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Saving Money on Groceries with Coupons

Updated on February 23, 2015
Rosie writes profile image

Rosie is a library media specialist. An avid reader and life-long learner, Rosie enjoys sharing her knowledge and expertise in many areas.

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The Most Important Thing About Couponing

Don't waste your time! The first time I decided to try out coupons (about a year ago), I began collecting them from every source I could. I went on a clipping frenzy, cutting every coupon I thought I might possibly use out. Then spent hours sorting them into categories and squeezing them into a series of baseball card holders. Finally I placed them in a large binder. Well that was a complete waste of time. Since then, I have learned how unnecessary this time spent was and also how ineffective it was. I ended up saving very little money and probably spending more than I would have, buying things that I did not need.

Time Spent Clipping Coupons

Now I have a rule I follow pretty rigidly and it works very well. I only clip coupons just before I go shopping (for about 15 minutes); sometimes I do this in the grocery store parking lot just before I go in. I always have a list of items I need to get to help me look for items on my list. I never have a huge amount of coupons; I might have 10 at the most.

Couponing

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Effective Tips for Couponing

There are several other things I do to help me save more than you might believe possible.

  • I only shop at two grocery stores and I always get their advertisements. If you don't get the newspaper, you can pick up these advertisements in the store for free.
  • All of the coupons I use come for free in the mail. I get a coupon pack once a week that includes grocery store coupons for the 2 stores that I shop at. Some stores also have coupons that can be printed right there when you walk in.
  • Sometime during the week, I quickly flip through these and trash the coupons or pages that I know I will not use. I put the others on a shelf (unclipped) for later use.
  • Just before shopping and clipping any coupons, I browse through the grocery store advertisements. I am scanning for specific things: the items on my list and staples such as flour that I may need to buy later in the year and special deals on those items specifically. Special deals would be BOGOs (buy one, get one half-off or free), buy 10 for $10 (this can often save you a great deal of money if it is a nonperishable item), and any mark-downs that catch my eye.
  • After scanning the paper, I clip coupons. I only clip the coupons for the items that I need or staples that I know I will need at a later time, and items that I both need and are one of the special deals.

Charmin Toilet Paper
Without Discounts
With Discounts
Price
$7.99 x 3 = $23.97
$6.99 x 3 = $20.97
Coupon
0
-1.00
Special Deal
0
-5.00
TOTAL COST
$23.97
$14.97
SAVINGS
0
$9.00

Effective Couponing Example

Here is an example: I didn't have toilet paper on my list, but we tend to run out of this item before I buy it, so I noticed when looking through the advertisement for the store I was at, that if I bought 3 packages of 12 double-roll Charmin toilet paper, I would save $5. In addition, this item was on sale for $6.99 (usually $7.99). When I looked through the coupons, I had one coupon for $1.00 off any Charmin purchase. The best case scenario would be having a total of 3 coupons - that is why you should keep multiple coupons for the same products. See the short video below for a great example of this. My total savings with the special deal, markdown and coupon is shown below. This only took a couple of minutes to plan and I saved $9.00!

Collecting Multiple Coupons for the Same Product

Comments

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    • profile image

      Deni 

      3 years ago

      Kim .THANK YOU so much for the grab bag!!!!! There was 1 coupon for Pop-Tarts ALONE that made the price so worth it! We saved a penny more! LOL And you got it to me so quilcky!!! I am gonna get a couple of more from you. TONS of diaper coupons they are great!!! Thank you again, this is certainly a money saver!!!!!!!

    • Mark Johann profile image

      Mark Johann 

      5 years ago from Italy

      My mom used to do this and it is very clever to think of the savings you can make. It is a win win situation, I guess, from the establishment and you.

      Coupons are not only promotional, it is also helpful to some.

    • Rosie writes profile imageAUTHOR

      Rosie writes 

      5 years ago from Virginia

      Thanks carol7777. Yes, it does take some time but it can be managed well if you stay focused and don't stray from your needs. I think many people are having to pinch pennies now, so I hope this will help them.

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 

      5 years ago from Arizona

      Though I see it does take some time you have ultimately saved quite a few dollars. Good hub and good work.

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