I have had many requests to write a blog series explaining how I use coupons to maximize my grocery savings so I am going to attempt to put my coupon class into a series of blog posts. I am sure you will have questions if you are completely new to couponing so please feel free to either post them in the comments section or email me directly, I would love to help clarify anything. Five years ago when I first got married I subscribed to the Sunday newspaper in order to get coupons. We were really poor and I thought they would help me save, long story short they did not help me save. I found the store brand to almost always be cheaper so I gave up and stopped subscribing. I determined that coupons were only useful if you were brand loyal so I decided it was a lost cause and never thought of coupons again. Then two years ago I discovered the CVS game and soon realized that there was a whole side of couponing I did not know existed.
To get started you will obviously need coupons and there are several places to get them, the most obvious being the Sunday newspaper. If you do not already subscribe start. Having the paper delivered to your house is cheaper than buying it at the store and often you can get deals. I currently pay $.99 per Sunday paper and get 3 delivered. That’s right I get 3 newspapers delivered, I have found that in order to maximize your savings you should have 1 Sunday newspaper per adult in the house ( 2 young kids = 1 adult). Every time I see a special for the Sunday paper for $.99 I call and have them add another subscription onto the end of current one so I keep my great price steady. Another great place to get coupons is the internet. Internet coupons are great and offer a very inexpensive way of gaining access to often rare or high value coupons. There are many sites where you can get coupons to print such as Coupons.com, Red Plum, Betty Crocker, Smart Source, and Pillsbury and now you can even load coupons on your grocery reward cards at sites like www.cellfire.com, www.shortcuts.com, and P&G Everyday Solutions. You can also go to specific brand websites and Facebook pages to get coupons.
Another idea is to write to companies that you love, tell them how you feel and often they will send you coupons. Another way to get coupons is by purchasing them online at places like Ebay. Yet another coupon resource are your friends, family members and neighbors. Ask them to trade coupons with you, most likely your mother-in-law doesn’ t need diaper coupons and maybe you don’t have a pet so you can trade. Lastly you can get store specific coupons from their website. Stores such as Meijer and Target offer store coupons that can be combined with manufacture coupons making for great deals. When you are getting coupons online you will often be asked for an email address I suggest setting up a new email account for just this purpose. You can use any number of places to get a free account and simply scan and delete once a week. Be sure to never use your real date of birth, they just want to verify you are over 18 and I suggest only using your real address if the coupon is being mailed. When you print a coupon called a Bricks coupon you will see a little printer flashing while the coupon prints, these coupons can be printed twice by simply hitting the back button. In order for the coupons to print usable barcodes you will need to install coupon printing software, this is free and you will be walked through the process the first time you try to print coupons.
Now that you have more coupons that you know what to do with you need to organize them. My next post will be all about organizing your new coupon collection.