Beginner to couponing- Advice welcomed!

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by Owishingonastar, Mar 26, 2011.

  1. Owishingonastar

    Owishingonastar Earning My Ears

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    Well, We are trying to become better with saving money & what better way to start then to look at the grocery store. I know there are several threads on this topic, but felt i deserved to create a new one to brush up any new fresh ideas, or other people to chime in.

    Where do i start with couponing, we dont have any smaller grocery stores just large ones. Market basket, shaws, Walmart, and hannafords.
    Do they still do coupons in the sunday newspaper? or, where should i be looking?


    Would love any guidance or input anyone could give to send me in the right direction.
     
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  3. michaelandmarksmom

    michaelandmarksmom Earning My Ears

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    Check out the coupon mom site :)
     
  4. Marionnette

    Marionnette <font color=deeppink>Wishing On A Star<br><font co

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    1. Get the "club" card or "advantage" card or whatever the name of the frequent buyer card is for each store.
    2. Sign up on the store's website for email coupons that can either be printed, added electronically to your card or sent to your smart phone.
    3. Start a price book for the things that you buy often. That way you'll know when something is a good deal and when it's just a come-on advertisement.
    4. Use coupon websites like Smartsource, Redplum, allyou, coupons.com etc. to print internet coupons.
    5. Sign up at manufacturers' websites to get printable coupons in your email or snail mail.
    6. Check for "blinkie" coupon devices in the stores or "tearpads" for coupons. You don't have to use them that trip.
    7. Order extra coupons from clipping services. Ask friends and family members to save their coupon inserts for you. Having multiples of coupons is important for taking advantage of deals that require you to buy more than one of an item to get the store discount.
    8. Stack your store coupons/discounts with your coupons to get the best deal.
    9. Don't be brand-loyal. When you're willing to change from one brand of cereal, laundry detergent or toothpaste, you're able to take advantage of what is on sale at the time that you need it.
    10. Organize your shelves and closets so that you can stockpile things when they go on sale.
    11. Resist the urge to buy something you normally wouldn't just because it's on sale. The only exception would be if it's free or a MM (moneymaker). Consider donating those items to a shelter or food bank.
     
  5. Nik's Mom

    Nik's Mom Karl Pilkington is a genius

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    Hi,
    Yes, you will definitely want to pick up a Sunday paper. There are coupons every Sunday, except for holidays. I second the suggestion to go to http://www.couponmom.com/ You will be able to print coupons from there, and match your local sales with coupons.
    I also like http://www.afullcup.com/ There are different message boards for the stores there. There is also a great CVS thread on a full cup, and on this message board. If you are going to get into couponing, CVS is definitely a place you will become familiar with!

    It's also a good idea to organize your coupons. I used to use a small photo album to keep mine in, but I just recently switched to a binder system. This is the organizer that I use. http://www.couponmagicorganizer.com/ You can find the coupon holder sheets at Target and Walmart, but I was having a hard time finding different sizes, so I ordered from coupon magic organizer. There is also a youtube video on that site that will show you how to organize.

    Oh, another great site to check out is http://thekrazycouponlady.com/. She also has some helpful information on how to get started with coupons. And if you want to learn about CVS, then check out http://www.iheartcvs.com/, or look for the weekly CVS thread on this board.

    Good luck!
     
  6. ShiPooOwner

    ShiPooOwner Fan of WDW now and forever!

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    Start by buying the Sunday newspaper. :thumbsup2 There should be 2-3 inserts (usually Red Plum or Smart Source each week) in tomorrow's edition. Look at the ads and see what sale items you can plan your week's meals around. There are many sites that match up grocery store ads with coupons. Find one or two that have the stores in your area. If your store has a customer's loyalty card, be sure to get it because it can save you more money and sometimes earn you fuel perks as well when you use it. Do any of your stores do double or triple coupons? Make sure you know each store's policy regarding using coupons. You can print coupons at home on several sites. I like coupons.com myself. Just insert your zipcode and print only the ones you want and will use. There are also two coupon trains on the budget board on DISboards. You might want to hop aboard one of them. Whenever possible, try to combine sale prices with manufacturer's coupons with store coupons.
     
  7. TLuvsD

    TLuvsD DIS Veteran

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    I use couponmom.com, and I store my coupons by date in an accordian file. Resist the temptation to buy a much of "stuff" you wouldn't normally buy, and keep your stash rational....I think I have enough toothpaste to last my family for several years. DH says no more toothpaste!
     
  8. mrodgers

    mrodgers DIS Veteran

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    Without coupons in the Sunday paper, couponing stinks. We've been scouring the internet for coupons for weeks.

    I don't have coupons in the Sunday papers available. Out of the 4 available Sunday papers, not a single coupon insert.

    The internet sites I've found are all stuff we don't use. We may get 2-3 coupons per week spending a lot of time looking. By the time anything is on sale to do the stock-up, the coupons are expired.

    You have to live in an area that you can coupon. It's cheaper for us to just go to Walmart and buy a lot of generic than to coupon. It would cost twice as much in gas to go to the area that you can get deals with coupons because it is not a store we would do all our shopping at, thus, it would cost much more than what we would save.
     
  9. Disneylush

    Disneylush DIS Veteran

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    pocketyourdollars.com is where I got started....it was super simple to follow.
     
  10. pam95

    pam95 Mouseketeer

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    I really like WeUseCoupons and HotCouponWorld. They are the only two sites that I've been able to find for info on sales/deals and coupon match-ups for my local grocery stores.

    I'd start by getting a subscription to the Sunday paper for coupons, if your paper has them. Check your store's coupon policies. Stores differ - some double coupons up to a certain amount, some accept internet coupons, others don't. Make sure you check your store's weekly ad for sales/deals. Then match any coupons you have to those sales. There are certain items that I never have a coupon for, and so I look for those items when they are on sale, and then I stock up to take advantage of the sale. The best way to coupon is to maximize your savings by matching a coupon to a sale item. I also plan our weekly menus around sale items. So, if my grocery store is doing a BOGO deal on chicken, I pick up a couple of packs - use one, freeze one.

    I also recently became a fan of CVS. Even though their every day prices are little higher, you can save quite a bit if you shop the extra care bucks deals and roll the bucks you earn into future purchases.

    When you first start out, you might find that you are spending a little bit more in order to take advantage of sales/coupons, but if you stick with it, you'll start to see a pay-off. My New Year's resolution was to cut our grocery bill. So far, I've increased our weekly savings from $20-$30 per week to $40-$50. I'm finally starting to get the hang of the sale cycles, and I'm hoping to cut our bill even further.

    Good luck! :thumbsup2
     
  11. usnuzuloose

    usnuzuloose DIS Veteran

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    You can also join one of the coupon trains and swap coupons. I do and get some good ones.
     
  12. My2Pixies

    My2Pixies Disney Dreamin'

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    My advice-start small. Pick up a Sunday paper and check out one of the coupon blogs (KrazyCouponLady, CouponDivas, and Hip2save are my faves) for ideas on matchups by store. HotCouponWorld is a great forum for beginners too. And try to stay organized!
     
  13. Frannie115

    Frannie115 Mouseketeer

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    I just started couponing about a week ago and I'm amazed at how much I'm saving. You do have to match coupons to store sales/coupons to get the best deal. So that means a little more time and more than one store. But totally worth it so far. I have all the major stores near me, so that makes it easier.

    I learned about a deal at hotcouponworld.com today and got a Pantene shampoo free :woohoo:.
     
  14. Owishingonastar

    Owishingonastar Earning My Ears

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    Saved a dollar on 24 pack of poland spring (manufacturer coupon), and it was on sale for 2 dollars. so it was only a buck! I guess thats a start? Werent much coupons besides that in our sunday paper though :(
     
  15. D L and K's Mom

    D L and K's Mom <font color=blue>D, L and now baby Kennedy's mom!<

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    thanks for asking the question. I am loving the advice!
     
  16. momof2intx

    momof2intx DIS Veteran

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    My favorite.... www.couponingtodisney.com

    the free blogs are great. I also have a membership to www.thegrocerygame.com

    They have a lot of unadvertised sales listed and really detail out which coupons to use, when to use them and when items are on sale at rock bottom prices. I've been a GG'er for a few years now, it is what got me started in couponing.

    Right now I feed my family of 4 (with 2 very hefty eaters ... my hubby and son!) on about $65 a week OOP.

    It's become my hobby and really, it is a lot of fun. Good Luck!
     
  17. Gina

    Gina Remembers the Great DIS Board Crash of '99

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    I second the recommendation to the Grocery Game. It costs me $15 a month for the two stores I selected (CVS and Kroger) and I save WAY more than that with my GG lists. I know there are free sites out there that do store/coupon match-ups, but I just have so little time to devote to sorting it all out... GG does it all for me. And like the PP said, they track the sales and let you know when it's the very best time to use a particular coupon or stock up on a particular item, to get the biggest bang for your buck. I heart GG!!
     
  18. momof2intx

    momof2intx DIS Veteran

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    Yes, I forgot to mention that too. It saves a TON of time. Totally worth every penny.
     
  19. RangerPooh

    RangerPooh DIS Veteran

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    Stores in our area (the pacific northwest) don't double coupns so don't anticipate all stores doing this. In places where they do, it might be done only occassionally, so check the sale ads to see if it's mentioned. In Michigan Meijers and Spartain Foods would place this at the bottom of their ads every few months.

    Don't forget about the store coupons inside the sale ads. Sometimes they save only a few pennies othertimes they save a few dollars. Safeway has recently run $5 off $15 purchase of any frozen food items. This is useful if you are buying frozen foods, and are using coupons on those items to save even more.
    - Plus you can often combine in store coupons with manufacturer coupons for even greater savings!

    Browse the isles for coupon dispensers or coupon books. You might not need the item know, but you might want to use your coupon to try it in a few weks when it goes on sale + using a coupon for additional savings!
    -Or you can collect these coupons and trade with friends/family members who use the items. Likewise, have them keep an eye out for coupns for the items that you use.
    -Join a coupon swap.

    Look on manufacturers websites to see if they are offering coupons, or write to them asking of they have any for a specific product.

    Use rewards cards everywhere you shop. I have a Staples Rewards card that sends me a Staples check/coupon a few times a year. This past November I combined two and bought DHs stocking stuffers with it :thumbsup2
     
  20. Owishingonastar

    Owishingonastar Earning My Ears

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    Really great info, appreciate it everyone.
     
  21. Kycha

    Kycha <font color=peach>I'm a grouch with a heart <font

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    If you are going to buy multiple Sunday papers, get them at the dollar store. My local Sunday paper's newstand price is $1.75. But I can get them at the local Dollar Tree for only $1.
    Also, find out each grocery stores coupon policy. Some stores double/triple. Some limit the # of coupons they double/triple. Some limit the # of internet printable coupons. Some limit the total # of coupons. Some will give overage, some won't. It will save a lot of headaches if you know what you are working with from the get go.
    I see you are in PA. If you shop at Giant or Weis, afullcup.com also has forums for those stores. HTH!

    That is a great deal! What store is the poland spring on sale? And where did you get the coupon?
     

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