Monday, March 1, 2010

Coupon tips and tricks...

are not really by specialty. In deference to Leslie's comment on if I would post what I do, here it is. Prepare to be underwhelmed.

First of all, let me say that I can, in the least, point you to some excellent sites that explain coupon savvy way better than I ever will. I am still learning. Really learning. I have been using coupons for years, but my success with them has been hit and miss. The lingo, the jingo, the tango, all like its own culture and vocabulary. Interpreters, please apply.

However, some things I have tried to do are one, collect any and all coupons I can. Various sources are found within your actual grocery store. Ask at the customer service counter. Check their displays at the front of the store. Even at the pharmacy you might find a book or flyer of savings. Of course, most stores now have those dispensers along the aisle you can pull from as well. When you check out, coupons will print out on certain items too.

Since I do not regularly buy a paper, I ask to go through my sister's paper, my mil's paper, and my mom's paper. I even walked in a Starbucks the other day and noticed their coupons in the throw away heap. I asked if I could have them and the barista said yes. Coupons come in the mail if you subscribe to certain places, like VocalPoint. Since I frequent a Kroger a great deal, they periodically send me coupons, both store and manufacturer. And you can visit your favorite brands websites and sign up to receive coupons, like Pillsbury, Betty Crocker, Campbell's Soup, P&G products etc.

Then, there is the whole Red Plum, Smart Source, Shortcuts,,, Cellfire ventures as well. Suffice it to say that more than enough coupons are out there for the taking. Which is why I have not participated in any buying of coupons.

My second step was to figure out how to organize my coupons. This is still a work in progress for me. My current way is described here. My first test run with it at Kroger worked well. My second run with it at Publix was a bit more confusing. And then at Walgreens, I forgot to use my coupons. Sigh. See, work in progress.

Thirdly, I pick up the stores' sale flyers or check their weekly online ads and cross checking that to my pantry and freezer, I come up with a menu and shopping list.

The fourth step is also something of a work in progress. Three websites I have in my reader for specials and sales updates are BeCentsable, Southern Savers and Faithful Provisions. All three of these blogs are written by Coupon Grand Masters. I'm talking black belts in coupon tactics. They regularly write tips and tricks of coupons, and if you are at all interested in how and what to do, please, hie thyself over to their sites for solid advice. I am still trying to get the dobak on properly.

Lastly, it's off to the store with list and coupons. I try to match coupons with items on sale to increase my savings.

That is what I am doing. But seriously, take a cue from this student who is seeing improvement in the grocery bill and read the Masters. I am very grateful for the information and teaching they share.

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