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Learn How to Combine Coupons and Food Stamps for Maximum Savings
For every $100 in food stamps a household receives, that household increases the amount spent on food between $50 to $60 each month. Traditional economic models support that a household that receives $200 each month in food stamps should meet its grocery needs without spending as much money. In turn, the household should have an additional $200 per month in the budget for other necessities. However, that is not how individuals or families on food stamps tend to spend money. Instead, those who receive food stamps tend to increase spending on food rather than spend that additional money elsewhere. In addition, individuals who are on food stamps tend to begin purchasing name-brand products and not clipping coupons once food stamps are available.
Using coupons at the grocery store will help stretch food stamp dollars further and can help free up more money to use on bills or other necessities. It is possible to purchase food items with coupons and use food stamps at the same time. In fact, stores must honor all sales, coupons and store saving card rewards as they would a customer without food stamps, as long as the item is allowed to be purchased with food stamps.
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Electronic Coupons and Coupon Apps
Many individuals on food stamps do not want to stand in line with a stack of coupons and the EBT card for food stamps because they may view it as embarrassing. Therefore, electronic coupons and smartphone applications may be the best solutions for these individuals. Electronic coupons include coupon codes, store loyalty cards and card-linked offers.
In most cases, coupon codes are used for online shopping. A code is used in the discount or coupon field while shopping online for groceries. When placing an order, the code gives the shopper an automatic discount on items in the shopping cart.
Store loyalty cards must be signed up for at a customer service desk, or an online application can be filled out. Once a loyalty card is received, it can be scanned at the register to receive credit for purchases, special discounts and coupons. Many stores now allow the store card to be accessed on a smartphone and scanned at the register. That way, shoppers do not have to worry about losing their store cards. A card-linked offer can be loaded directly onto a store loyalty card, debit card or credit card from the store’s website or from the debit or credit card’s website. While checking out, these savings are automatically deducted as soon as the respective card is swiped.
Smartphone coupon apps can help a shopper track down and manage his or her digital and printable coupons. These apps work in different ways, so potential users should research the apps before using them. For example, one app allows a shopper to view saved coupons and upload them to a store loyalty card. Email notifications are sent so a shopper learns about existing offers as soon as he or she steps into the store. Another app may only be utilized for a specific store and allows a shopper to choose coupons to add to the store card from the app. Users should also make sure they read and understand how mobile apps and store loyalty cards will handle their personal information.
Finding Electronic Coupons
Instead of spending hours clipping coupons from a store flier or magazine, shoppers can virtually clip coupons online. Savvy coupon shoppers use different methods to find coupons for products and one of the most important methods is online. Many popular online retail and grocery store websites offer coupons directly on the website or on specific coupon websites. Another method is to sign up for a monthly newsletter from the grocery store of choice, which allows coupons to be automatically delivered or added to a store loyalty card.
Learn How to Maximize Coupons with Food Stamps
First, be sure the product for the specific coupon is one that you normally purchase. If it is not, do not be tempted to use that coupon to purchase something you do not necessarily need. If the groceries being purchased are not going to be eaten by you and your family or they are not healthy options, the coupons may not be worth using even if they are helpful money savers.
Second, try to keep track of the respective items’ normal prices. Staples such as paper towels and toilet paper are a good place to begin because you probably purchase the same brands repeatedly. You should still search for coupons for items on the grocery list not being purchased with food stamps. If an item is on sale, it does not necessarily mean that the item is a good price or cannot be found at a lower price somewhere else. For example, do not purchase name-brand products with a coupon if the store brand is still cheaper.
You may want to consider purchasing items that are utilized frequently by the family when there is a good deal, good coupon and food stamps can be used, even if you are not currently out of that item at home. Products that do not go bad, such as canned foods, pasta and boxed foods are all good items to purchase when they are on sale, you have a coupon and food stamps will cover them. Otherwise, be sure to stick with the lowest cost option, even if that means the item is not on sale or does not have a coupon.