Coupons are there for you to reap the benefits of a generous manufacturer who wants you to try their product. Those who don’t use them may be missing out of hundreds of dollars or more a year in savings. Here are some strategies to get the most from those newspaper cut-outs.

The Sunday paper is usually chock-full of advertisements for new foods or household products. At the bottom of those ads is a coupon to help you save money the first time you buy. Sounds good, right? So why do so many people avoid using coupons?

It could be embarrassment. But, using coupons is not a sign of poverty or too much frugality. It saves money and we can all use that. Manufacturers get tax breaks on their business when they perform promotions like this. You might as well take advantage of it.

Never used a coupon? Here are some ways to help you use them to the fullest of their potential.

* Clip coupons for items you use – The tendency is to cut out coupons for stuff that looks good. If you are hungry, everything will look good to you. Resist the urge to buy something just because you have a coupon. That is not exactly the way to save money. Use them to offset the cost of items you use the most – toothbrushes, bread, milk, poultry, razors, etcetera.

* Couple coupons with in-store promotions – Many stores hold weekly sales. They include circulars either in Sunday’s paper or the mid-week edition. If your grocer is selling bread for a buck and a half on Wednesday, use Sunday’s coupon for 50 cents off of a loaf of bread to save even more money. Some stores have their own rewards card. It is free to sign up and you can find many low prices on name brand foods and generic brands.

* Go online – There are websites now that are devoted to the almighty coupon. People list current offers for sites online as well as printable coupons for a number of different products. Here you can sort the coupons by category. It is much like the coupon box used to be in the grocery store, only more organized than that.

* Double your pleasure – If your grocery is offering to double any coupons up to one dollar, be sure to shop on that day. You can save twice as much on items that you use often. If you have a coupon for a free sample that you want to try, this is the time to do it without spending too much money.

Coupon cutting is not hard and it can reap some sweet rewards. This weekend, go through your Sunday paper and clip happily. Always check your coupons before going to the store so you won’t miss out on any deals.