To summarize my Get Into The Coupon Game: Clip, Organize, & Save! blog, I talked about putting together a coupon binder as well as cutting and organizing coupons. We are ready to move on to the next step.
On Wednesday mornings, I pull all the grocery ads from the newspaper (there are usually coupons included). If you don’t get the newspaper, you can ask to be placed on the mailing list for all the grocery stores–most will be happy to mail you a weekly ad. I go through each ad and write down their best deals for the week. All of the stores lower their prices on certain items to pull you into their store, and we want to take advantage of them.
After I have gone through the ads, I prepare my weekly menu and grocery list based on the sales and what’s in season. Watch for future blogs on menu and recipe ideas. Take advantage of seasonal buys. During November, I stock up on turkey, which can be as little as $5.00. After Christmas, the hams go on sale–Carol and I bought several at 75% off last year and froze them.
Sunday is my day to cut out all my coupons at which time I also pull any coupons that correspond with the items on sale for that week. Monday morning, I am organized and ready to shop with my lists, coupons and my reusable shopping bags. I start with the store the furthest away from me and work my way back towards home. Because I am organized, it does not take me long to run through all the stores on my list. I also map out any errands I have to make sure that I am not doubling back and wasting gas.
Don’t forget to take your coupon binder with you into every grocery store. You never know when there may be an unadvertised special or something clearanced that you may have a coupon for. Watch very closely as they ring you up; without a doubt there will be mistakes made and it is your job to catch them. I never leave the store without taking a look at my receipt. If I find a mistake, I make sure they correct it before I leave. Remember, we are trying to hang on to our money, not give it away!
I use to be a brand snob, using only certain brands because I thought they were better–that is not true in most cases. Don’t be afraid to try something new in a different brand (especially with a coupon) or try the store or generic brands. There is not that big of a difference, if any. Also, most stores have a section for outdated food or day old bread–don’t forget to check it out. Many times it is only a day or two past the expiration date, but still perfectly good.
When I get home with the groceries, everyone wants to know how much I spent–even my husband is proud of me knowing how much I can save when buying groceries. And of course, on my best shopping days, I have to phone my friends and brag about my latest steal. I pat myself on the back and start plotting my next trip to the grocery store.
If you have never used coupons, it is time to get in the game. If you use coupons, share some of your tips and ideas with us. As much as we think we know, we can always learn more! Happy Shopping!