Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Grocery Shopping Coupons

I started clipping coupons in October of this past year. I was just trying to save a bit on our grocery bill per month and I kept reading blogs of people that were doing it and saving 40-50% (or more) on their grocery bills each week. I am not a pro by any means, but I've had a few people ask so I thought I'd share what I know. I subscribe to the Sunday paper, which is the best source for coupons. You are looking for the red plum and smart source coupon inserts. I got a good deal starting out at $1.47 per paper by using a coupon code link (that you can find when you purchase a full price $2 paper in the store). If there are great coupons that week you can buy numerous papers to help you get more, but mostly I'd stick to one especially if you are just starting out. Our local paper is the AJC, but just get the biggest paper you see available in your area. You can also check out www.coupons.com for online printable coupons. You can only print twice per computer (hit the back button once you have printed to refresh for your second print).

Next you will need an organizer for all your coupons. I cut the coupons that I know I will use, but then also keep the rest of them in case a great deal comes up and I can go back and grab them. I use a photo organizer that I got from Michaels for the coupons. You can use just about anything, but make sure it has tabs so you can organize by category. Here is a photo of mine.
The way to get the best deals is to use your store ad for the week and pair the sales with the coupons for extra savings. This can be time consuming so there are shortcuts! This is where the coupon/money saving blogs that I read come into play. They do all the work for you! They match up the store deals with coupons and tell you what date the coupons come from. For local South East shoppers the blog I love to read is http://www.southernsavers.com/category/kroger/. You can also use http://www.frugalcouponliving.com/category/store-deals/. She has a list of most all the stores and where you can find your local store deals.
Kroger this week is doing a March to Savings sale. The big hype with this event is if you buy 8 items, from a list of specific ones, then you get $4 off your total order instantly at check out.  If you haven't done so yet, they have an online game that you can play every day from now until April 6 for a chance to win prizes. I have already won a free California Pizza Kitchen frozen pizza. They also have $5 off your total order, which I'm hoping to get. You don't win everyday but once every 3-4 days. You will have to sign up and enter information about your Kroger card because these deals get automatically loaded on them.

Some of the hot items that are on sale this week are: Diced tomatoes for $.24 each using $1 off 4 cans newspaper coupon, Irish Springs soap for $.49 each using $1/2 Irish Spring newspaper coupon, $.99 Motts Apple Juice, $1.27 Bacon using 2 $1.50 Oscar Mayer Bacon Coupons, and BOGO Beef Roast…comes out to $1.99/lb.

Also, Some stores double coupons up to $.50 so if you have a coupon for $.50 off of something then they will give you a bonus match of $.50 for $1 off! This is very important in getting the best deals. Our Kroger here in Georgia doubles most coupons (i did have an issue this weekend with printable online coupons), but if you are shopping with a lot of groceries and a bunch of coupons then it will work 95% off the time. Our Publix also matches coupons up to $.50, so check with your local store, google it, or read your local coupon matching blogs for more info.

Final Tips- Always go with a detailed list. You can bring your coupon organizer or I just write my list on an envelope and put the coupons in the envelope. Leave extra time, before coupons I could shop in 45 mins, now it takes me 1.5 hours with David's help. Sometimes I wait every 2 weeks to do major coupon shopping since it takes so much prep work and just get essential stuff on the off weeks. Don't get discouraged, you can start off with a few coupons and try it out. Let me know if you have any other questions that I forgot to address. Happy Shopping! Pin It

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