I’ve used the occasional coupon over the years, but never took it too seriously. But, that’s all going to change!
My friend Rebecca is a veteran coupon diva, so I asked if she could show me the ropes. But, I want to start off small.
- I do NOT plan on shopping all around. Getting a baby in-and-out of one shopping trip is hard enough!
- I do NOT plan on forgetting all of my trusted brands.
- I do NOT plan on eating out of an apocalypse-ready stock pile of processed food.
Here is what I WILL to do…
Step One: Get a few Sunday papers each week from…the Dollar Store!
Step Two: Pull out the P&G, Redplum, and SuperSource booklets and “sharpie” the date on the front of each.
Step Three: File the booklets into a big accordion organizer. As the organizer gets full, you pull out the oldest set to insert the new booklets.
Now, since I don’t have a stockpile yet, I did peruse through them and pull out coupons for things I needed to buy this week.
Step Four: Check out the supermarket circulars for sales on items I like to buy and for store coupons, like for gas points at Giant.
Costco gas is a good deal ONLY if I don’t have enough racked up Shell points through Giant.
(Today: Costco 3.99/gal and Shell $4.13/gal… but with 30 cents off it’s now $3.83/gal!)
Step Five: Repeat each week and eventually you’ll have a nice stock of booklets to refer to….
Once that happens, I’ll begin the fun part….keeping tabs on the following couponing sites for tips on when things are on sale AND there’s a coupon. Or, got to Find My Store to see specifically what’s on sale that also has a coupon available. The sites will tell you what date and issue the coupon is in, so you can track it down quickly. Then you hit up your store and get something for cheap or FREE.
Step Six: Next, look at what you HAVE to buy and check a Coupon Database, like this one, to see if there is a coupon and in which mailer to find it.
Take the coupons you’ve clipped and enter them into a small organizer to take with you. Start shopping!
Clearly I don’t have many coupons, yet. I still need to figure out how I want to best file things.
Step Seven: When you’re checking out, the Krazy Coupon Lady says the best order to put in your coupons is:
- Minimum purchase required type coupons
- Manufacturer coupons
- Store coupons
- Catalinas for money off (treat like cash)
FYI, many stores including Giant, doubles manufacturers coupons face value if it’s up to 99 cents. (So a $0.75 coupon is BETTER than a $1 coupon) Crazy! (Find out more about coupon policies for specific stores.)
So, off I go! My previous weekly average of “BonusCard Savings” was $6.50 by buying things on sale. But, here’s how I did yesterday…
I saved $20 by buying things on sale with my Giant card (because I had gone through the circular first to know what I like was on sale).
Then, by using coupons I saved an additional $11!!!
So, on a trip that would have cost me $105, I walked out of there spending only $74. Score!
If you shop at Giant, for more tips I recommend this reading for you.