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Old 09-26-2012, 11:08 AM   #1
rookie78
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Wanting to start couponing smart!! HELP!

I tried couponing last year for 6 six months and gave it up. I found that I was buying unhealthy foods and stuff I did not need just b/c it was cheap. Then, I ended up spending who grocergy budget and never had money left over each week. I want try it again, but I am scared I will do it wrong again. Plus, I have very sensitive skin so a lot of brands I could not use as far as soap, shampoo, and toothpaste, and yogurt. Is it worth my time?? My goal is to set a grocergy budget each week, but have money left over to put in savings for a trip. Is it possible, if so, what do I do? Thanks so much!
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Old 09-26-2012, 11:22 AM   #2
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I use very few coupons for the reasons you listed. I too was all gung-ho and found out that all of the "free" deals involved buying JUNK.

I still clip coupons for deals on Health and Beauty Aids. I also clip coupons for healthy foods I probably would use. But it is rare.

One thing to try is to visit the websites of the brands that you do buy. Stonyfield yogurt lets you print coupons once a month. Some of the all natural sausages have loyalty programs if you sign up. Friend them on Facebook so you can get coupons that way. If you coupon like this, you're truly saving money because it's likely you would buy this stuff anyway.
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Old 09-26-2012, 12:34 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rookie78 View Post
I tried couponing last year for 6 six months and gave it up. I found that I was buying unhealthy foods and stuff I did not need just b/c it was cheap. Then, I ended up spending who grocergy budget and never had money left over each week. I want try it again, but I am scared I will do it wrong again. Plus, I have very sensitive skin so a lot of brands I could not use as far as soap, shampoo, and toothpaste, and yogurt. Is it worth my time?? My goal is to set a grocergy budget each week, but have money left over to put in savings for a trip. Is it possible, if so, what do I do? Thanks so much!
Do you want to extreme coupon or just coupon for the things you need each week? There's a big difference and not everyone can pull off the extreme couponing thing due to personal preference or dietary needs.

My suggestion is that you visit a few couponing websites like couponmom, livingrichwithcoupons, afullcup and hotcouponworld. You'll find coupon "match ups" for the sale items at your local stores at one or more of those websites. Find one that suits your taste and follow it on a daily basis. If you make your shopping list based on the sale items and coupons you have, that will help to pare down your costs.

Just be wary of falling into the trap where you buy things that you don't want/like/need just because they are on sale. The only time that I will do that would be if it is a MM (money-maker). I can always donate those to a shelter, school or food bank.

You're not going to walk out of the store paying $1.13 for $200 worth of groceries. Even those extreme couponers that you see on TV don't accomplish that every week. What you will do, is cut down on what you spend OOP for the things that you actually use by pairing coupons with sales and stocking up on those items.
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Old 09-26-2012, 01:09 PM   #4
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I just want to coupon and it the most for my money.
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Old 09-26-2012, 01:55 PM   #5
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I personally think it's a common misconception that you can only get junk food by couponing.

For example, here's a picture of a small grocery trip I just did last week, that I got PAID $0.50 to buy all this stuff. It's all very healthy stuff.



However, my other comment is that couponing (particularly for grocery items, not drugstore items) is very dependent upon what grocery stores you have in your area, and what types of promotions they do. It's hard to give any advice without knowing that.

Do your stores double coupons? Do they ever have other coupon promotions (like "super doubles")? Do they do catalina promotions? Or if you have no idea what I'm talking about - maybe let us know what stores you have, and we can try to help you figure out what they offer.
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Old 09-26-2012, 03:09 PM   #6
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All I have is Kroger, Walmart, Walgreens, & Target. Kroger only doubles .50 cents and below.
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Old 09-26-2012, 03:32 PM   #7
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I don't have any experience with Kroger.

However, the site I use the most for couponing is slickdeals.net, and I searched there for their Kroger thread.

http://slickdeals.net/f/2930509-Kroger-Deals?

This should be a huge help - it looks like they do coupon matchups with each week's ad, and there is lots of discussion, much more than some of the grocery stores I frequent. Hope this can help!

Slickdeals itself is a huge help to my couponing - they have threads where you can find a HUGE list of printable coupons, and other things like that. There are also individual threads for all the other stores you mentioned.
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Old 09-26-2012, 07:27 PM   #8
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OMG :eek Don't tell people about slickdeals...I have a hard-enough time with empty shelves and coupons selling for too high. I don't want too many people following that website.

price match ads...recently I pmed a ham that was $1.99 and saw the cashier took off $5! I asked the bagger to get another on and the cashier was saying "that can't be right" but it was right. He says that a lot when I pm

stock up when there is a good sale then you don't have to buy anything until it goes on sale again

combine coupons with sales...right now I have a lot of $1 off coupons for Hormel Compleat meals and they are on sale at my grocery store for $1.66

keep an eye out for money makers because you can use the overage on anything

look for deals at certain times of the year. Right now there are Glade coupons in the Sunday paper every week almost and when combined with store sales that Glade stuff is free. My cabinet is so full I have been giving it away to my mom
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Old 09-26-2012, 07:51 PM   #9
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I can only save around $3-4 a week on regular groceries.

However, Target is where I can usually do really well. Target allows you to use manufacturer coupons and Target coupons together. They also do a lot of specials - if you buy two of (for example) Tide/Bounty/Downy you can earn a $5 Target card.

I only buy paper towels, TP, Tide, Downy, garbage bags, tissues, cleaning items, diapers, and feminine products when they are on sale, and with at least one coupon. I try to stock up when they have $5 GC promos. If you get a Target Red Card, you will get Target coupons in the mail and 5% off every purchase. I can usually save around $20 if I wait for a sale and stack my coupons. Plus I hoard my Target GCs and get a free trip to Target every 6 mos or so.

Also - check out totallytarget.com. It's a great site on how to save at Target! She also lists all of the manufacturer rebates that are available which is another way to get cash for what you are buying anyway.
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Old 09-27-2012, 10:15 AM   #10
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I would check out "Truecouponing.com", they have a good site to help you,and they are always offering free classes.
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Old 09-27-2012, 12:53 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kdka421 View Post
I personally think it's a common misconception that you can only get junk food by couponing.
It's a common misconception for those who say they can get non-junk food coupons that everyone lives in the big in the south where groceries are dirt cheap.

Your bags of Green Giant vegetables would be $2.99, coupled with either a $0.50 or a $0.99 off 2, would end up at $2.49 each. Birdseye is generally on sale for $1.49 and even with a $0.50 coupon, it is still cheaper to buy the larger 24oz bag than it is to buy the 8 oz bag with a coupon. That and generic is usually $0.89 a bag.

I wouldn't drink bottled tea for anything. Nothing is more disgusting tasting and bottled tea is not good for you.

I don't care if it is organic, there is nothing healthy about any kind of mac n cheese.

Last time I checked, eggs came from chickens. I don't see how they are vegetarian.

None of those products aside from the expensive Green Giant veggies would be in any store around me.

We just bought beef for the first time in years (father-in-law raises beef.) Wifey bought the large 5 lb. package, it was $25! WOW! She made meatballs last night and we may as well throw the whole package in the garbage. She wanted to make meatballs but they turned out as rubber balls. Disgusting stuff.
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Old 09-27-2012, 01:09 PM   #12
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Wow. OP, I hope some of the things I said helped you.

However, I'm leaving this thread because of the attitude of others. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, there is no reason to jump on my post simply because you have different opinions than I do, or because you choose to eat different foods. I do not wish to argue, so that's all I will say.
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Old 09-27-2012, 01:43 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrodgers View Post
It's a common misconception for those who say they can get non-junk food coupons that everyone lives in the big in the south where groceries are dirt cheap.

Your bags of Green Giant vegetables would be $2.99, coupled with either a $0.50 or a $0.99 off 2, would end up at $2.49 each. Birdseye is generally on sale for $1.49 and even with a $0.50 coupon, it is still cheaper to buy the larger 24oz bag than it is to buy the 8 oz bag with a coupon. That and generic is usually $0.89 a bag.

I wouldn't drink bottled tea for anything. Nothing is more disgusting tasting and bottled tea is not good for you.

I don't care if it is organic, there is nothing healthy about any kind of mac n cheese.

Last time I checked, eggs came from chickens. I don't see how they are vegetarian.

None of those products aside from the expensive Green Giant veggies would be in any store around me.

We just bought beef for the first time in years (father-in-law raises beef.) Wifey bought the large 5 lb. package, it was $25! WOW! She made meatballs last night and we may as well throw the whole package in the garbage. She wanted to make meatballs but they turned out as rubber balls. Disgusting stuff.
Wow, pretty critical. And rude.
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Old 09-27-2012, 01:50 PM   #14
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I think that couponing at the grocery store can be overwhelming so I would suggest that you start at your Walgreens and try to get more for less on toiletries, etc. I look at what I spend on some consumable staples (such as toothpaste, mouthwash, anti-persperant, feminine hygene products, cold remedies, contact lens solution, shampoo, toliet paper and some household cleaning supplies) now compared to what I used to do before couponing and it is significant savings. That is mostly just buying the brands I prefer. I have tried a couple of new brands because of a screaming deal and have found some better products than what I was using. Sign up for Walgreens saver programs and find a couponing website that is good at listing the deals at Walgreens. Other people will post the deals specifying where to find the coupons and all you have to do is locate the correct coupons to make the deals happen. To give you examples, I used to regularly pay $6-9 for a bottle of contact solution, but I dont think I have paid more than $3 in the last two years and usually less. I get my Colgate Total toothpaste for free - $1. My shampoo & conditioner for $1.50 -$2 a bottle instead of $5-$7. Sometimes I see a terrific deal on a brand that I dont use and buy it for the local food bank or shelter. Your will be getting rewards that have to be used on your next purchase within a certain time frame - so just make sure that you dont let them expire or your savings wil be lost.
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Old 09-27-2012, 02:08 PM   #15
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I live in South Florida - the land of expensive groceries and NO double coupons. But I still manage to save quite a bit with coupons (I'd say $10 a week). But it's taken me a while to "learn" the best way to do it.

Before you even start USING coupons, I would plan for 2 weeks to gather coupons. Here's what I would do

1. Every Sunday, get the coupon inserts out of your local paper. There are often ways to get these inserts without subscribing to the paper. There are 2 free weekly local papers that are delivered to my condo complex which have the full Sunday inserts. There are usually 2 inserts: Smart Source and Redplum. I usually get 2 copies of each, if possible. Just cut out the coupons for products you actually use and buy. I usually cut 2 of each coupon.

2. Go to the online coupon printing sites: coupons dot com, Redplum, Smart Source, Coupon Network. These coupons are often DIFFERENT than the paper inserts. Print the coupons that you will actually use. Also go to Target's website and print their coupons - they have tons of great coupons online, and your grocery store may accept them as a competitor's coupon (Publix does).

3. Get familiar with your grocery store's sale ads. What day of the week does the sale switch? Go over the sale flyer and make a list of the items on sale that you either need for your cooking for the week or you could stock up on (cereal, etc).

4. Start reading a good coupon website specific to your grocery store - I recomment I Heart Kroger (google it). She publishes a list every week of all the items in the Kroger sale flyer, and what coupons match up to what items, with links to coupons that you can find online and print. (I use her Publix website to help me). A website like that will also give you links to other sources of online coupons (manufacturer's websites, etc.).

5. Finally, you have to compare prices carefully. Like someone else said, it's easy to think that because you used a coupon, you saved money. I generally won't buy a product with a coupon unless it's something I need, and cheaper than I could get the generic store brand for.

6. Practice matching your coupons to what is on sale in the grocery store sale ad. For example, at Publix here, there's often a few brands of cereal that are buy one, get one free. I have a coupon for $1 off 2 boxes, so that's a good savings for me.

It is time consuming and there is a learning curve. I would recommend just getting comfortable with couponing at your grocery store. Then work up to Walgreens and CVS couponing (they are advanced! ).
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