Continuing our National Coupon Month series here is day 3 in our 30 Days of Couponing. You’ve now got your coupons all organized in your binder and you’re ready to shop! The following tips will help you get the most for your money using coupons:
- If your store has a loyalty card sign up for it! Many stores will only allow you to get their sale prices if you have a store card.
- Check your stores weekly ads for sales and match up your coupons or visit ConsumerQueen.com and check the blog for deals at your store. We post the weekly deals and where to find the coupons to use for them. All the work is done for you!
- Make a list before you shop: I always make a list of what I’m going to buy and which coupons I’m going to use. This keeps me from forgetting anything or buying something I don’t need.
- Keep the coupons for your shopping trip together: When I plan a shopping trip I place all the coupons I’m going to use at the store for that day together in an extra pocket of my binder. That way when I get to the store with my list I don’t have to search through my binder to find them.
- Buy multiples: If you can get 5 tubes of toothpaste for free or really cheap, get them! By the time you go through those 5 tubes of toothpaste they’ll probably be on sale again. If it’s something you don’t use, buy it and donate!! Remember don’t buy more than you can use. Save some for others.
- Always check the clearance section for really cheap items you can use your coupons on.
- Check the meat department: Most stores will discount meat that is getting close to it’s “sell by” date. I get a lot of really cheap packs of meat that I freeze and use later. You can always check the ConsumerQueen.com website for meat coupons.
- Price match: Walmart and other stores will price match competitor’s ad sale prices. The items must be identical to get the price match. In other words, if Target has Crest Pro-Health 4.0-oz. mint flavored toothpaste on sale for $2.00 then you can get Crest pro-Health 4.0-oz. mint flavored toothpaste at Walmart for $2 if you show them your Target ad.
- See a great deal on chips but the expiration date is tommorrow? Not to worry, Cheetos, Fritos, Sun Chips, Tostitos, Doritos and most snack crackers can be frozen. What’s really great is you can eat them right out of the freezer- no thawing! The items never freeze hard and stay fresh forever! Other items you can freeze are saltines, bread, coffee, tea bags and shredded cheese. You can also freeze milk but you know the expression “don’t try this at home”? Well, take my word for it, don’t try freezing skim milk or sour cream!
The number one reason most people don’t coupon (or don’t for very long) is they don’t understand the concept of stockpiling. I hear statements all the time like ” I used to take coupons to the store but I just didn’t save enough to make it worthwhile” or ” It’s not worth all the trouble to coupon if I’m only going to save a few dollars here and there” If all you’re doing is cutting out coupons for your regular weekly shopping trips then both of those statements are probably true. In order to save BIG bucks you need to learn the art of stockpiling.
This the number 1 reason you need to have several copies of the Sunday paper coupon inserts! When you find dish soap on sale for cheap or free buy 5 of them, when you find 5 cans of SpaghettiO’s for $.25 each, buy 5 of them. Pretty soon you’ll have a stockpile of items that cost you very little. The more you have in your stockpile the less you’ll have to buy on your weekly shopping trips. After awhile you’ll find you’re buying very little regular priced items and saving a bundle on your grocery bill! Stores put things on sale in cycles so buy the time you’ve used up your stockpile on something it will be on sale again!
What does your family use the most? If you only use mustard every once in awhile then just buy 2 instead of 5. Your stockpile will depend on you and your family’s wants and likes.
Designate a closet or cabinet for your stockpiled items. If you don’t have enough room to keep it all in one place, split it up. Put your stockpile of toilet paper, toothpaste etc. in the linen closet or extra shelf in your bathroom. Put extra canned goods in your pantry if you have room.
Now you’re ready to hit the store and shop!! Next week we’ll discuss some advanced ways to use coupons to save even more money. Check back tomorrow for Lesson 4 – Coupon Money Makers!
If you missed our previous lesson just click on the ones you like to read from the list below: