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Updated on February 4, 2009

Spend Less Money on Food and Get More

This is for those of you who DON'T know how to make coupons work for you to the max! I am going to tell you how to make your next trip to the grocery store exciting. Yes, it is very exciting when you learn how to get freebies and pay just pennies for other items.

I watched a television show some years ago and I believe it was Oprah Winfrey. The guest on the show was a lady telling her story about saving hundreds of dollars per month using coupons. I thought yeah, sure. It would be years later before I discovered how she did it and that she was in fact telling the truth.

I found a book on the subject and read. I found out where and how to get extra coupons. So, I set out on my first "coupon" expedition. I went to a Kroger grocery store. I spent about 30 minutes shopping. The cashier rung up the total and then I proudly handed her my coupons. After deducting them all, she looked at me and shrieked. She almost passed out and so did I. There was an adrenalin rush! My heart was literally palpitating as I paid her $6.75 for $98 worth of groceries. It is a wonder I did not get a speeding ticket racing home to call my husband. I had to tell him THREE times what the deal was before it registered in his brain. He was in total disbelief. Thus, my coupon addiction started.

To get started, you have to get your hands on at least 10 sets of coupon books from each Sunday's paper. You can use less but more enables you to have extra stash. How do you do this. Well, I was lucky. I found a newspaper carrier who happened to dump leftover newspapers early Monday mornings in a recycle bin down from my home. I would reach in and take the coupons from each paper and return all papers to the recycle bin. Sometimes, I would get 30 sets and share with friends. The more the better.

Here is how it all works: Buy an organizer that has tabs so that you can label them - how you label is up to you. Examples: Mine has categories such as: all canned goods, dairy, frozen entrees, frozen veggies, household cleaners, etc. Next, you must get your coupons together. The easiest way for me was to take all books apart - making piles with like pages. Then, I would use a stapler to staple the same coupons together. Next, cut. Then I would put them in my organizer under the category that best fit the coupon. When using them, I would just snatch one or two or whatever from the stapeled bundle. This is much easier than sifting through coupons. Bundles of the same coupons, stapled together are much quicker and easier to get to when you are standing in the middle of an aisle.

Okay, you have them all together, neatly placed in your organizer. Now, here are the "tricks". First of all NEVER EVER use a coupon just because you have one. If you use them this way, you will spend more money instead of saving money. Unless there is an item that you absolutely have to have, then get it and use your coupon. Otherwise, ONLY apply your coupons towards SALE items. This is the biggest trick to the whole deal. AND sometimes sale items even with the coupon do not offer me enough of a deal. So, I just hang onto them until the sales on those particular items get better.

Some examples of how coupons can save you money from my own experiences are: Say, you have $.50 coupons for Rice-A-Roni and it is on sale for $.99/box. IF y ou are shopping in a grocery store that DOUBLES coupons (AND THIS IS A MUST - USE YOUR COUPONS IN STORES THAT DOUBLE) then you are going to get the Rice-A-Roni FREE!! Getting excited? Keep reading. Often times cereal will be on sale for $1.00/box. Sometimes my coupons are already $1.00 each or even at $.50 - which will be doubled, I GET FREE CEREAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Are you getting this?

Of course you can't get everything for free. But, if you do use your coupons along with your common sense, you can still save alot of money. If an item were reduced to $3.00 and your coupon will enable you to get $1.00 off, then it is worth it - depending on what the item is.

I could write a book about couponing but I will stop here. I hope you enjoy my article. Have fun with your coupons, girls, and save, save, save. You will get alot more for your money! Remember, as you hold each coupon in your hand, it is the same as money!


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