Saturday, April 16, 2011

Couponing 102

Tips to maximize your savings:
1) Don't be brand loyal!  What I mean is be flexible about the brands you are using for example Colgate vs. Crest they are both name brand toothpaste that both work well.
2)Find out when the store does their "manager specials" for meat and dairy. For all the information about freezing food the USDA's website.
3)Only buy things that you will use. If you end up just throwing it away it doesn't matter how much you saved that is still money in the trash.

Now that you have all the coupons clipped from the newspaper and printed off the internet you now how two options to maximize your savings.

Option 1: You can go to the store walk up and down every isle and check every nook and cranky to see what is on sale and taking notes. (From what I've seen online, talking to people in the store, and from TLC's show experienced couponers take about four hours doing this)
Then you return home and check your coupons matching the sales with the coupons (another four hour process). Return to the store and shop.

Option 2: Use the internet! My personal favorite website is http://www.thegrocerygame.com/. You can sign up for a free month where you have access to all the stores. This website does all the leg work for you. It matches the advertised and unadvertised deals with the coupons. It tells you where the coupons are so you only clip and print the coupons that you are going to use for that trip. At first it took me about an hour to look at the list and organize my coupons. Now it takes me about thirty minutes. You can then print you list as Teri's sort. What that means the list is organized by location in the store. For me it makes it so easy and I'm not having to hunt the entire store for a single item. It has actually gotten my grocery shopping down to less than thirty minutes. Teri also has a wonderful book that covers everything that you need to know about couponing and how to save on just about everything else. It also has a ton of recipes.

There are website that do this but for me this has just been the easiest and most complete database to use. Also there are forums that will let you know about the deals as well. My favorite forum is http://www.weusecoupons.com/. He also has a YouTube channel.
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