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Friday
Jun252010

Couponing 101: Part Two

You have your coupons clipped and organized. But before you head out to the store, you first need to come up with your game plan.

 

1. The savings formula

You will get your biggest savings by following this formula:

coupon + sale + rebate= big savings

Not every item you buy will have a rebate offer though. Rebate offers tend to be offered on new products or "new and improved products".

If you shop at a store that doubles coupons, that is even better!

2. Make sure you have a frequent shopper card

Whether you are shopping at your local grocery store or chain drugstore, be sure to sign up for their frequent shopper card.

3. Make a list

Many people plan their weekly menus around what is on sale. Some focus on stocking up on loss leaders (those items usually in the front page of the ad that are offered at deep discount to get you to come into the store). I tend to do a little of both- stock up and plan my menu around the flier.

Lots of stores now offer 10/$10 items. For example, Meijer and sometimes Giant Eagle, offer 10/$10 items. Match these sales with coupons and you have a really good deal! For example, if Barilla pasta is $1 a box, and you have a 50 cents off 1 coupon, you get that item for free.

4. Stick to the list

It can be very tempting to add other items to your cart besides ones of the list. But try and stick with it. The exception is when you see an unexpected good deal, like roaster chickens on sale. Then if you find the price is excellent, stock up!

5. Keep those Catalinas

I love Catalina coupons (they print at the cash register at the end of the order). Most people throw them away, but before you do that, take a look and make sure it isn't for something you can't use! And Catalina coupons aren't just $ off products. Pampers, for example, will print out a Catalina coupon with a Pampers Rewards code on it.

6. Everyone can be a Coupon Queen

Ever see those "coupon queens" on tv who get $100 of groceries for $20? ANYONE can do it, here is how.  The secret is they are stocking up on loss leaders with coupons. They also use free coupons, they've gotten from the Sunday paper or from the companies themselves. But they never seem to explain that part! Really, there is no big "secret" to this whole process. All it takes is a little planning.

 

PART 3: Organize Your Pantry/Stockpile

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