Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Couponing Basics- Where, What, and How??

For those of you new to couponing or just interested in how this all works, this post is for you!  I will be posting a few things a day that will hopefully answer any questions that you have.  If I don't, please comment and let me know what topics you would like me to cover.  Grab a drink and sit back... this is a long one!

Question 1 - Where do you get coupons??

1. Sunday paper- This is the best way to stock up on TONS of great coupons. If it is a great paper one week, go out and get another paper because chances are, you will be able to get some fabulous deals before they expire.

2. Walgreens hidden coupons!! - Walgreens has additional coupon booklets in the cosmetics and pharmacy department. Just ask for the coupon booklet and they will hand one over to you!

3. Printable Coupons- Printable coupons are great because the value is higher than the Sunday paper most of the time. After you print a coupon, hit the back button and then refresh and most of the time, they will let you print at least 2 per computer!! I had a Clean and Clear coupon last month that printed 10 times!!!  **Do check to see if they double or triple because some do not.

4. Free samples- Almost all free samples found HERE will send you coupons for those product when they send you your sample.

Question 2- What is this crazy language 1/12 SS??

This is usually how I will do my postings.... Example: from Walgreens

Reynolds Aluminum Foil- $2.08
after in ad cpn $.89 and 
$1 cpn from the SS 2/08
Final- FREE
  • This means that the $2.08 is the sale price that is listed in the store.  
  • Ad in coupons (cpn) are found in the Walgreens' flyer located in the Sunday's paper or at your local store when you walk in.  
  • The $1 off coupon from the SS 2/08 means that there was a $1 off coupon in the Smart Source insert (SS) of the Sunday's paper on February 8th (2/08).  
Stores will never let you pair up two manufacture coupons but they will almost always let you use their store coupon with the manufacture coupon.  When the above coupons are given, the final price for the foil is tax only.  ***Please note that if your cashier tells you that they can't do your transaction because the coupon is higher than the price, hand over the manufactures coupon 1st, then the store coupon.  This usually works.  

Question 3- How much work is involved?? 

Nothing in life is completely free.  Just like these deals, time, organization, and patience will need to be invested.  I have always pinched pennies at the grocery store but I went from spending around $400 a month...not bad.... to $200 a month for not only groceries but pet and baby supplies as well!  So, the few hours I put in a week are worth the savings for our family. 

Organization is also very important to help save you time and stress when you go to the store.  I try and organize my store list by how the store is laid out.  For example, I have all the produce coupons on top and the frozen foods on the bottom.  My list is also in order with my coupons so I don't have to go back and forth all over the store with a toddler.  

The most important thing is to start small and don't make a huge list of deals and then head to the store.  You will probably end up super confused and frustrated.  Try a few things a week and then add a few more and so on.  Also, if you are new to couponing, don't try and go to 5 stores in your first week....unless you have already become an addict!!  

Other topics that I will cover this week are CVS extra bucks, rebates, register rewards, and how to organize your coupons.  

3 comments:

Tiffany said...

I'd like more information, or insight rather, into how you manage $200/month on groceries etc. What is your list like? Could you do a post on your typical week of meals and supplies etc? Like, do you plan out your weekly meals and supplies one week at a time? We get paid bi-weekly (now) and I canNOT figure out what to do about groceries.

One more post idea: How do you shop, find the coupon items (correct product for the coupon) and keep your coupons organized and ready for the register with a toddler? My son is 19-months-old and he takes my list and throws things in the floor and squeaks for long periods of time--just because he likes to do those things :o) Kinda funny. Kinda challenging. I wish they taught Couponing 101 and 102 in High School or College!

Family of 3 (Mom, Dad, Toddler) and 4 puppy-babies :o)

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