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Trixieplus2
11-30-2010, 09:58 AM
I keep trying to learn to coupon, I read all the websites and I really try but I just don't get it how do people go in and get 200 $s in groceries for 20$:confused3

I have cut so many coupons but somehow I end up spending even more money when I use the coupons:scared1:

Any couponers care to tell me what on earth I am doing so wrong? I watched a YouTube vid where a woman had almost 200 in groceries and spent less than a dollar. I know I'll never do that but I really would like to get our grocery spending under 300 a month for our family of 4.

fairygirl
11-30-2010, 10:02 AM
I could go on about this forever. But, I won't. :) I will say this: I can't count how many people I know who use coupons and get all excited because they saved a buck off of something they actually would not have purchased anyway....that isn't saving money - it's spending money. I don't know if that is what you are doing, but many times, it's cheaper to buy a knock off brand than a regular brand with a coupon. Not always, but many times. The key for me is combining sale prices with coupons on items I have to buy anyway.

Keep that in mind! :hug:

Trixieplus2
11-30-2010, 10:04 AM
I could go on about this forever. But, I won't. :) I will say this: I can't count how many people I know who use coupons and get all excited because they saved a buck off of something they actually would not have purchased anyway....that isn't saving money - it's spending money. I don't know if that is what you are doing, but many times, it's cheaper to buy a knock off brand than a regular brand with a coupon. Not always, but many times. The key for me is combining sale prices with coupons on items I have to buy anyway.

Keep that in mind! :hug:

Maybe this is why I have four cans of red kidney beans in my cabnient now:confused: and no idea what to do with them LOL:confused3 but I had bogo coupons :rotfl2:

SC Minnie
11-30-2010, 10:05 AM
Look at your weekly grocery store ads. Make a menu for the week looking at the ad. Use a coupon along with sale items. We have several (4) grocery stores within 2 miles of us and several have double coupons every day and will sometimes do triple. If you have coupons for items that are on sale and can be doubled stock up on non perishables. Get a coupon organizer of some sort so that while you are shopping you can easily find the coupon you need. My goal when grocery shopping is to save at least 20% off the total (with coupons and sales) but have saved more than 50%.

MAKE A LIST- and only go outside the list if it is something you really need.

For snacks and such we will not buy them unless they are on sale and we have a coupon. DD has known this since she was little.

The people that get $200 worth of groceries for $1 are few and far between.

PrincessSuzanne
11-30-2010, 10:11 AM
Hey, I am thrilled if I have $1.00 worth of coupons, because most of the time I don't have any at all.

$300 a month for a family of 4 is outstanding, I spend that much or more for just the 2 of us.

I only buy what we need and will use, that is ridiculous to buy something just because you have a coupon and you may or may not use it.

The coupons in our Sunday paper stink for the most part and our printer isn't compatible with our new computer, but to me it would be a waste to buy a new printer when I didn't really save that much anyway.

I am going to be able to start shopping at the Commissary here soon and they literally throw coupons at you when you come in the door and they even allow you to use multiple coupons on one item sometimes. I love my Commissary and have missed it these last 5 years, especially the case sales and their meat dept.

Suzanne

fairygirl
11-30-2010, 10:11 AM
Maybe this is why I have four cans of red kidney beans in my cabnient now:confused: and no idea what to do with them LOL:confused3 but I had bogo coupons :rotfl2:

LOL! Love it! :lmao:

It's seriously the biggest pitfall I have noticed. I agree with SC Minnie, too - plan your meals ahead and stick to it - this will help eliminate buying things you won't actually use. i.e. red kidney beans (chili?) It takes time in the beginning but once you have a system down, it will be less time consuming. Just stay away from what you won't use!

leadfootlevi
11-30-2010, 10:12 AM
First, I look at the grocery ad and I buy whatever meat is at a good price. Then, I make my "main dish" menu (the meat part of "meat and potatoes" for the week - what I have and what I'm going to buy (that's on sale, remember?). Then, I make my side dish menu (vegetables, rice, pasta, etc) - what do I already have, and what is on sale? Then, I clip coupons. I don't buy processed food, so I don't get a whole lot of coupons, but there are some savings to be had.

I don't buy something I wouldn't normally have bought just because I have a coupon. I always check the price of generics vs. name brand.

If you have a grocery store around you that doubles coupons, that might be a good option for you (we don't have one convenient to us).

I think those people getting $200 worth of stuff for $1 are buying all processed foods - very little to no fresh foods. I have never had that kind of success before. I strive to save 25 - 30%. Sometimes it's less, but anything is better than nothing. We budget $500/month for food, toiletries, beer, dog food for 3 adults, 1 child, and 1 dog. I would like to get it down, but I don't see how. There is an Aldi being built in our town - I'm hopeful that will help!

angierae
11-30-2010, 10:13 AM
Match sales to coupons. Stock up on things when they are on sale to hold you over until the next time it's on sale if it's non-perishable, like noodles or sauce.

Don't buy things you wouldn't normally eat.

Basically, I shop sales to "stock" my pantry and then plan meals out of what I already have. In the first few months you're still going to have to buy a few things that aren't on sale/have a coupon, but the goal is to ONLY go shopping for thing that are on sale/you have a coupon, and everything else is stockpiled from the LAST time it was on sale. So if you have pasta once a week, buy six jars of pasta sauce when it's on sale and you have coupons. Then you are set until the next time it goes on sale.

Things like fresh veggies/fruit and meat rarely have coupons, but you should be buying what's on sale and portioning it out by meal and freezing it so that it's there later.

I pretty much NEVER buy anything that isn't on sale, and I try to match coupons. I buy three copies of the Sunday paper every week so that I have three copies of a coupon. That way if it goes on sale, I can stock up.

www.thegrocerygame.com is a good site, but you have to pay for it. I'm told there are free options out there but I really like that site.

Ava
11-30-2010, 10:19 AM
Ditto what fairygirl said. My cardinal rule when it comes to couponing: Do not buy anything you wouldn't normally buy just because you have a coupon for it. Even if the items end up being very cheap, if they never get eaten you're wasting money.

The ways I save on my groceries are:
- Build my meal plan for the week around what's on sale.
- Combine coupons with sales.
- Stock up on pantry staples when I can get them cheap. (Pasta is a good example of something I always stock up on when I can combine sales with coupons. I can usually get it for 50 cents a box, or sometimes even free, depending on the sale price & coupons I have.)
- Don't buy convenience foods. Single-serve bags of snack foods are almost always more expensive than buying a large bag & dividing it up yourself. You are paying for the extra packaging.

I don't think I could ever get $200 worth of groceries for free. I try to save about 25-30% on my grocery bill.

Darcy03231
11-30-2010, 10:24 AM
Also, keep in mind that some people live in areas that have double and triple couponing and others don't (I live in an area that doens't). Most of the time I don't use coupons because the coupons are for stuff I either don't buy at all or for name brand products where I can buy the store brand cheaper, even with the coupon.

acename
11-30-2010, 10:43 AM
I've seen a few of those videos and things and it always seems like they have 30 boxes of cereal, fruit snacks and shampoo and that's about it. I always think, "what in the heck are they eating?"

For me, I always try to save 30% or so on our grocery bill. The best I've done was 60% and I was really working hard to do that. Shopping sales is usually better for me than a ton of coupons. Usually with coupons I save about $15-$20 per week. When I can match coupons with a good sale on things we will for sure use, I stock up. In the last couple of weeks I'm sure people have thought I was crazy for the amount of cereal I've had in my cart, I have about 10 boxes for our family of 4. But I won't have to buy cereal for several weeks and everybody has some they like. I also have a ton of pasta because I had a bunch of $1 off coupons for Ronzoni. My store has it on sale for $1 about once a month, so everytime I see that $1 off coupon (it's in magazines pretty often) I get it and save it for a sale.

The most savings for me probably comes from diapers and wipes. My oldest is finally almost potty trained, but when both were in diapers my grocery budget would have been blown big time without coupons.

So after that rambing, my best advice is to seek out coupons for things you use already. Try not to be brand loyal,but if you are check that brand's website frequently for coupons (I'm like this with Tide). A coupon might be a good way to try out something new to see if you like it, but don't buy 5 boxes of cereal that you might end up not liking because they're cheap. That will never save you money.

jmunutt
11-30-2010, 11:35 AM
I use the grocerygame and really like it. I happen to have a Kroger nearby that doubles coupons and has good sales. I don't clip every coupon, it was too overwhelming. I just file the inserts and clip as needed. The grocerygame website has a coupon database I use to find coupons for those things I need that aren't on sale. I usually save between 30% - 40% each time I shop. I also buy at least two papers and get some inserts from family and friends so I have multiple coupons to stock up when the sales are good. Once my pantry was full, there were several weeks at the end of this summer and early fall that I didn't have to shop because we had enough food.

It takes time to find a system that works for you, don't get discouraged and compare yourself to those people who buy $200 for $20, they don't happen every day.

Debby

Disneylush
11-30-2010, 11:45 AM
I use "pocket your dollars.com" but we only save about 50% on food. I like this site bc I don't spend time cutting coupons. She matches up sales with the coupon booklet or the website and then tells you how to use it.

budbeerlady
11-30-2010, 11:58 AM
The biggest help will be finding a coupon matching website. It will tell you what is on sale at Target, which coupon to cut or print and what the price should be. Also in the way beginning I was spending more as I stocked up.

So when cereal was on sale at meijer for $1.55, then I had some $.75 coupons. So it was $.80 a box. Knowing Dd would eat it and that is was a good deal I bought 10. (We go thru alot of cereal, she is a two bowler in the morning.) Normally I wouldnt spend $8 a week in cereal, it was usually $2.50 or $3 a week for the 1 box. But now I had 10 weeks worth at the low stock up price. I spent $8 instead of $25+.

leight
11-30-2010, 12:52 PM
I've been avidly couponing for the past 4 months or so. I went from spending $700 a month in grocery and household items to around $400-$450. I am very happy with my savings. I do stock up by matching buy one get one, coupons and other sales thru a local blog of amazing women who probably are the ones who buy $200 worth of stuff for $20. But they will get 10 newspapers, print loads of coupons and are often not brand specific. My family is very brand specific and our needs are very different than these ladies who homeschool and are able to eat 3 meals a day at home. I have to pack lunches for 2 school kids as well as my dh who is a truck driver(no microwave so its sandwiches only) and for 3 meals a day for myself since I work 4 10 hr shifts at work. My dh cooks 4 nites a week so I have to make sure he has options as he won't follow meal plans -so I can only 'plan' based on the nites I cook.

I get 4 newspapers delivered every sunday- my stores don't double so I have to try to stack store coupons with manufacturer coupons. I will buy somethings to try it to see if the family will like it when its on sale. I also will buy super cheap non perishible staples (like pasta, soup, peanut butter) to donate. I only do that when the item is less than $0.35 -that's my donate level. ( I have 10 boxes of muellers pasta that I paid 8 cents for each ready to go!-Dh really prefers ronzoni :confused3)

I try to get produce on sale- I'm not paying $4.95 for a quart of strawberries but I'll get pears or macintosh apples right now-they are in season and reasonable. I stock up when meat goes on sale- I have a freezer in my garage and I can tell you that I just bought the next month's worth of chicken because it was $1.99lb. I am finishing up chopmeat (have about 3 lbs left) and will go to sam's club for the 85/15 at $2.29 lb. I individually wrap items such as lbs of beef, chicken or pork that I buy in bulk so its easily accessible for dh and myself.

Good luck!

budbeerlady
11-30-2010, 01:17 PM
You can always check Couponing to Disney's site: http://www.couponingtodisney.com/category/target/ She does national store matchups that might be helpful.

MrsPete
11-30-2010, 07:06 PM
I could go on about this forever. But, I won't. :) I will say this: I can't count how many people I know who use coupons and get all excited because they saved a buck off of something they actually would not have purchased anyway....that isn't saving money - it's spending money. I don't know if that is what you are doing, but many times, it's cheaper to buy a knock off brand than a regular brand with a coupon. Not always, but many times. The key for me is combining sale prices with coupons on items I have to buy anyway.

Keep that in mind! :hug:Yep, that's been my experience too. You can save a little with coupons, or you can use other methods to save a great deal more:

Creating a price book is a great way to know what's really a sale and what isn't.
Look for all your food options. For example, a can of kidney beans can look like a bargain at .50 -- until you consider that a pound of dried beans at .99 will make about 8 cans worth of beans.
Accept that the grocery store is the most expensive place to buy food; search out other food venues, and you'll be surprised how much you can save.
A good place to start watching your pennies is your beverage budget. The average family spends 30% of its budget on beverages, few of which are actually nutritious.The people that get $200 worth of groceries for $1 are few and far between.Also, the $200 of groceries for $1 people can't do it every week. It's better to adopt techniques that'll actually let you save consistantly. Those people aren't feeding their families for $1/week.

hanutedmansionmomma
11-30-2010, 07:20 PM
The key for me is combining sale prices with coupons on items I have to buy anyway.

Keep that in mind! :hug:

THIS!

Nothin's sweeter than finding something on "shopper club" that you use AND you have a coupon. What a rush! (sad, yes, I need to get out more):lmao:

Better yet, if you're on a coupon train and have multiple copies of the same coupon and it's BOGO and you have 2 coupons. even more savings.

Also, I only use coupons for things I need and use. Like Tide, for example. I'm brand loyal there, and there are usually $1 off coupons each week or so. I was gonna buy it anyway, so yay me for saving $1.

I save between 20-25% each trip. And no, I don't have lotsa beans.:thumbsup2

MrsPete
11-30-2010, 08:02 PM
I save between 20-25% each trip.It's not what you SAVE off the price of groceries that matters -- it's what you end up SPENDING total to feed your family each week.

I tend to spend about $100/week to feed a family of four (including two teens, doesn't include lunches), and although I shop at a variety of places, I don't spend a great deal of time doing it. I don't believe that coupons could take that total down to $75-80/week.

richmond282
11-30-2010, 08:30 PM
Ditto what everybody else says about matching sales and coupons, stocking up, and don't buy things you won't use!

To help with coupon, sale matchups, I like:
hip2save.com
ourcouponhome.com
totallytarget.com

apnep
11-30-2010, 08:37 PM
Maybe this is why I have four cans of red kidney beans in my cabnient now:confused: and no idea what to do with them LOL:confused3 but I had bogo coupons :rotfl2:

Red beans and rice...that's what I would do...

I just started couponing, but the lesson I take away is to stockpile your food so that you are never paying more than 50% of the retail price. That means when you need something, you should have it on hand and only need to buy it when it comes on sale again. Use your coupons at places that double/triple the coupons and combine them with sales and the store's coupons to rack up savings.

TLuvsD
11-30-2010, 08:50 PM
I used to use grocerygame, but I ended up buying too much stuff we didn't really use (I donated them). I like MyFrugalAdventures dot com, mrsmoneysaver dot com and couponmom dot com. Really I save the most on hair products (adds up, both D and I have long, naturally curly hair--we use a lot of conditioner), laundry soap, pastas, etc. I stock up when I can match coupon and sales, like everyone else mentioned. I make up menus for the week, usually. I do keep "emergancy meals" in the freezer...things like meatballs for albondigas soup, the base for chicken tortilla soup, homemade pasta sauce.

MELSMICE
11-30-2010, 09:02 PM
I try to match coupons with sale items. Our grocery stores double coupons up to $1.

I use store brands and am not brand specific.

Another thing I have started & I found I can do some big time savings is checking the drug store ads each week. Believe it or not you can get some great deals on not only personal items, but some food items as well. Things like peanut butter, coffee, snacks items, etc.

The drug stores offer rebates & coupons off of future purchases (usually good for 7-10 days) which can be a real money saver. Today at Rite-Aid I got 2 brand name contact solutions & 10 different snack food items (Cheez-It's, Lays Stax & Combos) for under $15. The contact solution alone is over $15. I then received $7 in coupons for next weeks' purchase.

Also, check out the website Hip2Save.com. She matches up coupons with ads for the drug store chains & also Target & some of the dollar stores. I've gotten some great deals at Target also.

It takes an hour or so each week to match things up, but it's usually worth it. When I first began I did buy a few things that I really didn't need but because I thought they were a good deal I got them. Like someone else said, if you don't use it, it's not a good deal.

DawnM
11-30-2010, 09:57 PM
It takes time to figure out, really!

I use SouthernSavers.com to match coupons to sales.

When I am diligent, I clip and organize in a zipped notebook with baseball card holders in them to sort and organize.

A great website for figuring it all out is HotCouponWorld.com

I am actually going this weekend to a seminar on couponing!

Dawn

SandrA9810
11-30-2010, 11:35 PM
I don't know if you have a Publix near you, or shop there often, but I love that store. They often times have store coupon booklets at the front of the store, that are easily stacked with manufacturer coupons, and with sale prices.

A lot of times too, those that get that really great deal... they will only buy 1 product of a BoGo, then stack a coupon. So the product is sold at 50% off. Depending on your state, depends on how the store does the sale. In florida, it's truly buy one get one free, you can't buy just one for 50% off. Unless the item is marked as 2/3$ or something, then one item is half that price.

For publix I love the site, Iheartpublix.com. I used it mostly to see the follow week's ad. Then stack store coupon with manufacture (newspaper), with BoGo.

You also have to learn the sale styles/routine. Like when certain products go on sale, and how often. If you love Lay's potato chips, well they go on sale about every 5 weeks, followed by Ruffles, then usually Doritoes or Cheetos or some other brand like that.

Popular meals, like Thankgiving, Christmas, July 4th, Easter... they're all preceded by sales of popular dishes. It's a great time for stocking up the pantry items that don't usually wind up on sale.

Also check the store's website for coupons. Sometimes they'll have additional savings connected to the reward cards.

SalandJeff
11-30-2010, 11:51 PM
OP - I've posted a similar question here in the past...just don't get how those people do it. What I have discovered is that where you live makes a big difference in coupons, store policies on doubling, as well as food prices. We have double coupons for those items under $1, but almost all the coupons in our inserts are for $1, so no doubling. And recently, a lot of them are now a coupon only if you buy 2 of an item. Our stores generally don't give their own coupons, just items on sale. Also, our coupons are different (a lot of non grocery/toiletry items like coupons for checks and slippers, etc.). So I save the coupons I can, try to match up with sales, and sometimes catch a really good deal! You have to do the best you can and try to not make yourself crazy.

MELSMICE
12-01-2010, 06:50 AM
OP - I've posted a similar question here in the past...just don't get how those people do it. What I have discovered is that where you live makes a big difference in coupons, store policies on doubling, as well as food prices. We have double coupons for those items under $1, but almost all the coupons in our inserts are for $1, so no doubling. And recently, a lot of them are now a coupon only if you buy 2 of an item. Our stores generally don't give their own coupons, just items on sale. Also, our coupons are different (a lot of non grocery/toiletry items like coupons for checks and slippers, etc.). So I save the coupons I can, try to match up with sales, and sometimes catch a really good deal! You have to do the best you can and try to not make yourself crazy.
I agree with this. It's good to use those "must buy 2" coupons (which I don't like!!!) when you can on a BOGO.

Also, I used to by-pass coupons for items I used generic or purchased at Aldi. I've found that sometimes with a coupon, especially on a BOGO, I can get a better deal on that name brand item.

Marionnette
12-01-2010, 08:22 AM
Its a matter of matching coupons with the sales and only buying what you would normally get. Dont clip the coupons until you need them. Keep them in the circular and file them away according to the date. Get multiple copies of the circulars if you can. It helps when there are *must buy two* sales. Make your shopping list according to the sales. Then visit a website that has a coupon database like afullcup.com or hotcouponworld.com. Look up the items and find where a coupon for it can be found (if one exists).

Dont forget to stack store coupons with manufacturer coupons. Double coupon stores are your friend. So are the ones that accept web coupons. Make sure that you sign up at the store website for there own digital coupons that can be added to your frequent shopper card.

Stock up on items that you use often. Last week there was alot of creamed soups on sale. Combined with coupons they were only a few cents each. Thats a big savings when you consider that they can be closer to a dollar a can when they are not on sale.

Look for deals where the store offers a coupon at check out for $X off your next order wyb multiples of something. Those deals can add up!

Finally, dont buy what you dont need unless it is free or boosts your savings so that it is free. Those free things can be donated to a food pantry and they will be sure to use them.

SC Minnie
12-01-2010, 08:25 AM
Also find out if you store accepts competitors coupons. Most of the grocery stores here print out coupons after you check out. Two of our stores accept competitors coupons so we can use them at another store if there is a sale.

arihillfarm
12-01-2010, 09:24 AM
Maybe this is why I have four cans of red kidney beans in my cabnient now:confused: and no idea what to do with them LOL:confused3 but I had bogo coupons :rotfl2:

I use the cans of red kidney beans all the time to make chili. 1 can of beans + one can of diced tomatoes + 1 lb. browned ground beef + a packet of chili seasoning from Aldi's = a really good quick chili for dinner. I'll stretch it by adding a small can of tomato sauce or if we're really hungry, I'll make a double batch, served with homemade cornbread. Sour cream and shredded cheddar to add to the chili makes it really yummy. :thumbsup2

-Astrid