Print Your Coupons Here!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Crazy For Coupons! Part 3-Match-Ups

I'm continuing my series on getting started with couponing. You can see some of my other posts on couponing here.


Step 4: Now that you have all your coupons organized, you need to wait for the right moment to use them. The secret to spending less and getting more is TIMING your coupon use with the sales. Watch for REAL sales, when prices are at their lowest, and then use your coupons to stock up. Stores have sale cycles, and while an item may be on sale, it may not be at the lowest price. For example, Mtn. Dew was on "sale" last week at my grocery store for $2.98 a 12 pack. I call this a "fake" sale, because I know I can get it for $2 a 12 pack, so I waited. This week Mtn. Dew is on sale at CVS 4/$11 with $3 ECB, and with the $2/$10 coupon, I can get 4 12 packs for $6! Some people start a price book for their grocery store, keeping track of sale prices on the items they buy most frequently, like chicken, hamburger, cereal, and yogurt.

Shop with a list based on the sales and start your stockpile. When you recognize a real sale, buy more than one of that item if you can. The idea behind stockpiling is to buy enough of an item when it is on sale so that you won't have to pay full price for it while you wait for it to go on sale again. The cereal deal at Target this week is a good example, and another one is the Kimberly-Clark deal at CVS this week. Cottonelle and Viva are on sale at my grocery store this week for 2/$12, but even if I doubled coupons, they are a better deal at CVS this week with the $10 ECBs, so I'm going to use my coupons there and stock up.

Make your coupons work harder for you! We have a chain in town that doubles coupons up to $1 on Wednesdays. Their policy is to double 5 coupons per $25 transaction. My weekly grocery budget is $50-60, so I just plan my shopping and carefully split my groceries and coupons into two $25 orders so that I can double 10 coupons to save more money! The coupons I'll be doubling to pair with sale items today are Campbell's, Quaker Oatmeal printables, and Cap'n Crunch (along with some that have printed out during past visits--CRTs). By the way, if I am not seeing enough good sales to bring me to $50 so I can do 2 orders (some weeks are like that), I won't spend extra money just to get 10 coupons doubled--it's not worth it to spend $10 more on non-sale items just to double $5 more in coupons. You'll be washing away your savings.

Some of my favorite coupon match-ups. If you don't want any of these, print them off for me and I promise to put them to good use! ;-) Note that I choose to use some of these at Walmart instead of doubling them at my grocery store. That's because a) if a product is $1.76 and you give them a $1 off coupon, it will only double up to $1.76, not $2; b) since my store only doubles 5 per order, I have to pick and choose which are worth doubling; and c) sometimes the product is cheaper at Walmart than at the grocery store, so it isn't worth "wasting" a doubled coupon--it makes more sense for me to use it at Walmart.

$1 off Yo-Plus yogurt and here-Use at Walmart for cheap yogurt (.93 after coupon for 4-pk.)
$1 off Kotex- Use at Walmart for free Kotex; I blogged about it here.
$3 off 2 CleanTeam- Use at Walmart for cheap wipes; I blogged about it here.
$1 off 1 Yogos- Use at Walmart for a cheap treat for the kids (.67 after coupon for 6-pk.)
$1 off Fiber One Yogurt- Use at our local grocery store, doubled when it is on sale 2/$4 for free yogurt (this happened a couple weeks ago, so wait for it to come around again)
$1 off Johnson's Buddies products- Use almost anywhere for free soap; I blogged about it here.
$1 off Cheerios here or from the Cheerios Challenge- Use to score free Cheerios with a good sale
$1 off 1 Pillsbury (Cinnamon rolls, Crescent rolls, Toaster Streudel)- Use at Walmart for cheap products
$1 off 1 Cascadian Farms product- Use doubled with a sale for maple granola cereal (yum!) or on another one of their products

Looking through a sale flyer and wondering if there is a printable coupon for an item on sale? Check out Hot Coupon World's Coupon Database, where you can search by item name for the available coupons out there.

6 comments:

Connie said...

Seriously People, I am trying to get the hang of this and feel like I have spent more time in study and finding the "right" coupons for our family. I am not good at this at all!!!!! As I sit here and look at the coupons that I have printed out, I'm not so sure I can do this. I am not really a money minded person, so I was going to start with just cereal. (the Target deal) As of now, I don't have any $1 off coupons only 75cents and I'm not so sure my family will like the flavors, Raisin nut bran, multigrain, Kix?!?! I tried to get the Cherrios Challenge and never got a coupon and the other one won't print for me. I have been a Woodmans shopper for some time now and will be heading there tonight to use a few of my coupons. My fear is I may get caught up in the coupons and buy things we don't really like and end up spending more at the stores I don't normally shop at for the things I still need and don't have a coupon for. Any simple suggestions would be helpful otherwise if you would pray for me that would be great, because I know God can do the impossible, and right now for me this seems "impossible".
Blessings,
Connie
PS. Thanks for all the help you have truly challenged me and I surely know more than before.

Jessica said...

Connie-
I'm sorry you are getting so frustrated!! It does take some time to get the hang of it. Even if you can't find any $1 coupons, is it still a better deal than what you usually pay for cereal? (of course, that is only if your family will eat it.)

The last thing I want to do is make you spend more money than you would normally be spending. I was only trying to help, and if it isn't working for you, so be it. Just an idea: It sounds like your husband wanted you to try it....is he better at this kind of thing? Would he be willing to give it a go? There is another family I know at church where the husband is thriving on this so he has taken over. He's the one who helped me get started. He's a CVS fanatic! :-)

That brings up another idea. If the groceries are stressing you out, but you think you could get a handle on the Walgreens deals or the CVS deals, start with those and focus on saving money on shampoo, lotion, toothpaste, etc.

Just some suggestions.... Again, I'm sorry you're stressed!
Jessica

Heather said...

Okay I am going to try very hard to follow your suggestions! I really do need step by step directions for this...so this is great! I was wondering waht grocery store you go to? I didn't even know stores double coupons??? I have a lot to learn!

Heather said...

Okay I am going to try very hard to follow your suggestions! I really do need step by step directions for this...so this is great! I was wondering waht grocery store you go to? I didn't even know stores double coupons??? I have a lot to learn!

Sparks said...

I'm with ya, total coupon addict. However, there are some days that I just don't have the time and patience to go through all the coupons or look up all the match-ups and I just go to the store with a couple and life goes on! Those of you who are discouraged, saving a little money is more than none at all!
One more tip, there are coupon-matchups to sale items for almost every major store on afullcup.com. That may help you out.

Jess said...

To the new couponers out there -- take heart! I will admit that it took me 3 months of serious work to get the hang of it. It was a season of life where I happened to have the time to do it (now with a new baby, I'm glad that learning curve is behind me b/c I sure don't have that kind of time now!)

When I was learning, I spent my time:
Reading lots of coupon blogs. Seriously...I spent a lot of late-night time on my laptop!
Using the info. on those blogs to sign up for coupon sites, freebies, etc.
Creating a coupon organization system. I do something different than Jessica -- more of the "shoe box/envelope method".
Learning the coupon rules of the chains and our locals stores. I have never spent so much time at the service desks!

I tried to learn one store at a time, and yes, I had to copy others' scenarios line by line at first. I was so nervous the first time I went to CVS! LOL I also spent signficant time shopping to stock pile. But now I'm in a place where I don't have to shop the deals every week -- in fact, I'm on a shopping hiatus this week except for one short trip I'm making to CVS today to correct a dumb-brain mistake I made last time I was in there.

I will say that couponing probably isn't for everyone -- if you didn't enjoy it, I could see where it would be a real chore, and it DOES take time. If it's not for you in your current season of life, there are other ways to be a wise steward.

But as for me...I'm a happy couponer!

And Connie -- lucky you that the new CVS is opening soon right near you. :)

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