Couponing Basics for the Beginner

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Every money savvy mom has spent time racking her brain trying to figure out how to be that Extreme Couponer. The one where we have 6 carts of stuff and only pay $2 for $500 in groceries that those ladies on that show seem to do so easily.

Cracking the code of becoming an extreme couponer has always been on my mind. And if you are reading this, you also feel the stress of saving money and trying to get the most for your money at the grocery store. It’s unfair. The store is set up basically to make us fail and give them all of our money. How many times have we all gone to the grocery store to buy a few items and ended up with 10 more things you had zero intention of getting?

It’s their marketing plan and if you have your kids with you they have strategically placed items in their site either from the cart or at their 3 foot something level to beg you to buy.

It feels like one big conspiracy against moms trying to save a buck. So then comes the coupons if you are organized and dedicated enough to take the time to clip and work them with your store. Not everyone has the patience to make coupons work for their grocery trip, and the stores count on those people who don’t feel like fooling with searching and cutting and organizing coupons to save that extra buck. I’ve had friends who have said to me “I need to learn how to do that I just never think about it”. I’m like “Whaaat? You don’t think about saving money on food when you are buying for your entire family?”

I remember I used to take a diaper coupon and a couple other coupons for some food items but I didn’t make it a priority to save and get the most out of my shopping trip. Now its a weekly challenge to get all I need and some extras thanks to the coupons.

It took me weeks of planning and cutting and looking at websites and circulars to actually save a few dollars and feel like I was “one upping” the grocery store. It felt like the corporate people wanted me to be broke and have a grocery cart full of their products every other day because I had to keep coming back for more stuff. Once you get in a routine for the stores you shop frequently you will start to see the savings add up.

Here are my couponing basics to get you started with your couponing journey. Please message me in the contact section with any questions or suggestions you may have to make something better that I have shared with you.

Your 3 main coupon inserts that come out in the Sunday paper, not always together are:
Smart Source, Red Plum, P&G Brandsaver. Coupons.com offer great printables also you can print 2 of each coupon.

The only time the Sunday paper will NOT have coupons is on a weekend that falls right after a holiday.

There are a few basic needs you should have if you are serious about getting started couponing. You need: a printer, a laptop or computer, a plastic binder with dividers and labels, your local newspapers including any store flyers you are interested in shopping.  Organization is key to save money and beat the store prices. There are also lots of couponing specific blogs that will match up current coupons with weekly deals at your local stores to help with your shopping.

Here is the 3 ring binder I purchased at Walmart for about $5 and the 10 packs of trading card pages were about $4 a piece and literally placed under the binders on the shelves for the coupon mom to grab and go. I figured I would be looking all over for the sleeves and they were right in front of me.

I am a frequent Kroger shopper, so I categorize mine according to the aisles in the store. If you write down on paper the store you frequently get your groceries from it makes shopping so much easier with your coupons in the sleeves appropriately aligned with each aisle you are walking through.

Kroger also makes it easy with their digital coupons you can access very easily from their store app. They provide store brand coupons AND best customer coupons which include free stuff and money off of produce and meat on occasion also. They do not double, they stopped a few years ago which really threw a wrench in my couponing excursions, but I have made the best of it utilizing the digital coupons.

Everything in the grocery store has been strategically placed to make you buy more. If you have your mission with your list and coupons ready you won’t be temped by throwing extra items in your cart. And never ever ever go to the grocery store hungry. That will always cost you an extra $50.

Every store has a website you can go to so you can review their coupon policy. Make sure you know if they double, how many coupons per item they will take and if there is any sort of a coupon limit. They all have their own policies but usually quite similar. You have to be your own warrior in the grocery store and beat their prices.

The BEST feeling in the world is when the cashier hands you back with your receipt with all the deductions from your hard work. Start organizing your binder TODAY with the coupons from the weekend paper, print up all you can and get saving. I recommend buying 2-4 newspapers on a Sunday to really stock up your coupons. It’s totally up to you how much or how little you want to work with. Good Luck Ladies!

 

Another great money saving tool to use is Instacart.

This is literally grocery shopping from HOME with a small delivery fee and if you want to tip the person delivering your items. When you sign up the stores you can use are listed for you, most likely close to your location and places you shop every week. You get to pick every item you need without all the extras in your face at the store that add up more than you wanted to buy in the first place.

Super convenient and there is a time limit also that your delivery person has to get it to you, so it will be delivered in a timely manner then you get to rate the person delivering. It’s simple and easy to use check it out here:

 

Send me a message and let me know your best couponing tips! Hope this post has helped you get started, don’t wait another day to get the most from your money.

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