The ‘Net has been full of free coupons that are snail-mailed lately. Your first impulse when you get them might be to grab them next time you are out. But, if they have a longer expiration, consider holding onto them. (Unless you are prone to losing coupons, of course!) 🙂
Since we have a lower budget for grocery and household items, I sometimes have a hard time reaching those higher dollar thresholds that CVS and/or the grocery chains have for $$ off coupons, especially if I split my groceries over a few stores. This is when I’ll pull out a chunk of my FREE coupons to help me bump myself up to that threshold.
For example, CVS does $5 off $30 from time to time. I’ll use my free coupons, pick up their weekly/monthly free-after-ECB items and a few items I need and there I am at $30. Instead of just getting free items, I tend to make money on the transaction (accounting for ECBs earned) or I’ll get the whole order for free.
So allow yourself to be patient and let those free coupons work out an even better deal for you. Just make sure you check a few things: Does that store actually sell the free item? and Is there a requirement on the coupon threshold that the say $30 limit has to be AFTER all coupons? (CVS almost never does that but grocery stores and Walgreens do that a lot.) Also, what is the store’s policy on free coupons? One of our local Jewel branches refuses to take Internet printables for free items now but they do take those that aren’t printables.