Thanks to inspiration from “Mama Cheaps” I have been couponing for the past few months and I am happy to say that I have saved SO much money, with really VERY little effort. I am up to saving about $40 per week. Not bad for a beginner!
I shop at Giant and have to say after shopping at all of the area grocery stores I have found that for what I purchase every week that I save more money at Giant. Giant doubles coupons under $1.00. As printable coupon policies of each grocery store vary. Make sure you are are aware of the policy at your grocer before you spend time surfing for & clipping coupons only to get to the register to find out your store has a bogus no-print coupon policy. GIANT ‘s policy is awesome. Click here to view. So with that said.. here is my couponing strategy.
Grocery shopping day -afternoon during nap time (whole process usually takes me 30-45 minutes now that I have my plan of attack down), I write out my grocery list then sit down at my computer and log onto Coupons.com, GIANT and Redplum.com, ( I am sure there are more printable coupons sites -these are the ones that I use as of this post. If you know of any please leave a comment) and search everything on my list. I visit multiple sites for multiple savings. Sometimes each site will have the same coupon listed and wah–lah, by visiting 3 sites, I have 3 coupons. If the items that are not on my list are not on printable couponing sites, I Google the company that makes the item. For example, I use Betty Crocker Brownie mix and couldn’t find a coupon online. I visited the Betty Crocker website to see if there was a printable coupon listed directly on the website. There was..they actually have a coupon tab on the site. Bonus!
I have found that most companies require that you sign up for their newsletters/mailing lists to receive the coupons. Not a big deal. I created a separate email address for all of my couponing as to not overload my everyday personal email with store promotions. I created a coupon email for my husband too, that way I can log in twice and get two sets of coupons. SHHHH.. don’t tell. I don’t want the coupon police to come and get me. I usually check my coupon email when I sit down to begin my coupon clipping.
If the item you are looking for isn’t listed on one of the coupon websites and the company doesn’t have a coupon tab on the website. Email them! Tell them you use the product regularly and ask if they would send you a few coupons. Times are tough all around. Companies NEED you to buy their products and what is a few cents off to them. My motto for life is “the answer is NO if you don’t ask!” Case in point. I work with Sun & Earth and LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Sun & Earth products. Sun & Earth currently doesn’t have a digital coupon on the website, but if you send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and ask for a coupon, Sun & Earth will send you a coupon(s) in the mail. How cool is that for customer service!?!
In my newly launched couponing adventures I have found that the key to saving money for me is to not be “brand specific”. For example spaghetti noodles are spaghetti noodles, paper towels are paper towels, toilet paper is toilet paper, and so on and so on.
So, Sarah all of my coupons are printed…now what? Well… I put all of my coupons in a folder right away- not cut, straight from the printer. When I have a few minutes, like while waiting for dinner or in the car pool line at camp/school I whip out my handy dandy gift wrap cutter and clip away. I also keep a pair of child safety scissors in my coupon stuff for my 4 year old that likes to help me clip coupons. It is a great way to practice cutting on the dotted lines.
Once my coupons are clipped they go into a plastic coupon organizer. I organize by baby, paper products, cleaning products, health & beauty, dining out, kid stuff, clothing, misc. I keep this organizer in my purse so I don’t forget it at the store. I go through my organizer once a week or so while waiting in the car pool line at school. Anything that is expired I put aside. I don’t throw expired coupons away because military bases accept expired coupons for up to 6 months past the expiration date. Just a little tip I learned from my coupon- guru Mama Cheaps.
Click here for the address to send your expired coupons to military bases.
If a coupon is about to expire I often just leave it on the grocery store shelf as my personal pay it forward.
Are you a new couponer too? or an experienced saver? Leave a comment or email me your money saving – couponing strategy. Let’s put our heads together and see how much money we can SAVE!!!
Stay tuned for my post next week on clipping coupons from the newspaper.