Couponing 101...

This is a really LONG post, but I needed to explain a little bit so hang in there with me.
I would LOVE to answer any specific questions you may have, so please leave a comment if you have a question.

A few weeks ago I posted about how I have been shopping with coupons on our family's blog and I had a lot of comments asking how I do it. So I decided that may be a great topic to blog about here. First let me show you the end result:
Here is a shopping trip from about the first week on November.
This is everything purchased: 2 Gallons of Milk, 2 Liters 7up, 2 Liter A&w's, 4 Bags of Ricola Cough Drops, 1 bunch of bananas, 12 Yoplait Yogurt Cups, 4 Microwavable Soup Bowls, 18 cans Chunky Soup, 1 Sour Cream, 4 lbs. Cheese, 3 boxes of Noodles, 4 boxes of Jello, 2 Boxes of Granola Bars, 10 Cans Swanson Broth, 8 cans Crm of Chicken soup, 3 colgate toothpaste, 1 (75ct) Clorox Wipes, 2 Loaves of Bread, 2 refill packs Pampers Wipes...... My total before my coupons was over $150 (gulp, that is over budget)....But after my coupons I paid......

$37.53! (WOW! I know!)

This week I bought:

2 Gallons of Milk, 2 (3qts. each) Clorox Bleach, 1 roll Bounty Paper Towels, 3 Bottles French's Worsechire Sauce, 2 big boxes Rice Chex, 2 boxes Honey Nut Chex, 1 box Mom's Best honey Nut Toasty O's, 1 box American Beauty Pasta, 2 pkgs. Hershey Chocolate Chips, 2 pkgs. Heath Bits, 4 Pkg Betty Crocker Cookie mix, 2 pkg. yeast, 2 boxes Huggies wipes, 1 box Chamomile Tea, 1 box Ronzoni Pasta, 2 boxes Christmas Lights, 1 blistex, 6 Cartons Greek Yogurt, 3 pkg. Bumblebee Tuna, 2 boxes Kleenex Tissues, 4 Yakisoba Japanese Noodles, 3 pack Wilton Cookie Cutters, 1 pkg Rubber Gloves....
and the total before coupons and fresh values $115......

After Coupons and Fresh Values: $46.85

So, How did I do it?
The first step is SAVE your Coupon Packets.
There are coupon packets that come in the Sunday Newspapers. There are Smart Source (SS) Packets, General Mills (GM) Packets, Proctor & Gamble (PG) Packets....

Then there are the Red Plum (RP) Packets that come in the mail.

When a coupon packet arrives take a Magic Marker and write the date on the front. That's all you do right now and put it in your file.

I file my coupons by type of packet and by month. I label my files like this:
SS (Smart Source) NOVEMBER
PG (Proctor & Gamble) NOVEMBER

How easy is that?

How about we get to making our list and going to the store....
the real trick to all this is this site:

When you go to this site you first choose the State you are in. Then you choose the store you want to shop at. It will bring up that store's current ad. Along the top of the spreadsheet your will see a START button. Click start.

Now look through the spreadsheet, when you see something that your family is in need of you click on it and it will be highlighted. Once you have made it all the way through the spreadsheet your go back to the top and click the SHRINK button. The spreadsheet will shrink to only the items you have selected.

Now hit PRINT.
Now you have your grocery list. I usually hand write the few things at the bottom, like Milk if it isn't in the ad or anything extra we need that week, like Christmas Lights.

The with your grocery list in hand you can clip your coupons.
There are multiple columns on the list the first one shows you STARS. Everything listed in the ad is rated by stars, letting you know how great of a deal it is.

The next column tells you exactly what the item and what size is on sale. The next column show you the price it is on sale for.

The FOURTH column tells you exactly which coupon to clip.
It will tell you: exactly what item the coupon is good for, how much it is good for, expiration date in ( ), then where to find it.
For example:

Nestle Tollhouse Refridgerated Cookie Dough, $1/1 (12-31-10) RP-10/3

So to find this coupon I would go to my October Red Plum File. Find the packet labeled 10/3 and then clip my coupon.

When I have clipped my coupon, I then will write on my shopping list how many items I need to purchase. (Because some coupons require you to purchase more than 1 item).

Now simply go to the store and purchase what is on your list.

***The real trick to couponing is knowing this: YOU CAN USE ONE COUPON PER ITEM PURCHASED.***

1 comment:

  1. I really want to try this, but I don't know for sure which newspaper to get. I live in Utah.