Clipping and swapping: Those are the watchwords of the coupon clipper, the savvy shopper whose scissors or mouse nets her discounts at the store. A huge 256 billion coupons were available last year, according to Chicago-based NCH NuWorld Marketing, a coupon processing and promotion information management company.
Coupon clipping is a huge activity -- 81 percent of Americans do it. Top clippers can save up to 15 percent off their grocery bill every week. That amounted to $3.6 billion in 1999, according to the Promotion Marketing Association Coupon Council.
Here's how you can get in on the action:
Sunday is coupon day: Sunday is the day you get all those coupon inserts in your local paper. Next time you're sitting there with your morning, don't just toss out those color inserts; get clipping.
Double and triple your savings: As soon as you walk in the supermarket door, pick up that circular and combine the store's discounts with a coupon you've already clipped.
Ask your favorite brand for savings: Don't see your most-used products in the coupon circular? Look on the box or bottle and find the manufacturer's toll-free number. Call them and request a coupon; most manufacturers will be happy to oblige.
Don't stop at the supermarket or newspaper; your computer can hook you up with even more savings opportunities:
- Coolsavings.com: With 8 million members, this site has quickly become the must-visit site for online coupon clippers.