My sister-in-law just got into "Couponing." What is "Couponing?," you ask. Well I think it's sort of a game between you and the grocery store to see how much money you can save with coupons. My SIL gave me some tips since I am a total novice. I thought I'd share. Happy bargain shopping! You want to find out which grocery stores double coupons or even triple coupons. Most of our grocery store in the area will double coupons but the rules are different with each store. The store I shop at doubles coupons up to .99 and once a month has triples up to .99. So a .75 cent coupon becomes at $2.25 coupon. To get the best value, you should use a coupon when an item is on sale. With the coupon inserts from the Sunday paper and a subscription to www.thegrocerygame.com, you would be set to begin. The grocery game allows you to pick a grocery store in your area (or lots of grocery stores) and it will give you the weekly sales of the store and tell you what coupon to use and which insert to find the coupon.
Sunday paper subscription, ask neighbors/friends/coworkers for their coupons, tearpads, blinkies, catalinas, printable coupons, manufacture coupons by mail, cellfire, gas stations, newspaper recycle bins, etc. Organize your coupons so they are easy to access. Raleigh News and Observer is the best paper for finding coupons. (I am part of a group of 10 ladies and we have it worked out with the local newspaper to collect all the extra Sunday papers early Monday morning. We get our coupons for free and we get about 7 copies a week that way we have multiple coupons.)
Set a grocery budget:
$50 per person per month includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, garbage bags, paper towels, toiletries, laundry soap, medicine, diapers, cleaners, eating out and any other related cost. Take an honest look at your current grocery budget and set small goals to reduce costs each week.
Stockpile (or food storage):
Buy multiple items when they are at rock bottom prices. Keep a price list for items that you frequently buy so you know when the price is rock bottom. It takes several months to build a good stockpile. Buy what you use and use what you buy.
Plan your shopping trip:
Use the weekly sales ad and coupon deals to plan a weekly menu. Make a list of all items you need for your menu in addition to items you want to stockpile. Plan to shop at 2-3 stores if necessary to get the best deals. Stick to your list at the grocery store. Plan a few extra minutes at checkout and watch to make sure everything rings up properly. Don’t be afraid to ask the cashier to correct an error but always be polite. Get a raincheck for any sale items that are out of stock.
Harris Teeter: Doubles coupons up to .99 everyday. They offer special coupon promotions like e-vic, triple coupons, and super doubles. Sign up for e-vic on the Harris Teeter website. Sales ad runs Wednesday to Tuesday.
Lowes: Doubles coupons up to .99 everyday. They offer special promotions like green points and triple coupons. Sales ad runs Wednesday to Tuesday.
Kroger: Doubles coupons up to .50 everyday. They also accept cellfire coupons that can be combined with manufacture coupons. Sign up for those coupons on the cellfire website. Sales ad runs Sunday to Saturday.
Food Lion: Does not double or triple coupons. They do offer printable store coupons. Sign up on the Food Lion website to receive these coupons by email each week. Sales ad runs Wednesday to Tuesday.
Target: Does not double or triple coupons. They offer printable store coupons on the Target website. These coupons can be stacked with manufacture coupons. Target also with price match sales from other store ads. Sales ad runs Sunday to Saturday.
Walmart: Does not double or triple coupons. They price match sales from other store ads.
Kmart: Occasionally offers a double coupon promotion. They will double coupons up to 2 dollars during these specials.
CVS: Does not double or triple coupons. CVS coupons can be stacked with manufacture coupons. They have an “Extra Care Bucks” (ECB) program that is connected with your CVS card. When you buy certain items, a coupon will print on your receipt to use on your next order. This coupon can be used like cash. Roll ECB week to week to pay very little money out of pocket and get great deals on certain items. Sign up on the CVS website to get email offers including $4/$20 coupons. Sales ad runs Sunday to Saturday.
Walgreens: Does not double or triple coupons. Store coupons found in their weekly ad can be combined with manufacture coupons. The have a “Register Rewards” program that works the same way as the CVS “Extra Care Bucks” program. Sales ad run Sunday to Saturday.
Rite Aid: Does not double or triple coupons. Store coupons found in their weekly as can be combined with manufacture coupons. They have a “Single Check Rebate” program. You earn rebates on certain purchases and can claim your rebate check once a month. You must sign up on the Rite Aid website to participate in the rebate program. Sales ad runs Sunday to Saturday.
Grocery Game: A great online resource for beginning couponers. Grocery Game matches sales with coupons from the Sunday paper. This website charges a fee to use its services.
Hot Coupon World: A free coupon forum where you can find sales matched with coupons. Hot Coupon World is more difficult to use than Grocery Game, but it is free.
Taking Stock: A blog run by Sue Stock that lists all the coupons found in the Raleigh News and Observer. She also lists local deals and information.
Money Saving Mom: A useful blog that posts good deals and money saving tips. I would bookmark this site and check it everyday!
Other Online resources:
Savvydollar: Local coupon forum
A Full Cup: Similar to Hot Coupon World
Attention Target Shoppers: Target blog
Coupons.com: Printable coupons
EBay: Purchase coupons