This post is for the beginner’s and maybe not so much a beginner couponer. It is intended to give you the basic tips on how to lower your grocery bill anywhere from 40% up to even 90%. This is the place to start. Let me tell you how! This is also 100% my opinion.
Get Organized! Organization is key to couponing. Start with a binder, baseball card sleeve, and dividers to keep your coupons in order.
RP = Red Plum (Sunday’s insert)
SS = Smart Source (Sunday’s insert)
P&G = Procter & Gamble ( First sunday of every month)
”Get Coupons”! There are several ways to get your coupons. You can start by getting:
- Sunday’s Newspaper (Sunday Newspaper Subscription)
- Coupon Clipping Service (Coupon Dede, or TheCouponClippers) That’s my fave!
- Catalina Printable
- Tear pads/ Blinkie
- Magazines (”All You”) Has tons… of great coupons!
Coupon lingo! Get familiar with these terms You will see them ALOT!
- Bogo = Buy one get one free
- B2G1= Buy two get one free
- Mfr = Manufacturer coupon
- OOP= Out of pocket
- MM = Money Maker ( it’s free / overage)
- ISO = In search of ( looking for a particular coupon)
- Blinkie = Coupon dispenser with a red blinking light
- DND = Do Not Double
- OOS = Out of stock
- Peelie = Peel off the product
- Tear pad = Stack of coupons attach to the display, or the shelf
- GC = Gift card
- IVC = Instant value coupon
- MIR = Mail in rebate
- Exp = Expires
- ECB = Extra care bucks, CVS loyalty cards ( sign up if your not already)
- RR = Registered rewards Walgreens
- R = Regional coupon
- Stacking = Using both a in-store coupon and a manufacturer coupon on one item
- WYB = when you buy
- e-coupons = are coupons that you load onto your loyalty card or smart phone. Then it’s deducted at check out when you make a qualifying purchase.
When and how to use your coupons. This is crucial information if you want to be successful. Here are a few tips:
- It’s very tempting to rush out and and use your coupons. DON’T….wait. That’s what stores want you to do. Don’t use your coupons on full price items. Wait for items to go on sale so you are able to get your items at rock bottom prices. However, if you have decided to use your coupons online then you should definitely check out sites like, Deals4Boomers to see if you can get any more discounts! A note to make is that you should buy something that you have wanted for a while because you know that you will actually use it and therefore get your money’s worth. There are many places you can get a good deal from though, you just have to find the right one for you. This means having to look around for example you might want to look at a website like PromoCodeWatch.com just in case this has something more suited to your needs.
- Sale cycles run between 6-8 weeeks in my area. Stores that I shop at usually run every six weeks. Check with your stores to find out their sale cycle.
- Sales around the holidays. example: Summer months usually have condiments such as ketchup, mustard, mayo, BBq sauce at rock bottom prices. That’s the time to stock up.
- There are several things you must watch for when using coupons. Expiration dates. Most stores will not take them so be mindful of the dates. And be careful not to cut the dates off. They will not be accepted.
- Coupon restriction is being enforced. More than ever due to the popular TV show ”Extreme Couponing.” Quantity, size, brand, will be looked at carefully.
If a product you want is ”out of stock ” most stores will give you a raincheck that will never expire. SOME STORES NOT ALL! Publix will be very happy to give you a raincheck 30 days at a time. In other words if the product is not there within the 30 days. Just bring back the raincheck before the 30 days are up. They will extend it for another 30 days.
Coupon blogging sites are the most absolutely helpful thing since slice bread. They do most of the planning of the deals for you. These sites match sales with the coupon. Its perfect when planning your next shopping trip. Here are a few of my go-to sites that I use before I plan my trip.
Ibotta is FREE… mobile app that you can download on to your smart phone or tablet. All you do is sign up choose your rebate and complete 3 tasks. Shop and redeem. The best part you get cash. That’s right you’re still saving. You earn money that can be transferred to your paypal or venmo account as soon as you earn $5.00. Go to Ibotta.com to sign up today!
- FAVADO.COM ( One of my fave’s) This is FREE… app you can download on your smart phone. It helps you find the very best deals at ”Rock Bottom” prices. This app is nationwide and it gives you a quick search and finds out which local store has the lowest price for the items you purchase each week. It’s that simple. Perfect for busy families who are on the go!
Questions to ask your store before you start:
- Does your store double
- Does your store triple
- Does your store take competitor coupons
- Does your store take expired coupons (* If your military overseas they take expired coupons up to 6 months)
- Does your store take Printable ( Most stores are starting not to accept them any longer)
- Can you stack coupons ( Using a store coupon with a mfr coupon)
Ethics while using coupons:
- Don’t photo copy coupons
- Don’t intentionally use expired coupons
- Don’t go against store coupon policy
- Use only coupons on intended items
- Use legitimate coupons (e-mail pdf file is not legit)