Thursday, June 23, 2011

Couponing and Grocery Store Savings

Some friends and I were recently discussing couponing and grocery store savings.  While comparing notes I wrote the following, and thought I would share with you all.  Please note, I am NOT an extreme couponer, and have no idea how extreme couponers can walk out of the store with $200 worth of groceries for only $1 or whatever.  But, often I manage to save 40 to 50%.  Here's how:

I watch the weekly ad comes out every Thursday night and is good from Friday to the following Thursday. I make a list every Thurs or Fri with the items on sale, the price, and the size/quantity limits. I usually co...mpare two store ads, keeping in mind the prices for similar items at Trader Joes and the market around the corner from us.

On Sunday, I usually buy two papers - our local and the New York Times. The local is purely for coupons, the Times is for coupons and because I actually read it. I flip through the coupons and ads first, clip any I think are worthy, and set them aside, keeping in mind also what is currently on sale.

Then, I go to,, and a few other sites to see what coupons are available, plus checking our local store's website for printable coupons.

Our store also doubles coupons up to 99-cents supposedly, but sometimes they've doubled to an even dollar. Recently, I walked out of the store with 15 boxes of expensive cereal for less than $1.75 each, and four bags of expensive coffee beans for less than the price of one bag.  I had *almost* thrown away the coffee coupons because I was never going to pay that much for a small bag of beans (I forget how much to be honest with you), but held on to the coupons anyhow. I had one for $2 off 2 bags, and one for $1 off one bag. The coffee turned up in the ad for B1G1 free, so I did the math and scooped up 4 bags, Did the same with the cereal, and several other items.

I go through my coupon stack every Sunday tossing coupons that have expired. JP recently found a few coupons inside boxes of cereal, Italian ices and a few other things we had recently purchased.  So, always look inside packages before tossing boxes into the recycling bin (you ARE recycling, aren't you?).  I also just emailed a few companies asking if they had any free coupons they could send me. I got some for So Delicious (coconut based products like yogurt, milk, etc). Waiting to hear back on others. Some companies have e-mail lists that you can sign up for and they will send you coupons, but you also will get a lot of junk email from them. For those, I set up a "junk email" account and just use that email address when signing up for any sort of e-list or coupon list.

Also, I have started to only buy my spices/herbs in the "ethnic" sections of the store - the Mexican food aisle, Asian food aisle. Same exact stuff, different brand, WAYYYYYYYYYYY cheaper! I need bay leaf and the name brands we'd all recognize were $4 or so for one container. I got TWICE the quantity for $1.25 by going ot the Mexican aisle!

And that, is how I do it.  I'm not saving nearly as much as I would like, but it is a decent amount.  I've added links to some books that have really helped me over the years.  Some of the tips and ideas are a bit over the top, but there are many others that have saved me a pretty penny!  If anyone has any other tips, I'd love to hear them. After all, I am a single mama on a budget!

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