also look for joint programs like grocery chains that offer gas rewards for purchases at their stores.
Check brand sites for manufacturer coupons
Retailers aren’t the only ones offering discounts to customers willing to do a little homework. You can get coupons directly from the manufacturer online or in the newspaper. If you are not interested in subscribing to a Sunday newspaper, you can visit the manufacturer’s website or check with the retailer. Many grocery and big box stores offer manufacturer coupons in addition to their own digital savings. Good clipping!
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