Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Using Coupons WITH Flyers. Lightbulb on!
Coupons. Little pieces of paper I had walked past in aisles of stores, and flipped past in magazine's for as long as I can remember. My mother, (who as I mentioned earlier is an avid coupon clipper), came to mind when I was trying to figure out how to crop my grocery budget.
I decided it was worth a try and gathered some coupons here and there. I began using them on items I bought regularly on the grocery list. $0.50 off of bathroom tissue here, $1.00 off of paper towel there. A few cents off crackers or cleaning products. It was a help no doubt, but it didn't really add up to that much of a difference on the weekly grocery bill. I decided to go directly to the pro, my mom, for advise.
Apparently, unbeknown to me, the secret to coupons is using them on products that are already on sale! Ahh, that makes sense! When the flyers came that week I sat down and did some math with my coupons in hand. So many items! Our local grocery store quite often has a Buy 1, Get 1 Free sale. So, you can actually use two coupons. Paper towel goes on sale for $3.99 Buy One, Get One Free. You have two $1.00 coupons, so you now get two 6 packs of paper towel for $1.99, or $0.99 a pack! To add to my excitement, there really are some high value coupons out there if you know where to find them. My latest coupon excitement was finding a pile of shampoo in a discount cart for $1.00 each, and I had a coupon that said Buy 2 save $2.50. Not only did I get the shampoo free (except for taxes), but I also got an extra $0.50. At this moment I understood why coupons are such a great thing!
Now, finding good coupons can be hard. Most grocery stores, drug stores or even some department stores will have coupons on the shelves or by the entrance. This is where I get probably 25% of the coupons I have. Newspapers, magazines and weekly flyers often have coupons in them as well. Signing up for email newsletters directly from company's can sometimes score some good coupons through email. However, the best coupons I've been able to find come from online. There are a few great websites that you can sign up with. They allow you to choose which coupons you would like, and they mail (snail-mail) them directly to you. One of my favorites websites is http://www.save.ca/.
I do live in a small town, so the choice of stores here is limited. However, I average a savings of about $20.00-$30.00 per month on coupons. Some months are better than others depending on the current sales in the flyers. Living in an area where there are more stores to choose from, would defiantly increase the savings. Sometimes when I'm going out of town, I'll do some shopping at a differnt grocery store and score even bigger savings.
The hardest part for me is to only buy what I need. It's very tempting find out that I could buy baby lotion for next to nothing with a coupon. But unless I am going to a baby shower, I have no use for baby lotion. Sticking with what we need and/or will use can be challenging.
Say my monthly coupon savings is $25.00 per month. This will give me $300.00 per year to stuff into my piggy bank. This number is most likley going to increase for anyone who has a larger family to buy for, as more of the coupons could be used. My coupon savings is based on a household of two adults.
Posted by Nettie at 8:25 AM