Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Coupon Clipping Information

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:
-Shortcuts.com
-Cellfire
-P&G esavers

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
-Centsible Sawyer
-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!

13 comments:

The Dutsons said...

Have you heard of couponmom.com? I love it, it takes all the work out for me. After you register your email, you go to "grocery deals by state." select store and she has given an organized sheet of deals and matching coupons that you can adjust by price brand or percentage you save on item. The only flaw is that she doesn't include e-coupons. Check it out if you haven't.

Audra said...

Alison,

Great site! I signed up! Thank you!

Mark and Mandy said...

Got to put my 2 cents in on this one...I can't recommend highly enough working the CVS/Walgreens systems. It will take some practice...and a few mistakes...but it is so much fun! I had to take a break for awhile because I was just getting so much "stuff!" For example, last week at CVS I got Coppertone Nutrashield sunscreen and a 4 color neutrogena eyeshadow for $1.69 and got $4 ECB back. The week before I got a Shick Quattro razor (have a cabinet shelf full of those!), Herbal Essences shampoo, Colgate Total (won't pay for toothpaste for years!), an eyeliner pencil, and a 12 pack of Mtn. Dew (for my addicted husband) for $1.28 and got $5 ECB back. Like you said in your post, plenty of people make a full time job out of these kinds of deals. It's incredible. I'm just in it for the fun of it! Also, the part about collecting multiple coupons is KEY to take advantage of some deals and really stock up on others. Can you tell I LOVE using coupons these days? Ok. Done now.

Mark and Mandy said...

Wow. That was a lot. It's me again...have you hit up the Kroger MegaSaver event this week? We don't have a Kroger here, but I'm going to make the trip tomorrow to one to try my grand plan! By the way, my couple of examples were meant to be just examples of these lovely systems, not bragging on what a genius I am. One more thing from me and I'll stop filling up your comments. I've only been doing this since March and have already been "burnt out" on it once already. Don't get too obsessive with it or it's not fun anymore. Ok. Bye again.

Audra said...

Oh Mandy, I love your comments! You make me wanna start with CVS or Walgreens. Which is easier?? Do you have a preference?? What sites do you use to give you the deals? Or do you do them on your own? Hm...Prolly should have written you an email about this instead!

I worked 4 hours yesterday on my Kroger MegaSale stuff! Got my list, my clipped coupons, printed coupons, and downloaded coupons! Hitting them up after Drew's bedtime tonight! Can't wait!!!

Amy said...

Question for you Audra...do you ever get a lot of good deals on fresh milk? The best I have found on milk is at Publix for $2.89 a gallon (with no added hormones). They also occasionally send me baby coupons including ones for milk...but not very often.

Audra said...

Amy--I never get my milk for much less than what you quoted. I'm not sure if you jumped on the CVS/Walgreens train if you could get better deals. Sorry. Wish I could help you more there!

Amy said...

Well, I guess that means I am getting a good deal! I just wish they had coupons for milk so I could get it almost for free!!

JobandBrittany said...

this walgreens stuff seems overwhelming!! i want to learn how to do it but all these initials and the points, etc. i need a tutorial!

Susan said...

I found your blog and I have a question for you about Kroger doubling coupons. When it says double coupons 60 cents or less...does that mean they will double a 30 cent coupon up to 60 cents or they will double a 60 cent coupon up to 1.20? Thanks. I am just getting started.

Audra Laney said...

Susan--Glad you stopped by! I hope this comment finds you on here! When Kroger says they'll double coupons up to 60 cents, it means any paper coupon which is for 60 cents or less, they will double. For example:

a 30 cents off coupon will double to 60 cents off the item

a 45 cents off coupon will double to 90 cents off the item

a 60 cent off coupon will double to 1.20 off the item

a 65 cent coupon will not double. you will simply get 65 cents off the product as stated on the manufacturer's coupon

Does that help? Clear as mud?

Susan said...

Thanks! That makes perfect sense! Now off to find coupons that don't say "Do not Double!" Off to do our first shopping trip tomorrow.

Audra Laney said...

Ah! Susan! Wait! Kroger will still double manufacturer's coupons even if the coupon says 'do not double.' Don't want you to miss out on saving money!

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