I'm back! We've been moved in for about a week or so now, but I've been busy, busy unpacking. I'm trying to get my sewing room unpacked and put back together and then I'll be hitting it with new pattern designs and handmades too, but in the meantime here is the last part of the couponing info for you all. Thank you to everyone who comes and visits and reads. I appreciate it!
How to Use Those Coupons
Ok, now that we have our coupons and they are all neatly organized into our coupon binders how do we best use them.
A coupon is good on average for about 6 weeks before it expires. The key is to save the coupon until the item comes on sale at the grocery store. Sale items have a cycle of approx every 4 weeks to every 12 weeks, so most likely sometime in the lifetime of your coupon it’s item will be on sale and that is the time to use it.
For instance I bought Ritz crackers for .99--the big box--not a little bitty box. They were regularly priced at 3.99 a box. On sale for 1.99 a box and my coupon was $2 off of 2 boxes, so that made them .99 each for a savings of 6.00!
Watch your grocery ads for in-store coupons and then use your manufacturer’s coupon along with the in-store coupon to save even more and yes the majority of stores do allow this. What they don’t allow is using 2 manufacturer’s coupons on the same item.
Combining your coupons with sales and or in-store coupons is called layering your coupons and that is how you will get the optimal amount of savings from them.
If you have a store in your area that does double or even triple coupons then you have a gold mine!
Watch your grocery ads and plan your menus around what is on sale and stock up on what is on sale. It does take a bit of doing in the beginning to get that stockpile going and you will most likely even spend a bit more, but it will eventually get to the point where you’ll have your own well stocked pantry to pull from.
Watch your grocery stores ads and find out if they come out on Sunday or Wednesday and make sure to buy the paper for that day.
Did you know that not all sale items are posted in the sale ads. This was news to me too. They simply do not have enough room to list everything, so this is where a Price Tracking Website comes in handy.
There are 2 that I like…..
Pinching Your Pennies and Coupon Mom
On both of these you can find your state and then a list of stores in your area. The website will have a full listing of the current grocery sales and it will show you if there is a coupon available--they also have a link for each item that will take you to an online coupon if there is one available--and it will break down your savings. This is a great tool to help you organize your shopping trip.
A few extra tips……
Look in the meat department for reduced priced meats. There is nothing wrong with these meats they are just at or near their last date to sell and they must be moved, so stores will discount them anywhere from a few dollars to 50% off. Take them home and freeze them and enjoy the savings.
Drop Shopping---Drop shopping is when someone has a coupon they don’t need and they leave it next to the item it belongs too. This is a good way to find a coupon you might use and it’s a good way to get rid of the coupons that you won’t be using.
Outdated coupons--Did you know that military bases and food banks can use coupons up to 6 months after they expire. First contact the military base or food bank of your choice to make sure that they participate in this and see what their requirements are. It’s a great way to dispose of your expired coupons and help others out at the same time.
Coupon Train--A Coupon Train is a group of people that exchange coupons with each other usually via snail mail. The basic rules are that once you have your group--you decide the size that you would like it to be--there is a Conductor and the Conductor starts the train by mailing a mass of clipped coupons--not expired to the first person on the list. Person #1 goes through the coupons and removes what she wants and then replaces at least the number of coupons that she took--adding more is even better and highly suggested. Then she mails the envelope full of coupons onto the next person and so forth and finally the Caboose will mail back to the Conductor who then pulls her coupons of choice and then everyone repeats the process over and over again. Also each person is responsible for checking for expired coupons and pulling those out of circulation. These groups can be done locally or cross country.
I hope everyone has enjoyed this as much as I have and has learned as much as well. I know I’ve learned a lot and I’m still learning, so make sure to Google for even more coupon sites and info and Happy Savings!