The Survival Podcast Forum

Finance and Economics => The Money Board => Topic started by: rawdog1 on May 12, 2009, 08:49:55 AM

Title: Coupon savings
Post by: rawdog1 on May 12, 2009, 08:49:55 AM
Was asked by DeltaEchoVictor to post A how to on saving money with coupons.This will be  short and sweet .

Fist finding coupons.Look for coupons in news papers ,magazines,at the grocery store.We find ours in the Dallas morning news sunday editions,We buy five or six of them at a time and save all the coupons out of them.

Second. Get organized: place all your coupons in stacks by product. My wife uses A three ring binder with baseball card folders  to separate her coupons by Food stuff,bathroom supplies cleaning supplies.The food stuff She separates into dry goods, fresh and frozen.

Third and most important is to find A store that doubles your coupons. Some Kroger stores do this, most little grocery stores do this also. The store we use is about forty miles away in Oklahoma.So we go about every two weeks or so.

Tricks&tips: If the UPC codes on two different products from the same manufacture math you can use them on one another, IE Delmonte corn coupons can be used on Delmonte greenbeans. And look for sales adds and find what coupons you have for the products in the adds!

I hope this helps and if anyone has any questions feel free to PM us
Thanks to every one
RAWDOG1
Title: Re: Coupon savings
Post by: Dene B. on June 13, 2009, 10:11:06 PM
Hey, thanks for the great tips.  I've started using coupons to help stretch my dollars and put away more food to meet my storage plan.  My first efforts were pretty awkward, but I've learned quite a few tricks by reading blogs belonging to coupon experts.  There are some ladies on the web that have amazing money-saving systems! 

One thing that I've found that works for me is buying multiple copies of the Sunday paper that contains coupons.  Our Dallas paper usually has a huge amount of coupons in it, and they even provide an option to buy 2 papers at a slight discount.  It might seem counter-productive to spend money on 4 or more newspapers in an effort to save money, but it really does work.  By obtaining multiple copies, I get multiple coupons for the same items.  This way, when I find a great sale or a loss-leader item in a store, I can buy several of them with my coupons. 

I've also learned to keep my coupons very organized for ease of use.  I purchased a small photo album (3x5 or 5x7 works best) and I place my coupons in the photo pages.  I can easily thumb through the pages and see all of my coupons instead of sorting through a pile of them. 

I've also started using coupons that I can print off from various websites including http://coupons.com and http://www.redplum.com

I also think it's worthwhile to go out to the websites of companies from which you purchase products (like Heinz, Del Monte, Kellogg's, etc..) - almost all of them either offer online coupons or a newsletter that ultimately sends you coupons.   Most of the sites have you "opt in" and give an email address, so you might consider getting an alternate email (like a google "GMAIL" account) just for these offers to keep from having to wade through the tons of spam that usually goes along with entering your email address into any consumer site like these..

I look forward to learning more here at the forum, and I will do my best to share any new information I come across as well.

Title: Re: Coupon savings
Post by: DeltaEchoVictor on June 19, 2009, 12:40:55 AM
Oops, missed this.

Anyone else have coupon to tips to add?  I'll tack this to the top & maybe we can get a little coupon database going.
Title: Re: Coupon savings
Post by: oregoncactus on June 19, 2009, 09:45:26 AM
Take advantage of sales, coupons, and $x off $XX purchase (for example, $10 off $50 purchase) to expand preps. 

Shampoo, conditioner, deoderant, toothbrushes, toothpaste, razors, and liquid soap can frequently be obtained for free or "make" money after coupons and other store deals.  For example, at CVS (a chain drugstore), a brand name shampoo may be on sale for $2.99 and print a $3 ECB at the end of your receipt for purchasing it.  In the coupons from the Sunday paper there was a $1 off coupon for the shampoo.  So you net +$1 for "buying" the shampoo.  After you initially start this process, you can "pay" for future purchases with the ECB's to really limit out of pocket costs for items.  Walgreens has Register Rewards that work similarly to CVS.  My grocery stores double coupons up to $1, and they also offer Catalina deals that offer $x off your next purchase. 

There are many "deal" websites and blogs that show actual shopping lists of people who do this.  Find ones that work best for your area and read along.  Once you see how deals can be arranged, it becomes easier to figure out your own lists that maximizes items you want to purchase for your daily life and your preps.

Keep a price book!  I am using mine to create a "best price" list that I can read on my phone through google docs.  Then I will know if I see a product on sale if it is a good price or not for me.  I have also started a sales price sheet that will allow me to see trends in sales to know when items are cheapest seasonally.  For example, lately I have gotten BBQ sauce and mustard free after coupons, and in the case of mustard, made money to spend using coupons and catalinas.  Near thanksgiving, sugar goes on sale as a loss leader and it keeps a very long time.

Don't be afraid to check out other shopping stores.  Ethnic markets can have great deals.  So can Whole Foods.  Whole Foods puts out a Whole Deal booklet at the store entrance that has coupons.  They had a coupon for buy 1 Whole Foods brand pasta, get 1 free.  Due to my price book, I knew the deal beat my best price for whole wheat pasta, so I purchased them. 

I look forward to reading everyone's ideas! 

christi
Title: Re: Coupon savings
Post by: Stein on June 29, 2009, 12:45:44 PM
There are several websites that help.  The big pain is clipping, sorting and finding coupons.  We save them by the date of the newspaper and never clip until we need it.  Sites like couponmom and grocerygame tell you what is on sale and how to combine it with a specific coupon.  Just go to that date and there it is.  Some of the sites are free and some charge a small fee.

The overall strategy is to find stuff on sale and then use a coupon/rebates on top of that.  There is an unbelievable amount of data out there, they can even tell you when the sale is a great price for a certain item in your area and thus time to stock up.

My wife often gets stuff for better than free.  They pay her $1.50 to take a bottle of shampoo home for example.  Funny thing is that there aren't a stampede of people getting in on the action.  Most people would rather bitch and whine and expect someone else to pick up their slack rather than get out and make their situation better.

We haven't paid for shampoo, conditioner, razors, deodorant or toothpaste for over a year now.  Funny part is we now use the premium stuff for free instead of the cheap stuff we used before.
Title: Re: Coupon savings
Post by: Morning Sunshine on June 29, 2009, 01:34:35 PM
we had the lady from www.theobsessiveshopper.com (http://www.theobsessiveshopper.com) come to speak to our women's group at church.  It was crazy the amount of stuff she was able to get for CHEAP.  I wish I was able to take advantage of the savings from it.  But since I make almost everything from scratch (grain berries, dry beans, stock/broth, etc) to avoid MSGs, HFCS, and dyes, my grocery bills are limited to produce, herbs and spices, and dairy (cheese and eggs, and occasionally milk).  I do buy some canned/boxed items, but not a lot, and I am trying very hard to make imitations of those.  I do not even buy shampoo any more  - I am doing the "no poo" method of baking soda for washing hair and vinegar for rinsing.  I even make my own soap!
anyway, I am mightily impressed with people who can coupon effectively.  I sit in awe.  and wish I was still buying stuff from the inner aisles of the stores!
Title: Re: Coupon savings
Post by: oregoncactus on June 29, 2009, 06:24:29 PM
If I can net money on items through catalinas or ECB's or rebates and it is an item that I don't use, I donate the item to the food bank or other charity.  For example, last month I was "making" 50 cents buying mustard after sale price, coupon, and catalina.  I use the catalina to reduce the cost of items that don't have coupons - produce, meat, etc.  I store some to use for barter or to prevent meal fatigue if I would only be able to use my stockpile.  The rest I donate.  I keep an eye on expiration dates for those I keep and if they are getting close, I donate them.  My goal is to reduce my total expense for all items, so I look for money making items that will be useful if trouble comes or I can donate to help others.

christi
Title: Re: Coupon savings
Post by: Herbalpagan on June 29, 2009, 07:33:28 PM
I only get the Sunday papers and only for the coupons. A friend uses "hotcouponworld.com" and it has some great coupon finds.
By shopping with a grocers "member card" and taking advantage of super sales and BOGO (buy one get one free) offers, along with the coupons, I've been able to save about half on some of my shopping trips! (over $150 three times in a row)
We also have two stores that are offering a gas discount dependant on how much you spend, so last time I was able to fill up for $1.40 a gallon too!
Title: Re: Coupon savings
Post by: nafterize on July 07, 2009, 04:56:14 PM
Coupon newbie here - how do you double coupons? Do you take two to the store to use on one item or can stores just scan the same coupon twice?
Title: Re: Coupon savings
Post by: mudhole on July 07, 2009, 06:07:55 PM
  I've been clipping coupons for about 5 months now. I save about $60-$140 a week. Last week I spent $38 dollars for $178 worth of merchandise. Ya have to have a different mindset, yer not so much buying exactly what you need till yer next visit, but stocking up at rock-bottom prices. Last week I got A1 steak sauce(normally 4.19) for .19 each...I bought 8. I got BBQ sauce for like .29, I bought 5, I got OFF incect repellant for .98(n0rmally 4.98)I bought 8. My grocery store has meat-packers(would not call them butchers), and I ask them to grind a roast if it's cheaper than ground beef. Like the post above, shampoo, shave, toothpaste, deodorant, all for like pennies or less. Ya can't really be brand specific, like I only like RAGU, or you will have to wait longer for your brand. To me Spagetti sauce is spagetti sauce.....especially for .25. Hell I've used woman's deodorant for a month, cause it was .50. And I'm a 6 foot 230lb, tattooed biker. The more time ya spend with yer coupons, the more you'll save, the Grocery Game is a good place to start, ain't free, but you'll save enough the first week to pay for it. Like 10 bucks for 2 months i think. I saved $60 my first week. Poke around online, lots of blogs of yer favorite stores, Some of these woman have been doing this stuff for years and are sharp. YouTube is full of how-tos.
  Check out this woman...shame she's married........Stockpiling With The Coupon Queen (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2kznaY_5cs#lq-lq2-hq)[/url] :-\
 
Title: Re: Coupon savings
Post by: jenny sue on July 07, 2009, 07:16:48 PM
I just wanted to agree that you can get so many toiletries for free.  At any given time, our local Kroger has either Crest, Colgate or Aquafresh for $1.00, and that's free if you have the coupon.

I buy 2 copies of my local paper (half the price of the big city sunday paper, and it has the same coupons)  and cut as many as I think I'll use.  The key is to hold on to them, have them ready and organized, and wait for the item to go on sale.   I've gotten so much stuff for free- I had over 100 bars of Johnson & Johnson Buddies soapat one time!  When it piles up, I donate a lot of excess toiletries to our local food pantry at the church and the Mental Health assoc. that makes Christmas stockings for disabled people here in my county.

I don't use any online coupon services.  People have recommended some websites, but I don't like to register my information or use up printer ink to print them out.  It's a "draw" if I use up a $40.00 printer cartridge to save 75 cents on cat food.

Don't be picky about name brands.  If you want to give yourself a small luxury, go ahead and use the more expensive fabric softener.  Me, I'll take the cheapy stuff. 

I'm new to the forum and just thought I'd say HEY and throw my two cents in.  Well, I'm cheap, so it's actually one cent.

Title: Re: Coupon savings
Post by: summer98 on July 10, 2009, 06:57:25 AM
Coupon newbie here - how do you double coupons? Do you take two to the store to use on one item or can stores just scan the same coupon twice?

You have to go to the stores that advertise the double coupons, and they will double the value of your coupon.
Title: Re: Coupon savings
Post by: LICountryBoy on July 10, 2009, 07:11:48 AM
The Post Office has moving kits that contain coupons.
The most useful coupon, for me anyway, is a 10% off coupon for Lowe's and Home Depot, in my area anyway, will take Lowe's coupons as a competitors coupon.
There are also coupons for Best Buy and local places as well.
The moving kits seem to be based a bit on region so the coupons you find may be a bit different.

Also websites like slick deals have coupons forums.

http://slickdeals.net/coupons.php?category=newcoupons (http://slickdeals.net/coupons.php?category=newcoupons)

Also look at the freebies and hot deals forums.
The freebies forum has a sub forum for free magazines. And not just the *&#^&* ones.
In the past I have gotten subscriptions to Field and Stream, Outdoor Life, Horticulture, Wood, Woodcraft and a bunch of others.

I'll throw Fat Wallet out there as another good resource. Similar to Slick-Deals.

http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/ (http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/)

Just my 2 cents.

Hope it helps
Title: Re: Coupon savings
Post by: sassiesmom on August 09, 2009, 11:31:57 AM
  And I'm a 6 foot 230lb, tattooed biker.
 

Man I would love to be behind you at the cashier and just watch the snotty check out gal try to give you a rough time because you're using coupons! 

I like using coupons and have had some good experiences, but we don't get the great deals that the US gets (CVS, double coupon days, Sunday paper coupons, etc.) What I find is that some stores don't train their cashiers well enough on coupon policy.  A person really needs to know each stores coupon policy and not be afraid to challenge the store staff on it. And then you get the attitude from the cashiers....I can do without that.  I let other customers go in front of me if I see they have few items, I try to keep things as organized as possible, but some make you feel as though it's a real imposition!
Title: Re: Coupon savings
Post by: Dene B. on September 18, 2009, 09:14:30 AM
The stores that double and triple coupons sometimes have their prices so high to begin with that there is not as good of a savings as I'd like to find.  However, I do keep all of my 50 cents and under coupons in a separate coupon book just for trips to these stores.

Today Albertson's had a great sale on Angel Soft TP and Bounty Paper Towels.  I happened to have 50 cents off coupons for both products, so I got the sale price minus $1.00 on each item for a really sweet deal.

At Kroger's I found Capri Sun drinks (the ones I put in my kids' lunch boxes) on sale for $1.49.  I had a 50 cents off coupon that was doubled, so I got a case of Capri Sun for 49 cents.

There's a great sale going on right now at our area Albertson's stores.  They're running a special on Quaker products (Oat Meal, Cereal, Aunt Jemima's pancake mix complete, Syrup, Granola, Muffin bars, Regular and Instant Oat Meal..).   Using a coupon in their weekly sales paper, you get $3.00 off 5 items (mix/match).  Using this I bought 5 boxes of Aunt Jemima Complete Pancake Mix for $5.   The instant oatmeal and syrup is a little higher, but you can still get 5 items for $7. 

Also look for frozen veggies on sale at Albertson's for 69 cents/bag.  You can take most frozen vegetables and put them directly in your food dehydrator for a great long-term storage solution.

 


Title: Re: Coupon savings
Post by: swoods on October 20, 2009, 10:00:58 AM
Good morning everyone. I would like to let everyone know that CVS gives extra bucks for filling your prescriptions at their pharmacy. It is $1 for every two prescriptions. If you peruse their ad in the Sunday paper and buy items that you need, and I stress NEED, not just want, that have extra bucks you can save some money down the road. I used my extra bucks to get 4 bottles of laundry detergent that was on sale and I paid .50 out of pocket.

Walgreens also has a program that is similar in that you get register rewards. I don't shop there as often so I am not as good with the register rewards. Again, it really only saves money if you are buying items you need. If you buy just to get the extra bucks or register rewards you don't get the full benefit of the programs.

It does take some time to figure out the "deals", but let me tell ya, when you walk out of the store with 4 bottles of laundry detergent that cost you .50, there is a big smile on yer face and your stash looks way better when those 4 bottles get put on the shelf!!  :)

Title: Re: Coupon savings
Post by: jimmy1955 on January 06, 2010, 01:41:59 PM
Great tips.  Thanks everyone.
Title: Re: Coupon savings
Post by: matthewpaul on January 27, 2010, 04:04:02 PM
Anytime I buy something online, I visit retailmenot.com (http://retailmenot.com) first and enter the website address I'm buying from. It pulls up a list of coupon codes and discounts available for the website you enter.
Title: Re: Coupon savings
Post by: atrus138 on February 04, 2010, 02:15:39 PM
For those of you with tight budgets, check out Angel Food Ministries:
http://www.angelfoodministries.com/ (http://www.angelfoodministries.com/)

You get a LOT of food for dirt cheap.  Here's this month's menu (for only $30): http://www.angelfoodministries.com/menus/menu_2010-02_en.asp (http://www.angelfoodministries.com/menus/menu_2010-02_en.asp)

I read that they don't accept government money (but I can't find the link).  It is cheap because they buy their stuff in bulk.
Title: Re: Coupon savings
Post by: PreperationH on February 22, 2010, 12:31:53 PM
Saw this on Youtube

It's a similar "coupon queen" story. What was interesting was that she used two coupons for two boxes of talapia fillets. This would not work in the UK though as nearly all coupons state either "only one coupon per customer" or "only one deal per customer". :'(

Chicago Coupon Queen Saves Thousands - How She Does It (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBoqUX-8tZw#normal)

Title: Re: Coupon savings
Post by: smuglydawg on May 04, 2011, 03:17:26 AM
Can you use two coupons on one item?

I saw that Coupon show watched it once didnt get how they saved so much
Title: Re: Coupon savings
Post by: Herbalpagan on May 04, 2011, 05:38:40 AM
One thing to remember is that when you have 3 or more months of food and supplies stocked up, you have enough in your rotation to not have to buy anything unless it's on sale or you have a coupon for it. This leads to being able to do a lot more profitable shopping!
Title: Re: Coupon savings
Post by: Komodo on May 04, 2011, 06:24:10 AM
Thanks for the link, Atrus138.  I have not heard of Angel Food Ministries, but it looks like a lot of food for the money.  I will definitely check them out soon.
Title: Re: Coupon savings
Post by: LvsChant on May 04, 2011, 07:49:41 AM
You'll find more links and money-saving ideas on the food board coupon thread here: http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=9116.0
Title: Re: Coupon savings
Post by: LJH on May 04, 2011, 02:57:49 PM
Maybe I need to revisit this whole coupon angle but I'm skeptical.

I've never had much success with couponing - 90% of the ones I see are for stuff I don't use (processed foods, overpriced brand names, cosmetics, kids stuff). The two grocery stores within an hour's drive do not accept internet coupons, our weekly paper does not have coupons and while I try to time our trips to Costco (2½ hrs., one-way) to their coupon booklets, it rarely works out because we only make that trip about three or four times a year.

I have tried subscribing to the St. George paper for the inserts but it was a waste of money - mostly crap I wouldn't use even if it were free.  :(  What do you guys get with the coupons you find?
Title: Re: Coupon savings
Post by: LICountryBoy on May 04, 2011, 05:44:15 PM
LJH,

The coupons around here have been slim pickins lately. Our Sunday paper has a lot but they are mostly for over processed crap or "chemical products" i.e. Hair sprays, cosmetics etc. I used to get 10 good coupons a week at least, now I am lucky to get 2.

There's always a Harbor Freight coupon page as of late. And when they are good coupons a lot of times it's save a dollar on two or more instead of 50 or 75 cents since the stores will double up to 99 cents but not a dollar.

I have the advantage, depending on how you look at it, of having 4 different stores within 2 miles.
I am also close to 2 others where I work so I have the ability to pick and choose sales.

Check the Costco website. BJs has printable coupons and there are usually a couple goodies like 3.75 off mccormick seasonings or 2.00 off peanut butter. And you can usually use 2 per transaction. So you can get 2 things of peanut butter with 2 coupons.

some of the people on the show use coupon clipping services where they pay a few cents per coupon and they will buy 50 and wait for the product to go on sale and then if the store doubles them, they are set.

One woman I saw contacted the newspaper depot and they drop off all the extra coupons that don't go into the newspapers so they don't have to recycle them. Other people dumpster dive behind places they sell newspapers or swap with people.


I hope this helps.
Title: Re: Coupon savings
Post by: LvsChant on May 04, 2011, 08:02:05 PM
I have never had the kind of luck others have described, but am giving it another shot. Apparently, the philosophy of couponing has to do with:

1) buying things you'll use at bottom dollar prices and stocking up when the target pricing is available
2) specials go in approximately 6 week cycles
3) coupons from newspapers and mailers and online printables come out in cycles that do not necessarily match when the store specials occur
4) by saving coupons and using online resources, match up coupons that have been issued with loss leader pricing at grocery stores to maximize savings
5) look for coupons in stores when shopping, collecting up several of items you would want to save for sales

Here is an example of a sale I got this weekend: Ronzoni pasta varieties were on sale at Kroger's for 99 cents when you buy at least 10 qualifying items. If you used a Kroger's card, you got them for $.50 each. I found printable coupons for Ronzoni pasta for $1.00 off when you buy two packages. I had enough coupons to buy 8 boxes of pasta with coupons for each. (I found two other items with coupons to make the other two items needed to make 10).

Calculations:  8 packages Ronzoni pasta:  $7.92
            less: Kroger card discount:            -$4.00
            less:  4 - $1.00 off coupons           -$4.00
                       Total cost on grocery bill:    -$.08 = -$.01 per package
modified because I had forgotten about the Kroger card discount

While I was there, I noticed there were $2.00 off coupons for Community coffee (which I like very much). It was not on sale, however, so I'll be saving the coupons I gathered and watching to see if Community coffee goes on sale there (or anywhere else, since the coupons were not store-specific) before they expire 5/31. The regular price on the coffee was $6.49/12 oz package. If I watch it and wait for it to go on sale for anywhere around $5.00-$5.50, it will be a very good deal. It's not terrible even at regular price with $2.00 off, but I'm hoping for better :D

This is just an example of how you can use those coupons to buy things you'll actually use in your home. I also have found that certain stores will double or triple coupons (not Walmart or commissary -- usually the more expensive grocery chains, like Publix or Kroger's). By using a $.25 off coupon that is tripled, you can nearly get a small bottle of Dawn dishwashing liquid for free in regular cycles... things like this are a good way to start with it. I'm still trying to get the hang of this, so I am no expert. Still, I can see how this will allow people to stock up on food items at very good prices.

If everyone did this, there would not be enough profit in it for the stores and manufacturers to continue it, but happily I don't see many people doing it in the stores when I am shopping, only a few hardy souls. I strongly recommend you pick a time to shop when the stores are not crowded if you are new to this... way too hard to gather your list and coupons if people are bumping your cart every few seconds.  Hope this helps...
Title: Re: Coupon savings
Post by: GryphonsClaw on June 03, 2011, 11:19:43 PM
I would add one of the easiest ways to get started is to tie your store savings card to an online account.  I went onto Safeway's site last week.  I registered my card and instantly I had more coupons available to me.  The cool thing is there is no clipping.  Just add them to your card, then Email the list to yourself from the web site.  Now using an Iphone just walk down the isles.  I ended up knocking $38 off a $75 grocery bill last week.
Title: Re: Coupon savings
Post by: kenser321 on June 23, 2011, 01:26:35 AM
Here's what I do and I think some of it has already been mentioned.

1. Ebay- I got 300 coupons for 12 dollars shipping included. I threw out 5, 2 of them were for Publix deals(we dont have a Publix). And the other 3 were for prunes. Most of the coupons were for a dollar off and a few buy one get one.

2. Blinkys(Coupons in the store in random location with the blinking lights.) I am finding these for pizza lately and with my schedule a pizza in the oven is the quickest thing I can think of.

3. .coms  Hip2save.com, coupondivas.com, southersavers.com. Also most of these websites have forums and a few have regional forums try and get on board with them. These websites do all the work for you with price matchups per store, but some of it is regional so you need to pay attention in the store.

4. Google Alerts- I set up a google alert for "Facebook Freebies". Any time the key words are found I get an e-mail. I have yet to use them yet because I am never home when the freebies are offered, and they often go quick. (I have my gmail on my cellphone and am alerted everytime I get an e-mail.) Most of the time they either give away so many freebies or they will let you access a link for a printable coupon.

5. Youtube- anything you want to know. I learned everything I need to know about couponing from Youtube.

6. Make a list of items and matched coupons. Only buy the items on the list. (I have a habit of something catching my eye and ending up in the cart.) Unless of course it's produce,meat,dairy, etc. stuff you don't always find coupons for that you would consume.

Best we have done yet with very very little prep is 75 dollars off a 200 dollar order. Im telling you we barely tried.

Also I wanted to point out please pay attention to what the coupon says. If the coupon says its for 1 can of beans do not buy a can of corn with it. Many manufacturers use the same barcodes. If you defraud the company by misusing barcodes some manufacturers won't reimburse the grocer and that's why you see more strict coupon policies. I would assume that if everyone did things the right way the grocer wouldn't care because they get reimbursed anyhow.

Finally I check the Sunday paper at work and clip the few out that I wan't. If it's a good week I may buy 1 or two more papers.

Title: Re: Coupon savings (long)
Post by: Prepper7 on June 23, 2011, 03:18:13 AM
Lots of helpful info in this thread. Here's my contribution.

In addition to using coupons and rebates, there are a few "rules" by which I shop. I've described them below and I've linked to sites where you can get excellent information about the concepts.

If you don't use it, don't buy it.

Exceptions:

1. The item is free or a money-maker and will push your purchase over a reward threshold. E.g., Rite-Aid offered a $20 savings reward for purchases totaling $100 in a particular period. I used free and money-maker items to increase my accumulated purchases enough to qualify for the $20.

2. You can give the items to those who are in need. I collect personal care items (shampoo, razors, skin care, toothpaste, toothbrushes, contact lens care, OTC meds, etc. to donate to groups that serve members of the armed forces or their families).

Don't shop for things you need now

You shop for immediate use items in your larder / pantry / storeroom and go shopping for items to stock your larder. This necessitates having a store of items, but don't despair, that will build up over time.

Shop sales and loss-leaders

Yes, even for staples such as bread, eggs, and milk. This is possible because I stock up on sale items (it helps to live in metro areas such as Los Angeles, where there is a great deal of grocery competition). Most times, if you looked in my shopping trolley, you'd think I had an eating disorder because there might be 10 boxes of mac & cheese, a dozen tins of diced tomatoes, 8 boxes of microwave popcorn (a weakness), and 5 boxes of plastic bags. Or 2 18-count cartons of eggs, 5 bottles of salad dressing, and 6 toothbrushes. And each week looks just as odd.

A word about name brands--

You don't have to buy name brands, though you might find that they can be more economical when using couponing techniques. I use Tide laundry detergent. It is significantly more expensive than generic or 2nd-tier products. So why do I buy Tide? Because 1. It consistently tops the Consumer Reports ratings for effectiveness (so I get clean clothes without having to use more than the recommended amount or having to rewash my laundry) and 2. there are frequent sales, promotions, and high-value coupons for name-brand products and by using them (mfg coupon + store coupon + rebate) along with $-off store rewards such as Register Rewards or ExtraCare Bucks, and my price book (see below), I can purchase Tide at prices that are lower than the sale price of generic detergent. Even if the price was equal, remember that price and cost are different.

Know the coupon policy where you shop

(This may sometimes appear to require an advanced degree :))  E.g., Safeway will only double the first of identical coupons. In order to get the maximum discount at stores with such a policy, you must divide your orders so that you don't have multiples of the same coupon in any order.

Don't be distracted at the register

You must pay attention in order to catch shenanigans such as: clerks not entering all your coupons, I've caught clerks in Target (there was a recent scandal regarding them cheating customers out of the value of some coupons with dodgy register programming) slipping some of my coupons beneath the register).

Registers not properly accepting your coupons (there is an error beep that will alert you. Sometimes clerks must manually adjust a coupon downward if it is for more than the price of the item; you'll get the item for free, but can't have a "profit". I caught a CVS clerk clearing the error but not giving me the coupon value and trying to pocket my coupon).

Sometimes honest mistakes occur or the clerks have not been properly trained on the official coupon policy.

Organize coupons for ease of location and access

There are many ways to organize coupons -- and no "right" way -- just customize the way that works best for you (you might need to try a few methods before you find the best fit). Southern Savers have the best descriptions of the various methods.

Know when a sale is really a sale

Each week, there is a colourful ad for the market, but not every item is on sale, and not every sale price is a good deal. In a given store, paper towels, salad dressing, ground beef, and pasta may be on sale 2-3 times a month and many more times during the year. They want to sell high and you want to buy low, but how do you know when to buy?

Sales Cycles and Stocking Up (http://www.southernsavers.com/learn/#sales-cycle)

To get the most saving on your purchases, you must know what the best prices are, the interval at which they appear, and where they are offered. This necessitates that you keep track of what you pay for your items. After a period of paying attention to this information, some of it will simply stick in your head (typically for the most frequently purchased items), but unless you posses an eidetic memory, you will need to use a price book. Don't panic, this isn't complex or particularly time consuming. The information you require is printed on your receipt. But since you don't want to have to sort through weeks or months of receipts every time you sit down to your make up your shopping list, you need to put it into an easy-to-use format.

Your price book can be a little spiral notebook, forms you downloaded, an online service, or a spreadsheet that you maintain on your computer. Electronic price books have the advantage of being searchable and sort-able and if you have a smartphone or PDA, you have the advantage of being able to see and enter information wherever you happen to be.

How to Develop a Price Book (http://www.familycorner.com/family/frugal/price_book.shtml)
Online Price Book w/ integrated grocery list and analysis (http://www.groceryhop.com/)
free downloadable price book spreadsheet (http://www.uncommonwaytowealth.com/excel-finance-spreadsheets/grocery-savings-spreadsheet-price-book/) (they have a more sophisticated version for sale and lots of other free spreadsheets.


Getting-Started Tutorials

Southern Savers (http://www.southernsavers.com/learn/)
Online Video Coupon Class (http://thefrugalfind.com/online-coupon-class/introduction)
Laura Williams Musings (http://laurawilliamsmusings.blogspot.com/2007/07/lauras-couponing-and-refunding-hints.html)
Couponing-101 (http://moneysavingqueen.com/January-2011/Couponing-101-How-to-Use-Your-Coupons)
another Couponing-101 (http://www.momsbyheart.net/2008/09/intro-to-couponing.html)

Deal / Match-up Sites

couponmom.com (http://www.couponmom.com)
dealseekingmom.com (http://www.dealseekingmom.com)
Southern Savers (http://www.southernsavers.com)

Coupon Databases

DSM (http://coupondatabase.dealseekingmom.com/main-database)
MSQ (http://moneysavingqueen.com/MyCoupon-Database)
Title: Re: Coupon savings
Post by: LvsChant on June 23, 2011, 05:43:52 AM
+1 Prepper7. There is some great information there!
Title: Re: Coupon savings
Post by: Prepper7 on June 25, 2011, 12:45:16 AM
+1 Prepper7. There is some great information there!
Happy to be of service.  :)
Title: Re: Coupon savings
Post by: ShannonB on July 12, 2011, 01:50:36 PM
Tricks&tips: If the UPC codes on two different products from the same manufacture math you can use them on one another, IE Delmonte corn coupons can be used on Delmonte greenbeans.
I'd just like to point out that this tip is a form of fraud and is in fcat against the law and punishable by a fine.

Always use your coupons for the items they are intended for.... Not the product pictures but the one written on the coupon.  There has been a lot of cracking down of the laws since Discovery started running the tv show Extreme Couponing.

Example of one of our favorites: $0.35 off ANY Tide (it has a large box pictured). I use it on the individual tide pouches for single load or the 3 pck of sink load. Both are $1.00 at my store. My store doubles up to $0.50 and triples up to $0.39.... So this one coupon makes my single load or sink packs free. We use these when we are camping alot.

I use coupons for everything. My family was spending about $600 a month on groceries. I have cut our budget to about $200 and i still have plenty to stockpile, i make donations to a local food bank, i take care packages to many of my friends, family and i look after a few of my elderly neighbors who are on tight fixed incomes.

Some items i NEVER pay for or never pay more than $0.25 for are: shampoo, conditioners, soaps, body washes, razors, pasta, sauces, toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, condiments, candy.

Cutting the costs of those items out of your grocery budget is a BIG help.  If anyone has any questions or needs any help couponing, please feel free to contact me.
Title: Re: Coupon savings
Post by: Morning Sunshine on July 12, 2011, 03:45:03 PM
saw this today, about folks coming down on couponers:

http://www.baltimoresun.com/business/money/bs-bz-ambrose-extreme-coupon-20110711,0,5186695.story

personally, I do not coupon.  Since I do not shop the middle of hte store except for non-sugar cereal (which is almost never on sale) or seasonings/spices, coupons are generally useless for me.  now if I started getting coupons for produce or chicken....
Title: Re: Coupon savings
Post by: LvsChant on July 12, 2011, 08:49:16 PM
Interesting article, MS. I have to say that the way I coupon, the "crackdown" would never affect me. I haven't ever cleared out an entire store's stock of an item and normally only ever have two of any one type of coupon at most. As for the B1G1 coupon doubling, none of the stores in my area will accept the situation they mentioned, although some of the couponing sites mention that method.

(Basically, for any non-couponers, this is a case where the store has a particular product on sale for B1G1 free. Stores around where I live are programmed such that the computer only recognizes one item being sold in this case (the second item was free, so you didn't pay for it). Apparently in some parts of the country, the programming was such that each item was charged as a sale at half price, so the computer recognized the transaction as two items sold. In this case, the computer would accept a coupon for each item, which occasionally meant that the items were both free to the customer.)

Being inconsiderate to other shoppers by completely wiping out all the sale items is not a good way to behave in general... and the stores and manufacturers are right to put a limit on how their programs can be used.

The TLC extreme couponing show notwithstanding, I am doubtful that couponing will take hold in the general populace because of the learning curve required at the outset. It isn't that hard, but does take paying good attention and organization. 
Title: Re: Coupon savings
Post by: Prepper7 on July 13, 2011, 03:42:07 PM
Being inconsiderate to other shoppers by completely wiping out all the sale items is not a good way to behave in general... and the stores and manufacturers are right to put a limit on how their programs can be used.

Amen to that! And such behaviour includes stealing the "peelies" (coupons attached to individual product packages) off items one is not purchasing.

The TLC extreme couponing show notwithstanding, I am doubtful that couponing will take hold in the general populace because of the learning curve required at the outset. It isn't that hard, but does take paying good attention and organization.

Sad, but true.
Title: Re: Coupon savings
Post by: kenser321 on July 18, 2011, 02:09:16 AM
I have to point out that my fiance and I only shop twice a month for groceries and we coupon. Extreming is hard if not impossible if you do it the legal way. So We do it the split order way. Their is two of us and two orders. We typically split the orders because we will use two of the same coupons alot of the time and thats not allowed on the same purchase depending on the coupon.

So the other day we did our normal mid month purchase and Weis Markets put out a new policy where any coupon over a dollar has to be manually overided by the Manager. Well the cashier was great, but the teenage manager was a bit of a knucklehead and raised his voice to my fiance. I considered boiling over and letting the punk manager know what I thought about his attitude, but decided that he was only mad at the policy his company has. Long story short I asked my fiance politely to relax and that we would talk about it later which led to the employees apologizing to us repeatedly. Needless to say I took the brunt of it when we got in the car.

We typically spend $200 every two weeks, but end up with about $300 worth of groceries thanks to paying attention to sales and couponing. It really doesn't take long to get a few days worth of extra food. It has taken us about 6 months to get around 3 months worth of food. Including dog food, cat food, cat litter, and paper towels. My next goal is to get at least a 6 month supply of toilet paper.
Title: Re: Coupon savings
Post by: LvsChant on July 18, 2011, 05:40:43 AM
Good for you, Kenser. You're a good coupon ambassador...
Title: Re: Coupon savings
Post by: ShannonB on August 01, 2011, 11:28:16 PM
Heads up if your albertsons has kraft bbq sauce as part of their 10's sale going on.

$0.78 each if you buy 10 sale items. Knock another $5 if you buy 10 more.

Albertsons had a Back to School flyer last month with a $1.00 off 2 coupon. Makes the first 10 $0.28 each. So thats $2.80 for 10 bbq sauces, about the price of two regular price.
Title: Re: Coupon savings
Post by: Sawzall on August 09, 2011, 09:57:31 PM
New to the forum so forgive me if my post isn't done properly.  I noticed most of the posts here where for food items, but I thought I'd mention something else.  Never ever purchase anything online without a coupon.   I use Amazon.com to find what I want to buy.  Pick out what you want and then take notice that when you select a product on Amazon the web site tells you on the bottom who Amazon ships from, or who the supplier is.  Then proceed to the supplier's web page.  Immediately that generally affords you a $1-2 cheaper price.  Then just do a google search for something like "store name coupons."  Example: I just purchased something for my classroom from a store called Unbeatable Sales.  The original item was $124 on Amazon plus $20 in shipping.  I then proceeded to the supplier's website which had the item for $119 and only $15 for shipping.  I then google searched "Unbeatable Sales Coupons" and got a 10% off plus discounted shipping coupon.  My final price was $99.31 about $50 less than Amazon.

Also, we went to Kohl's this past weekend and I asked the lady if I could use an in store coupon from the internet if I didn't print it, I just pulled it up on my iphone.  She asked what the coupon was and I said 20% off and she didn't even ask to see the coupon she just took 20% off.  So don't forget to always search for an in store coupon on the internet before visiting your local store, or just pull it up on your smart phone once you're at the store.  You could even search for product coupons on your phone once your at the store and depending on the store policy they may or may not accept it.  Be wary too because some store have better internet coupons than mailed printed coupons.  I picked up a coupon at Michaels for Michaels Craft store for 20% off for the Veteran's day sale but they had a 25% off in store purchase coupon listed on their website for the same sale!

Always remember to google search coupons for your travel too on things like car rentals and even flights sometimes. 

Bottom Line:  If your checking out from an online store and it has a spot to enter a coupon code, then you should google search till you have a code to put in it!



-that's five!
Title: Re: Coupon savings
Post by: LvsChant on August 10, 2011, 08:03:34 AM
+1 Sawzall... thanks for the tips. I wouldn't have thought of couponing for some of those things!
Title: Re: Coupon savings
Post by: PorcupineKate on September 10, 2012, 10:12:11 AM
The Dollar Tree has just started taking Manufactures coupons.   

There may be some really good deals this way.  Be careful to make sure the package sizes match up!
Title: Re: Coupon savings
Post by: Mystidawn on November 05, 2012, 09:58:47 AM
The holiday season is always a good time to coupon and stock up on items, because every company out there is competing for your money with coupons, sales and rebates. There are rebate sites on the net that will tell you what items or companies have rebates listed currectly, so you can find the coupons and match it to sales to save money. I know some people hate messing with rebates because you don't see the money savings immediately, but you will and it can save you a LOT of money.

My favorite coupon website is http://coupondivas.com/coupon-matchups.html (http://coupondivas.com/coupon-matchups.html) You can go there and choose the stores that you normally shop at, and it will tell you the best deals to get for that week's sale. It works even better if you shop at more than one store. They also have a mailing list that alerts you to daily deals at stores and online. They also post free samples for "rare" and "high value" coupons that you can print off, like chicken and organic produce.

I saw some people say they can't get coupons because they live in a small town, and their papers don't have coupon inserts. You will never find coupons in your small town local paper, only in the large big name city papers.  Here is what you need to do... go to a national chain store, such as *cringes* Wal-mart, or Kroger. They usually carry other papers, like The New York Times. You want to buy the newspaper for the nearest BIG city. My aunt out in no man's land can pick up a copy of The Columbus Dispatch to obtain coupons. You just have to find out which store nearest you, carries it.

http://www.swagbucks.com/ (http://www.swagbucks.com/) This is a site I recommend using if you plan on ever printing your coupons. I don't have time to explain it all, but basically you earn points by printing your coupons through them. They also give you points for using their search system. You can cash in these points for gift cards... to buy more printer ink! Also remember if you print coupons, that you are generally allowed to print two coupons per computer and laptop. CouponDivas also has a coupon search engine so you can look up coupons, and they will tell you where to find them, or print them off.

If a store has a sale for Buy One, Get One you are generally allowed to use two coupons, but read your coupons carefully to find out for sure.
If you have two Buy One, Get One Free Coupons, you can use two, and get both items for free at certain stores.
These are just two tricks of the trade.. there are others.
The single most important thing you can do in regards to couponing, is find, print and read the coupons policies for the stores you shop at. The 5 minutes it takes can save you thousands of dollars a year and keep your family well prepared and stocked up in case of emergencies.
Title: Re: Coupon savings
Post by: Mystidawn on November 12, 2012, 09:31:51 AM
I thought I would add that you can often get your coupons for free if you visit a convenience store first thing Monday. Stores generally tally up the papers they don't sell, and get them ready to be thrown out. You can just ask for the extras. People often ask for the old newspapers for puppy training, so it's not a strange request at all.

http://www.sundaycouponpreview.com/ (http://www.sundaycouponpreview.com/) This website shows you what the coupons will be a day or two before the Sunday paper is sold. This allows you to better plan your shopping trip, or even decide if you want to buy the paper for that week. You may find high value coupons, and decided you need to buy even more newspapers than normal to get advantage of all the sales. It also will alert you as to when there won't be any coupons, generally around the holidays. Plus it can let you know if there are any extra coupons for that week, like the monthly Proctor & Gamble one, or one from Pepsi, or Target.

Title: Re: Coupon savings
Post by: Downeastwaves on February 20, 2013, 07:18:46 PM
Thanks for the hints. We watched a couple episodes of Extreme Couponing show on TV and got to work. Last week we saved $7.50 on 60 bucks of groceries and I was some happy! We do not have stores that double coupons around here. I had a buck off some peanuts at walmart, gave the coupon up front with the bottle. The clerk rang us thru and then said oops, I missed the coupon, maybe next week. I was not pleased. We had to stand in line at the service desk to get the buck back. Next time I will pay attention before we pay!
Title: Re: Coupon savings
Post by: LvsChant on February 25, 2013, 08:13:09 PM
Our local paper has pretty lame coupons (small town), but I have found huge savings on most things just by watching the sales ads each weekend. When there is a sale on anything we use, I stock up big time (at least 6 weeks' worth to last until it likely will go on discount again). Since we moved back home and I've been helping my parents do their grocery shopping, Mom says she has noticed a big drop in her cost for groceries (about half, she says). I have her pantry and freezer well-stocked and organized to rotate.

Coupons are good when they work, but the loss leaders at the local stores make a huge difference, too.
Title: Re: Coupon savings
Post by: PorcupineKate on February 26, 2013, 09:35:17 AM


Coupons are good when they work, but the loss leaders at the local stores make a huge difference, too.

I love loss leader sales. The best is the few rare times I can use a coupon with it.

Curad.com currently has a printable pdf coupon for $.50 off any product.  This coupon is good till 12/31/13.  It is a great way to add to the first aid kit.  Print some out for the summer sales.
http://www.curad.com/docs/CuradOnlineCoupon_2012-2013.pdf
Title: Re: Coupon savings
Post by: Downeastwaves on February 27, 2013, 06:41:44 AM
I love loss leader sales. The best is the few rare times I can use a coupon with it.

Curad.com currently has a printable pdf coupon for $.50 off any product.  This coupon is good till 12/31/13.  It is a great way to add to the first aid kit.  Print some out for the summer sales.
http://www.curad.com/docs/CuradOnlineCoupon_2012-2013.pdf

Hi PK and thanks for the coupon link. We totally agree about the store sales. We only have 1 grocery store here on the island and there are 2 grocery and walmart (the small one until fall, it is being converted to a super store) that are about 40 minute drive (oneway)

We've been trying hard the past couple of years to stock a good pantry. We are pretty much to the point where we just shop the sales at each store--except for fresh stuff. In the summer we rely on our garden and I've been learning how to dehydrate some of the harvest.

The coupons are a fun twist! Do not often see coupons that last more than a month so this one is nice. Hopefully the Curad brand will come on sale between now and December!

DEW
Title: Re: Coupon savings
Post by: Oxymoron02 on October 24, 2013, 07:32:52 AM
There's some pretty good guidance here, but let me toss out a few more ideas.  :D

I do use some e-coupon sites that don't come off at the register, which means you can use a paper coupon AND get the e-coupon credit.  The e-coupon money adds up over time, and when you hit the minimum disbursement ($5-10, depending on the site) you can request payment.  Some pay by paper check, some by direct deposit, some by paypal, etc.

Upromise.com  I've been a Upromise member since Oct 2001, and they rock.  In addition to grocery e-coupons, they offer cash back on your online shopping if you shop through their website.  You link your grocery & drug store cards to your Upromise, load e-coupons and shop as usual.  There's an email every time there's new coupons, you just need to go load them.  They market themself as a way to save for college, but there is no requirement to do so, you don't even need to have kids, and they'll just send you a check.  They process checks quarterly, if you ask for one, and, last I checked, the minimum amount you need to request a withdrawal is $10 (used to be $5, check the current rules before withdrawing).  Using the online shopping, with more stores offering shop online pick up in store, I've earned a couple bucks this year already just keeping my husband ordering online when he realizes he needs to run to Lowes for screws or a new bit or sandpaper or whatever.  And it saves money because he's not browsing, his needs are waiting at the front of the store for pick up.  :D

Savingstar.com  I've been doing Savingstar for almost 2 years now.  I got right on board when I saw them start their own e-coupons because Savingstar actually manages Upromise's e-coupon program, so I had faith.  The e-coupons don't come off at the register, but they add up in your Savingstar account, and once you've hit $5 you can request pay-out.  They do paypal, and I think Amazon GCs.  Just link your grocery & drug store cards on Savingstar, load e-coupons, and shop as usual.  I've been preferring Savingstar to Upromise for my grocery e-coupons because Savingstar has a smartphone app, and I can check for new e-coupons and check the e-coupon list from my smartphone (no printing a list or relying on my memory in the store).

There's also Ibotta, but you have to use a device to do Ibotta (smartphone, iPad, etc).  Savingstar and Upromise can both be done from just your computer.  I've not yet done Ibotta.  Mostly Ibotta requires you to photograph the product barcode and receipt after loading the offer.  They've recently added a few stores that you can load your store card info like Upromise and Savingstar.  Ibotta frequently wants you to watch videos, post to FB, etc to increase your e-coupon value.

I really like Savingstar and Upromise.  It's a level of security against my husband's shopping habits.  "I was out of deodorant, and it was BOGO at CVS so I bought 2."  *sigh*  I have a year's stock, and I have coupons, but at least he used the CVS card, and it was BOGO, and I had a 50 cent e-coupon on Savingstar.  Could have been worse.
Title: Re: Coupon savings
Post by: Dainty on November 28, 2013, 01:57:47 AM
Bump.

I was glad to find this thread. This past week I was introduced to the show Extreme Couponing and was pretty amazed by the idea of getting stuff entirely for free or even moneymakers. I couldn't help seeing all those stockpiles acquired for free or pennies and thinking this has got to be a legitimate prepping strategy.

My goals would likely be different than most people's as I'm not interested in getting stuff I don't genuinely use. But for the occasional instant stockpile of a free item it makes a lot more sense to me than the "pick up a few extra at a time while you're in the store" strategy, as I otherwise find in-store purchases a waste of time and energy.

The article MS linked to mentions clearing shelves, but I saw one episode where instead of doing so the couponer called beforehand to order a certain total of that item, which was then brought out on pallets when requested. She mentioned it was a courtesy to the store, and also to other customers hoping to score a deal on the item.

I'll be sifting through the tips in this thread, but actual couponing will probably go on the back burner for now for now, unfortunately. If this house had color ink cartridges I'd be saving several dollars on a staple food item for me via printable coupons, but alas...
Title: Re: Coupon savings
Post by: Oxymoron02 on December 03, 2013, 02:24:36 PM
This past week I was introduced to the show Extreme Couponing and was pretty amazed by the idea of getting stuff entirely for free or even moneymakers. I couldn't help seeing all those stockpiles acquired for free or pennies and thinking this has got to be a legitimate prepping strategy.

My goals would likely be different than most people's as I'm not interested in getting stuff I don't genuinely use. But for the occasional instant stockpile of a free item it makes a lot more sense to me than the "pick up a few extra at a time while you're in the store" strategy, as I otherwise find in-store purchases a waste of time and energy.

The article MS linked to mentions clearing shelves, but I saw one episode where instead of doing so the couponer called beforehand to order a certain total of that item, which was then brought out on pallets when requested. She mentioned it was a courtesy to the store, and also to other customers hoping to score a deal on the item.

I'll be sifting through the tips in this thread, but actual couponing will probably go on the back burner for now for now, unfortunately. If this house had color ink cartridges I'd be saving several dollars on a staple food item for me via printable coupons, but alas...

Like most TV, the show is sensationalized, so take it with a grain of salt.  For example, there's one episode where the woman (who's name escapes me, but she went shopping with her teenager daughter who rolled her eyes the whole show) went to Lowes Foods.  Lowes Foods coupon policy states that you can use up to 4 identical coupons per household per day, and they limit you to doubling 20 coupons per day.  Forget doubling, they will not accept a fifth identical coupon, not even for face value.  Lowes Foods broke their own rules by letting her do what she did, and those of us couponers in Lowes Foods country complained so loudly that they apologized and promised never to let that show in one of their stores again.  Most of the stores where I live have very strict coupon policies.  Kroger, which stopped doubling coupons back in May, will only accept 5 of the same coupon per day.

If you're thinking about getting into couponing, start by playing the drugstore game.  Nothing inspires like a little success, and the drugstores make it pretty simple.  Many drugstore deals don't even require you to have coupons.  CVS is, IMNSHO, the easiest to learn if there's one near you.

Find your store's coupon policy, print it out, commit it to memory (OK, not really), know what you're doing.  If the store policies near you are similar to the store policies near me, picking up a few extra when you shop may be how you have to coupon.  Oh, and get your hands on their rain check policy.  If it's a deal, and they're out, you can get a rain check and pick it up next week, or next month, hopefully before your coupon expires.  Some of the stores near me have rain checks that never expire.  I get rain checks for stuff that's an "eh" deal that they're out of because it may be "eh" today, but ask me again in 2 years and it may be a spectacular price.

Placing an order is touch and go.  I've tried it.  When the product comes in before the sale week is over, it's good.  When it doesn't, not so much.  And if you're smacking up against the store's coupon policy restrictions, is there really a point to special ordering 5 of something?  Not really, no.  I do special order from time to time, usually when something I don't have a coupon for is on an epic sale and they're out.  Rain check + special order = good.

You can print coupons in black and white.
Title: Re: Coupon savings
Post by: Fyrsprite on July 17, 2014, 10:37:24 AM
I've been using SwagBucks to make my coupons go even further.  They have a link on their site where you can print out all the coupons that coupons.com has, but you get an extra 10 SB (ten cents) per coupon used, on top of the coupon's value.  As many coupons as I can go through in a shopping trip, it adds up.  I've been using my swagbucks for Amazon gift certificates to buy permaculture books. 

I don't waste time with the surveys, which give out too much info IMO and aren't worth my time in the first place.  But this has been extra money back for something I already do. 

Ibotta has been great as well.  Every little bit helps, and as long as it's not a ton of hoops that I have to jump through I'm all for it.
Title: Re: Coupon savings
Post by: BillyL on December 03, 2017, 12:01:43 AM
I got a book from the library years ago about decreasing your cost of living ... while still living a good life. One of the chapters was on couponing. The author claimed that you could save 50% to 70% on your grocery bill each month if you were consistent with it. I decided to put her to the test and was pretty serious for the next 6 months or so about finding, organizing, and using coupons. I can tell you that you can get amazing results! I often got 70% off after doubling coupons and using coupons on sale items. I had several shopping trips where I literally paid nothing for a cart full of groceries and even had them give me a few dollars when I checked out, because the total their register was a negative amount! It was incredible how quickly our food reserve grew (and how inexpensively). I will tell you, that it took a TON of time to figure out the best place and time to use each coupon, to cut and organize the coupons, and to do the actual shopping at multiple stores.

The thing that really made my couponing impactful, was the volume of coupons that I shopped with. I would find PDF coupons and print them as many times as I could (usually twice per device) from as many devices as possible. I also found that I could gather extra coupon inserts from recycling bins near my home. I found that a local paper boy would throw his unopened extra Sunday papers in one particular bin every Monday, so I made a habit of pulling them out, removing the coupon inserts, and then taking the remainder of the paper back to the bin. I would sometime end up with more than 100 copies of the same coupon circular that way. What that meant, is that when I found a really amazing deal on some product, I could often buy 100 of them ... not just one or two!

There are some really fantastic couponing sites that will match up store sales with coupons, saving you huge amounts of time. I'd strongly recommend finding and subscribing to a service like that. It shouldn't cost more than $5 or so per month, and you can usually cancel anytime.
Title: Re: Coupon savings
Post by: LvsChant on December 03, 2017, 10:34:32 AM
Welcome, Billy L! I love hearing about your positive experience with couponing... you have done really well!!! I don't really have access to the type of coupons in the newspapers that you do (relatively small town without many of the coupons offered in bigger cities), but your tips for those who live in a more heavily populated area are great! Glad you are here! I really love the coupon site southernsavers.com for matching up coupons with store sales...