Author Topic: Coupon savings  (Read 41364 times)

Offline rawdog1

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Coupon savings
« 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
« Last Edit: May 12, 2009, 07:35:02 PM by DeltaEchoVictor »

Offline Dene B.

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Re: Coupon savings
« Reply #1 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.


Offline DeltaEchoVictor

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Re: Coupon savings
« Reply #2 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.

Offline oregoncactus

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Re: Coupon savings
« Reply #3 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

Offline Stein

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Re: Coupon savings
« Reply #4 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.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2009, 12:48:04 PM by Stein »

Offline Morning Sunshine

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Re: Coupon savings
« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2009, 01:34:35 PM »
we had the lady from 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!

Offline oregoncactus

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Re: Coupon savings
« Reply #6 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

Offline Herbalpagan

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Re: Coupon savings
« Reply #7 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!

Offline nafterize

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Re: Coupon savings
« Reply #8 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?

mudhole

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Re: Coupon savings
« Reply #9 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[/url] :-\
 

jenny sue

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Re: Coupon savings
« Reply #10 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.


Offline summer98

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Re: Coupon savings
« Reply #11 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.

Offline LICountryBoy

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Re: Coupon savings
« Reply #12 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

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/

Just my 2 cents.

Hope it helps

Offline sassiesmom

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Re: Coupon savings
« Reply #13 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!

Offline Dene B.

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Re: Coupon savings
« Reply #14 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.

 



Offline swoods

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Re: Coupon savings
« Reply #15 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!!  :)


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Re: Coupon savings
« Reply #16 on: January 06, 2010, 01:41:59 PM »
Great tips.  Thanks everyone.

matthewpaul

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Re: Coupon savings
« Reply #17 on: January 27, 2010, 04:04:02 PM »
Anytime I buy something online, I visit 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.

Offline atrus138

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Re: Coupon savings
« Reply #18 on: February 04, 2010, 02:15:39 PM »
For those of you with tight budgets, check out Angel Food Ministries:
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

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.

Offline PreperationH

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Re: Coupon savings
« Reply #19 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


Offline smuglydawg

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Re: Coupon savings
« Reply #20 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

Offline Herbalpagan

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Re: Coupon savings
« Reply #21 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!

Offline Komodo

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Re: Coupon savings
« Reply #22 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.

Offline LvsChant

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Re: Coupon savings
« Reply #23 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

Offline LJH

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Re: Coupon savings
« Reply #24 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?

Offline LICountryBoy

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Re: Coupon savings
« Reply #25 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.

Offline LvsChant

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Re: Coupon savings
« Reply #26 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...
« Last Edit: May 06, 2011, 07:05:31 PM by LvsChant »

Offline GryphonsClaw

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Re: Coupon savings
« Reply #27 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.

Offline kenser321

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Re: Coupon savings
« Reply #28 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.


Offline Prepper7

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Re: Coupon savings (long)
« Reply #29 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

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
Online Price Book w/ integrated grocery list and analysis
free downloadable price book spreadsheet (they have a more sophisticated version for sale and lots of other free spreadsheets.


Getting-Started Tutorials

Southern Savers
Online Video Coupon Class
Laura Williams Musings
Couponing-101
another Couponing-101

Deal / Match-up Sites

couponmom.com
dealseekingmom.com
Southern Savers

Coupon Databases

DSM
MSQ