Friday, January 16, 2009

How-to-Guide ''Couponing 101"

OK after several post and emails from confused newbies I have decided to sit down and right out ''how I do it''!

First of all I updated my blog with an abbreviation list on the left hand side of the blog. This is the ''terminology'' us couponer's use and will help guide you through my posts.

OK down to business:

I first got started on the Grocery Game. I signed up for a 4 week trial for $1 and received ad's for Albertsons, Safeway, Rite Aid and Walgreens, with the corresponding coupon match-ups. Terri's list would come out every Saturday and list these stores ''Rock Bottom'' prices for items with the coupon's to match. That way your OOP (out of pocket) would be the very lowest possible. This is a great way to start because she puts all the scenarios together for you.

Second buy as many Sunday papers as you can afford. I usually buy 4 a week, more if they are good. I get free ones from family as well. A good stockpile of same coupons is necessary for real savings on food and household items. Look for the Food Day every Tuesday for this has the major store deals for the week.IE Safeway, Albertsons Rite Aid. Then look for the lowest sale prices of items you will use and eat, then match them up with the coupons you have.

I.E....Albertsons has a promo this week buy 4 participating Quaker products saving $2 instantly with club card, making each item $1.50 each

So you could buy 4 boxes High Fiber Instant oatmeal
Use 4, $1 MFR (manufacture coupon) PLUS the $2 SFW DBL (Safeway Doubler)

And all 4 items would be FREE! The Safeway Doubler is in the Safeway ad and will double 4 manufacturer coupons $.50 each.

Also look for store promotions. IE... Albertsons just ran a promo where you spend $30 of participating products and you will receive $15 CATALINA back. A catalina is an instore coupon that prints and is like cash of your next instore purchase.


Buy 3 Pampers Jumbo Packs $30
use (3) $1 MFR Coupon
use (3) $1 Albertsons in-ad Dbler
use $2 Sfwy Dbler
OOP $22 and you get $15 for the spend $30 promo plus $5 for an additional baby promo!

Making your oop after coupons and catalinas $2!

Third, try to shop once a week or what works for you. Write out a list with your coupon-match ups and have a total of what your OOP should be. That way you have an idea once you checkout if something did not ring up correctly. Make sure you STICK TO YOUR LIST...just because something is on sale doesn't mean it's a good deal or that you necessarily need it! If you start buying off your list you will find your OOP WAY TOO HIGH:-) Also it is a MUST to set a budget for your spending, whether it's a weekly budget or monthly.

Currently my weekly budget is $45 or less for food. I did have a budget of $5o but found I was only spending around $45 so I lowered it and am saving that $5 extra for something else. Some people use the cash envelope system, I use my accounting software to track it and set my budget. Use what works for you.

So I hope all of this has helped you. I know it is all confusing at first, but keep reading and following blogs, that has helped me out. Don't be afraid to ask questions either:-) We are all here to help. Please feel free to keep leaving comments if you don't understand and I will try to help.

Good luck and happy shopping!

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