Shopping With Coupons – Lesson 3 on How to Coupon

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Feeling overwhelmed and not sure where to start Shopping With Coupons? See these tips!

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Lesson 3: Shopping With Coupons

If you’ve seen our Lessons 1 and 2 on how to coupon, and where to find coupons, 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.

Just as a word of encouragement: Don’t let coupons leave you feeling overwhelmed or spending even more money than you were before! It CAN be done, and if you’ve gotten this far, you can put those coupons to work and bring down your grocery total! You can do it!

Tips for Specific Grocery Stores:

  • Loyalty Cards: 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.
  • Look at the weekly ad 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!
why do walmart prices differ between stores

Currently, you can find deals for these stores right here on ConsumerQueen:

Organize Before You Go:

  • 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.

Don’t Forget To:

  • 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.
  • Know what you can freeze: See a great deal on chips but the expiration date is tomorrow?  Not to worry, Cheetos, Frito’s, Sun Chips, Tostito’s, 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!

Shopping with Coupons: Stockpiling Basics

When we talk about shopping with coupons, we get a lot of questions about stockpiling. Here are some basics if you’re unsure about this aspect of couponing!

Stockpiling is Basically Buying 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!!

This is what we are talking about when we say “stockpiling”. If you will eventually use it, it’s OK to go ahead and buy it so you can use your coupons.

colgate toothpaste homeland

One rule of thumb is, don’t buy more than you can use. Save some for others. If the shelves are cleared out, unfortunately there are other shoppers who can use the product and won’t be able to even use their coupon. So we strictly avoid giving advice to clear the store shelf just to add to your stockpile!

Understanding Stockpiling:

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.

Shopping with Coupons – How to Stockpile

Use your Newspaper Insert Coupons: 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 by the time you’ve used up your stockpile on something it will be on sale again!

Look for What You Use: 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.

Organize! 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.

Note: Stockpiling is very different from what we like to call “Organized Hoarding”. Having 30 tubes of toothpaste and 40 jars of mustard. Unless you’ve got an extremely large family, things will go out of date before you ever use it all. Plus it’s nice to leave some for others – never be  shelf clearer 🙂

Now you’re ready to hit the store and shop!!  

If you missed our previous lessons just click on the ones you like to read from the list below:

Where to Find Coupons - Coupon Lesson 1 Pinterest

Where to Find Coupons – Lesson 1

How to Organize Coupons

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