I've had so many people ask me for information on coupon clipping & saving money lately. There are hundreds of sites out there dedicated to this very thing, but I thought I would give you MY condensed version since some of the sites seem to overwhelm a person who is just starting. (Yeah, I walked that road of feeling overwhelmed!)
I cannot do this without a disclaimer. Please note: there are people out there who know how to work the Kroger/CVS/Walgreens/Rite Aid/Target game to a "t!" They save hundreds and hundreds of dollars a month! I am not one of them. I mainly stick with 2 stores and find most of my deals on other websites. They take the work out for me. However, it does end up saving me ate least 80 dollars a month. Hey...that's 80 dollars I can do something else with! So with that said...
1. Start with one store. Walgreens and CVS really boggle my mind (even now), so I started with just Kroger. There are many other grocery stores who double or even triple coupons, so if Kroger isn't in your area, keep looking! If you're up for more of a challenge, you can give one of the drugstores a whirl! Target is super easy to start out with since they don't double coupons and the deals are straight forward.
2. Clip your paper coupons. Buy several copies of the paper or get your relatives or friends to save the coupons for you. These mainly come from: the Sunday paper, redplum (mailed out flyer), mailed out coupons from companies (as you sign up for their samples, coupons on their sites, they send you more coupons), and SmartSource (another mailed out flyer). You can also sign up on Kroger's website to receive their coupons which they mail to your home (Register-Sign in-My Account-My Profile). Using WalMart's sample page will also gain you coupons as the free samples roll in! Coupons.com will allow you to print coupons online!
3. Download your coupons to your card's account (ie your Kroger card). This is how you can end up getting free items. Places like Kroger allow you to use a paper coupon AND a downloaded coupon for the same item. Example: (from Southernsavers.com)
Pillsbury Grands! Biscuits, Crescents or Cinnamon Rolls 8-16.3 oz, .99¢ ea
-$1/2 Pillsbury Grands! Biscuits printable or printable (these links are inactive on my page, but this simply means you can print your coupons online!)
-$1/2 Grands! Biscuits Shortcuts eCoupon (downloaded to card) (use with $1/2 coupon makes both FREE)
Sites to use for downloading coupons:
You'll just need your Kroger card!
4. Know your store's rules. Kroger doubles coupons. I believe it's Fred's who triples coupons on Saturdays. I've read of Kroger stores in Nashville who triple coupons! Ask the cashier how many coupons you can use on one item. 1 paper one per item? 2? This is important! Also, if Kroger has a 2/$5 deal, that doesn't mean you are required to purchase two of that item to get them at 2.50 each. You can just buy one and get the deal!
5. Don't do all the hard work yourself! There are SO MANY women out there who post deals for so many different stores. They find all the deals, so all you have to do is drag out your coupons, download them to your card, and make out a grocery list! These are some of my favorites:
-SouthernSavers (posts many grocery store's deals every week! My favorite!)
-Mommy Snacks (linked to 'A Beginner's Guide to Saving')
-Money Saving Mom
-Faithful Provisions (thanks for the link, Marie!)
All of these ladies have different tutorials, money saving deals, and advice on their pages. It takes time to learn!
6. Organize your coupons. When I go into the store I have my coupons separated into 4 envelopes: food, personal care, home care, and medicinal. Within each envelope, I try to organize the coupons: dry products, refrigerated, freezer section, breakfast items, etc. It just makes it easier that specific coupn when I'm in the store. As I place the item in my cart, I remove the coupon from the envelope and place it in a stack inside my purse. Other people use a folder system, a box, etc. But this works for me!
I hope this has given some of you a little insight and might help you to save hard earned money for your families! If you're already doing this and have more tips, please feel free to share!