Organizing for Shopping - How I use my Coupons

First, I would like to say that it is fun using coupons and doesn't have to be a huge pain in the booty! You can succeed without really trying, which is always exciting and helps your monthly bottom line.

Here are the tips I have:

1. NEVER SKIP A WEEK BUYING THE COUPONS.
  • I use TaylorTown coupon preview to be sure there are inserts and which kind. http://www.taylortownpreview.com/ -- There are links for each week's coupons and also a yearly calendar to know when there are coupons and when there are none (major holidays usually don't have coupons).
  • If there are only the SmartSource (SS) and RedPlum (RP) inserts for a particular week, then I get 4 Sunday papers (and check to be sure all inserts are in there before I leave the store). If there is Proctor and Gamble (PG, usually at the beginning of a month) or extra coupon inserts, then I get more (6 is usually my max).
2. YOU DON'T HAVE TO CLIP THE COUPONS OUT EACH WEEK.
  • I take each insert and make a mega-insert by combining the like pages and keeping one large insert for each type (one mega for SS and one for RP, etc). I write the date on the top of the mega-insert and keep them in chronological order with the oldest insert at the top.
  • http://frugalsuz.blogspot.com/2009/05/coupon-organization-frugalsuz-style.html - This is the link that shows the same organizing style I use, but I do not do anything paste making the mega-inserts.
3. I HAVE FOUND TRIED AND TRUE SOURCES FOR THE BEST DEALS AT PUBLIX, CVS,
AND WALGREENS (WAG) EACH WEEK.
  • I do NOT find each deal myself. I use other people's information to match sale prices and coupons that are out there to make my money go further.
  • Publix - www.southernsavers.com - Just click on the box that says Publix and look for the blog post with the correct dates. Sales change on Thursday, she puts the shopping list up and I usually go print out my info on Wednesdays so I am ready on Thursday afternoon. Since that is when the deal is newest, I like to shop Thursdays because normally everything is still in stock. NOTE - Publix will give you a raincheck, which is great if you get there and they are out, but you have coupons that won't expire for a while.
  • CVS & WAG - www.frugalsuz.blogspot.com - Each week, my lovely friend Suz will post a blog that talks about the upcoming week's deals at both CVS and Walgreens. Again, she tells you which insert the coupons are in and all you have to do is make a list of what items you'd like with the coupons.
4. PRINT OUT YOUR DEALS.
  • Publix - Southern Savers has a unique shopping list that will allow you to only select each deal you'd like, and she includes the coupon insert type (SS, RP, PG etc) and the date. You can print your list on your computer. She also includes printables from competitors like Target and Food Lion and also printable coupons from the web.
  • CVS/WAG - I cut and paste the deals frugalsuz talks about into a notepad file, then delete ones I'm not interested in, and use that list at the store.
5. CLIP YOUR COUPONS!
  • Cut out the coupons from your mega-inserts that you need to bring to the store, which match your deals.
6. PUT YOUR DEALS WITH COUPONS IN YOUR PURSE/BAG/CAR
  • I paperclip the coupons to my shopping list and leave it in my purse for Thursday afternoons at Publix, and Sunday mornings at CVS/WAG.
Tips for each store:
  • Publix
  1. Get rainchecks if they are out of stock.
  2. Use Competitor coupons. They'll take Register Rewards (RR) from WAG, Target Q, Food Lion Q, and any other type of grocery store coupon as long as you have one relatively close by.
  • CVS
  1. Hand your coupons over to the cashier in this order: $5/15 ($X amount off $X purchase) CVS Q, ECB, Manufaucturer Q.
  2. My CVS will take any expired CVS coupons, including the fantastic Extra Care Bucks (ECBs).
  • WAG
  1. Hand your coupons over to the cashier in this order: RR, Manufacturer Q, in-store coupons.
  2. Walgreens advertises that Register Rewards/RR's can be used like cash, but they are actually manufacturing coupons that are only good at WAG (or in my case at Publix, too).
  3. The catch is that you can't "roll" RR's to something made by the same manufacturer. Rolling is when you buy an item, get a reward, and use that reward to buy more of the same item, then get another reward. At WAG, you won't get the second reward. You WILL get a second reward at CVS, as long as you haven't reached your limit.
  4. You can only NOT roll to the same manufacturer's items. For example, if I bought a Gillette razor, got RR, and then used that RR to buy a Kellogg's deal for more RR, it WILL give me more RR. It is based on the MANUFACTURER.
  5. They have a strict coupon rule: # of items must be greater or equal to the number of coupons (although their store coupons do not contribute to this count).

3 comments:

  • frugalsuz | July 19, 2010 at 3:04 PM

    Thanks for the shout out! :)

  • JTR | July 24, 2010 at 2:30 AM

    Sorry to put this here, but couldn't find an email to contact you by. I am a mom of five, trying to get a blog started about my savings and freebies I find online. I have been blogging since April, and enjoy it a lot. Any advice would be much appreciated! I am trying to get a blog directory going at CouponNewbie.com. Would you consider joining it? The blogroll can be found at http://coupon-newbie-blogroll.blogspot.com/ and I would appreciate it if you would take a look.

    I also would be interested in linking to your button at the bottom of the blogroll.

    Jessica Roberts

  • Sara @ Russet Street Reno | August 25, 2010 at 1:33 PM

    Oh my gosh, I could never do all this. You are my hero, I just buy on sale and hope I don't go broke! haha

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