The Basics

100_7002Since venturing into the coupon world I have had several people ask me, “Can you teach me how to do that?”

Sure, it is not difficult.  ‘Couponing’ just takes some time and planning.

Below are the steps that I go through each week to save some major money on THE FAMILY’s grocery budget.

1.  Check out the sale ads in your Sunday paper or online.

I usually only do this for the few stores near my home that I regularly visit.  I have two small children so going to 5 or 6 stores just doesn’t make sense for me.  If you have more freedom and really want to save, check out all the stores near you.  Sometimes you may find better deals at another store across town.

I simply look through the ads noting what is on sale.  If a particular item has a great price that week, then I will try to stock up on that item for use over the next few weeks.

2.  Clip all your coupons and organize them.

Clip ALL the coupons you see.

I learned this early on. I would skip some coupons thinking I really would not use them.  Then to my dismay, there would be a great sale at one of my local stores.  If I had clipped a particular coupon, I could have “purchased” the product for FREE or even made money on it.  (YES, that very possible and quite common).  SO CLIP EVERYTHING!!!

Do not forget to grab coupons while you are shopping. Most grocery stores have coupons on display and “blinkies”. Even if you won’t use them on that trip grab them and save them for later. ( I once got soy milk for $.37/half gallon for a whole month by doing this!)

Also, don’t forget about printable coupons. Some people cringe at using a lot of ink and paper to print coupons. If you are one of them check out these tips for saving a little of both.

3.  Plan your Menu and be willing to adjust your menu according to the coupons you have.

4.  Make your grocery list and select your coupons.

Once you have planned your menu make your shopping lists for each store. Make an envelope for each specific store at which you are shopping. Put your list and all the coupons that you are using at that specific store in its own envelope.   This organization and separation will make shopping much more efficient.

5.  Stick to the list!

For the most part this is the rule. However, like most rules, breaking them is good.  I have been known take all my coupons to Kroger and Target with me because you can find some great deals that way. Clearance and mark down items (which are on the aisle endcaps on the perimeter of the store at Target) can make for some great finds.