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Set a Family Budget That Includes Coupons [06/17/2006]

Set a Family Budget That Includes Coupons


When your family sits down to set a family budget you might not be considering the value that coupons and rebates hold. Those little slips of paper you clip out of the newspaper and magazine can add up to big savings.

The practice of cutting coupons is decades old. People get their scissors ready and flip through newspaper inserts and magazines cutting out coupons that help them save money on a favored product. While most coupons offer a savings that might seem minute, when you put them altogether it can add up to tidy sum.

There is a craft to cutting and using coupons and rebate forms and with a little planning while you set up a family budget, you can easily save a sizable amount of money. Factoring in the savings that you'll garner from coupons isn't prudent during the budget planning stage. After all, you can't predict how much money you will save that month by using coupons. However, you can keep track of how much money you actually save and put that in a rainy day jar or a mad money bucket. That way, when you want a special treat or decide to take the family out to a nice dinner you'll already have the financial resources to do that without it impacting the decisions you made when you set a family budget.

There are a few important rules to follow to get the most value from coupons:

Use coupons on sale items. If you do this you are dramatically reducing the price of something that you generally purchase at regular price. Watch for "double coupon days" at local stores. Some stores offer the consumer a chance to use their coupons at a double discount once a month. This can save a substantial amount of money even reducing the cost of certain items to almost nothing. Trade coupons with friends, relatives or co-workers. Many people cut coupons and save them waiting for a chance to use them. If they have a coupon for a product you normally buy and vise versa, you can make a trade. Visit websites that offer coupon discounts. There are many websites that have literally hundreds of dollars of discount coupons available. All you do is point, click and print. Use rebate forms for sale items. If you have a rebate form for a product, purchase it when it's on sale and be certain to ask for two copies of the receipt. Most rebate requests don't honor photocopied receipts and if you have two copies, both printed from the store's cash register, you can keep one for warranty purposes and use the other to mail-in for your rebate.

When you work to set a family budget in place, consider that coupons are akin to bonuses. When you use one, take the money saved and use it one something special. The whole family will want to take part, just to get the reward!

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