My rising grocery bill has brought me to a new adventure: couponing. I AM CLUELESS. Some women just have a knack for it.
One friend of mine, Ashley Alliman, has that knack. Here she guest posts on some tips for the coupon-illiterate like myself.
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In this weakened economy, persistent inflation and an ever-more draining pocketbook, couponing has become a necessity to survive.
Becoming a wife and realizing the shrinking value of the dollar, I began to get creative. My mother was the type who never went to the grocery store without her coupon book. I’m not going to sugar coat it; it is time consuming, but completely rewarding.
Here are some how-to-coupon for beginners tips that are easy and will save you a bundle:
· My husband and I were able to get our hands on a wonderful piece of technology, Android cell phones, that allow us to download multiple applications including one handy app, Coupons, where I was able to scroll through thousands of products, by alphabetical order and offers available through a certain time period. I could download the coupon and either e-mail it to myself to print or the cashier could just take the promotion code straight from my phone.
· Common grocery stores are now offering double your manufactures coupon in weekly ads. With these coupons, you can pair them with specific product coupons and receive, typically, up to $0.50 back per coupon. Manufacturer coupons are widely accepted at both national chain and local grocery stores and the best place to find them is in your paper or online. Do your research and combine these manufacturer coupons with grocery store coupons and to maximize your buying power.
· I also discovered thekrazycouponlady.com. Here I am able to scroll through thousands of items anywhere from medicines to food and various cleaning products, etc… that are currently offering a coupon. You can select multiple coupons, store them in your “cart” and when complete, you then check out and this prompts the site to send all of the selected coupons to your email address for a print-ready option. If this is not your style, you can go to each individual manufacturer’s websites of the products you seek (where they generally always have some kind of coupon option) and print! Simple as that! If you are not the tech-savvy type, manufacturers coupons can usually be found on the label (or inside packaging) of many products.
· For a quick organizing tip: clip your specific coupons and pair with double your manufacturer’s coupon. Also, group food items together and household items together which makes it easier for you to work your way down the aisles without having to back-track. Now be aware, some manufacturer’s coupons may say “cannot be doubled,” in which you will only receive the discount of the specific coupon.
· Back to basics: go through your Sunday newspaper or if you know someone that gets it, ask if you can have it when they are done. Also check out free coupon/advertisement papers and your local grocery store coupon books.
· If you do not have your stores coupon book before going, when you go inside either look for it or ask someone. Being that my mother gets our Costco coupon book, I have to go in and ask for it, then spend time looking to see if anything on my list matches up or can be exchanged for the item in the coupon.
Couponing can be a fun and rewarding experience. There is something so exciting about finding an item already on sale and STILL receiving, for example, $1.00 off, plus an additional $0.50 off with your double manufacturer’s coupon. If you’re an experienced extreme couponer, you may have to make multiple transactions at the checkout lane, but receive many products for nearly no cost to you!
Couponing will save you money as long as you are still going off your shopping list. Just because you found a great deal does not mean you need to buy it! Make a grocery list and then look for coupons or if you see a good item on sale, think of what item off your list you can exchange it for or a new dinner recipe you can make. There is no point in having 20 cans of black beans that were .10 each if you don’t use them.