Lately it seems there has been a revival on using coupons – in a BIG way. This isn’t your ordinary using a coupon when your store is running a sale, this is crazy couponing that can cut your grocery bill by over 90%. You read that right. If you watch any of the coupon videos we have posted here, then you will see women save even more than 90%. How do they do it? Now, that part is not so simple – but it can be done. Just ask the Coupon Queen (watch the video at the bottom of this post)
How it’s done – Basically
Saving money with coupons is work, but work that can pay fairly well if you figure it by the hour. The more you do it, the less time it will take you, but figure on spending at least 3-5 hours every week putting it all together at the beginning. Like a job, more time = more money. Collecting enough coupons will also take some time, and some searching out the best sources, but… the more coupons you have the more you will save! Having the right coupons on hand when the right store is offering the sale is key.
I’m not a coupon-guru, but have been matching coupons and store sales for over 30 years.After researching this coupon phenomenon, I’ve decided it’s just taking it to a deeper level. Spend the time, you’ll save the cash – along with experience.
Basically start with these steps:
- Find local stores that will double coupons and take more than one coupon for an item. Using a columnar pad sheet or Excel on your computer, start your list.
- Once you have your list of stores written down along with their coupon policies, then you will want to find the best way to get their weekly sales flyer. Note the dates the flyer typical comes out.
- Start accumulating truckloads of coupons. A few ways to do this would be to ask your neighbors and friends to pass along their stray coupons, buy the Sunday paper, and if all else fails, buy them off of Ebay. There are many websites that will list best coupon finds, but this is a bottomless pit you have to decide how much time you will spend searching for coupons. We listed a few websites at the bottom of this post that offer printable coupons.
- Organize your coupons. Here is a video that shows an efficient way to organize your coupons with a binder you create yourself:
Now, there are two stores that are mentioned frequently that seem to be where many of these amazing stories are really from. CVS Pharmacy and Walgreens both have in store programs that compound ways you can save. Watch this video from Coupon Mom and you’ll see what I mean:
Don’t have time to do all this work?
I hear you. Over the years, it seems there are seasons of life that you have more time than money, and other seasons you have more money than time. Regardless, most of us still want to save money anyway we can. The best way that I’ve found to make the most of your grocery dollar is with Walmart’s Comp program – especially if you live in a more rural area that driving from store to store isn’t practical. That may not be the official name of Walmart’s program, but it’s where Walmart will ‘comp’ any sale price that you can offer proof of the price. This way, I sit down with all the local ads (I pull Kroger’s off the internet and print them out-just make sure the date is somewhere on the print out) and write down the best price for every item that I need for that week. Often, I will even use whatever meat is on sale to plan that week’s menu. Then, I’ll match whatever coupons to the sales, and I’m off to the store. Just don’t forget your sale ads, most Walmarts won’t give you the sale price without it.
For items available at CVS and Walgreens, if you have one close by, I would look into that, too. We don’t have one by us, so it’s not something I’ve tried….yet. (plan to, though!)
Stockpile the best sales
Our final tip is to begin your grocery back stock if you haven’t already. I know that most budgets don’t have much wiggle room, but if you are saving anything at all with your coupon efforts, take that extra money and buy extra of items that are the best deals. Many of the videos I’ve listed here show outrageously stocked pantries, and that is where much of the saving takes place. It’s those emergency trips to the store for a forgotten item at full price that can burst your savings bubble! I really hate paying full price for anything.
Websites to find coupons and savings:
Southern Saver – If you live in the SE part of the US, this is absolutely your best coupon site! Even if you live elsewhere, SS has lots of info on how to coupon from the ground up.
Kroger – you can view current sales, click on the items you want and print a list in only a few minutes. There are also coupons you can download to your Kroger Card if you tend to forget them.
Coupons.com – THE coupon site, you can scroll through hundreds of available coupons easily and print the ones you want.
The Parent Rewards Card – An amazing way to save on non-food items and activities
Coupon Mom – Check out her entire system and database of deals and coupons. You will probably find the most information here. She also has a book that has made the NY Times Bestseller List – The Coupon Mom’s Guide to Cutting Your Grocery Bills in Half: The Strategic Shopping Method Proven to Slash Food and Drugstore Costs.
Cool Savings – One of the top coupon sites online, a little too much advertising, but a concentrated source of coupons!
Pinching Your Pennies.com – a great blog with useful advice and the latest coupons
Here’s the Coupon Queen: