When I tell people I use coupons, they usually respond in awe and tell me how they've seen people use them and would love to learn! But some of the most frequent responses I get when talking about coupons are "I can't use coupons–I only buy natural products." Or, "There are never coupons for healthy foods." Sometimes even, "I don't use any of the brands of products that I see coupons for in the newspaper.” How do you convince these individuals that couponing can be for everyone? First, determine what type of shopper they are.

 1. The loyal consumer

I always cover the topic of brand specificity when teaching couponing classes. I definitely understand being brand specific, which is defined as enjoying a certain brand of a product over all others, because I was like this before couponing! However, it's great to venture out from the products we are used to.

Try new products for free

One of my favorite things about couponing is that we get to try new products for free or cheap all the time! If someone is brand specific towards Crest toothpaste, they can stock up on Crest when they find a great sale to pair with a coupon. We know that sales come in cycles and that a similar deal will come again soon. They can plan to get enough Crest to last until the next Crest deal comes along. However, if there just hasn't been a Crest deal lately, get the Colgate that's free after coupons until then! A great thing about being open to substitution is that 99% of the products we coupon for are name brand, so even if you don’t buy your favorite product, you still won’t be settling for generic!

2. The shopper with product standards

While edging away from brand specificity may come easily for some, others may have reasons why they’re partial towards certain products and find it hard to switch brands. Many people are allergic to different health and beauty items, or have a lifestyle that only allows organic foods. While coupons for the particular items they need may not come often (or, if we're being honest, maybe not at all), they're still not disqualified from being an effective couponer!

Make money

Overage is one of the most exciting parts of coupon deals.  This is when a coupon is worth more than an item and you get money back! Depending on the store, the excess money can be applied to the rest of your purchases, if any, or maybe even given to you in cash! Using overage towards brands or products that there are no current coupons or deals for is a great way to save your family money.  (Come on, that's the point of all of this, right?!)  If you don't want or need the free item that gave you overage, donate it or give it away!  For example, I had some Gillette coupons for $6 off 3 products several months back. There were no restrictions on the coupon.  I found some shaving creams priced at $1.50 each at my local grocery store.  Three of them only cost $4.50, but I got $6 off!  So I made $1.50 for every 3 I bought!

Use overages to buy what you want

I used my overage to buy fresh meat and produce that week so that I wouldn't have to pay for that out of my own money. The overage can be used on natural products, or anything else that the consumer may be brand specific toward and need. I didn’t need the shaving cream because my husband only prefers soap, so I donated lots of cans to my local food pantry. This is a great example of saving your family money on items they use while helping others in need as well.

My point in this post is that while there may not frequently be coupons or deals for products or brands that some shoppers like, there are still ways to get them (or acquire a taste for by temporarily substituting brands) and save money at the same time! Anyone can be a Krazy Couponer!

This is a guest post by Amy from Rockport, TX.

How to Persuade Someone Who Is Brand Loyal to Coupon