Ready for the Nitty Gritty?
My method has a very specific pattern.
#1- Get Coupons....But where?
- I get my inserts from the Sunday paper. I do not get a paper the rest of the week. Check your local paper for their 'Super Sunday Coupon Special' (most places have one) and sign up! My Idaho Statesman costs me $3.13 per week for (5) papers. There are a lot of other coupons that come in the paper besides the regular inserts(P&G, Red Plum, SmartSource). Ie: Last Sunday there were Michaels & JoAnns 40% one item coupons *sidenote- Joanns takes competitors coupons, so you can use all of these there and only have to take one trip* There are also a lot of times JCPenney, restaurant, ect, and always ads for the local grocery stores. Albertsons doublers come in the Sunday paper as well. My grandmother in law just told me that she is going to start sending me her coupons too, because she doesn't use them, and I have a friend from high school that also clips and sends to me. Ask neighbors for their inserts or keep your eyes open at work Monday morning for the paper.
E-Bay. There is a MASSIVE database of coupons on E-bay for just about anything you can think of. I do not just buy coupons impulsively on there. The best way to make it work is after you find a sale for something is to get on e-bay and find the cooresponding coupons you need to make the sale price even sweeter. Don't forget wierd things like *Auction ending times- I try to only do 'buy it nows on coupons unless I don't need them that week. *Shipping time- want to make sure you will get them in time for the sale! *Expiration dates!!!- Some jerks on e-bay will keep a coupon up for sale even after it is expired. That sucks! *Give your seller at least one business day to send the coupons and allow at least 3 days for them to get to you. So in other words, if your sale runs Sun-Sat, you better make sure your coupons are won AND paid for by Monday morning.
- (*Inserted on 5/25/2012)- I'm not so interested in Coupons off E-Bay anymore- Too many shady situations- try a reputable coupon clipping site like this one- cheaper and faster.... all around.
- Peelies and on the package. If you keep your eyes open at the store, there are SO many coupons stuck to products or on the package for next time!!! Most you can use right then and there, but others you actually have to cut off the box. Sometimes there is a nice surprise and you will find coupons inside your products!
- Print out online:
- athriftymom.com (has a coupon database)
- Most brand websites
- Facebook (like brand pages & you get access)
- target.com (Holy cow the motherload of deals) Target lets you 'stack' MF coupons on top of their 'Target' coupons..... totally like doubling.
- Walgreens. They have a monthly coupon book that has reusable coupons inside that you can also 'stack' with MF coupons. They also have random coupon books that are 'Walgreens' coupons (stackable) such as the Infant Care Guide, Spring Beauty Guide, ect.
- Flyers in the store/The little Black Box. Every month, Albertsons has a mini magazine with coupons and recipes in it (It has a coupon for a $25 Alb's gift card when you transfer or get a new prescription at their pharmacy.) You all know the little black box that spits coupons at you. Don't take them all!
- If you are lucky enough.... Sometimes people will leave coupons on products. (I do this with my coupons that are about to expire that I know I won't or don't need to use) I call it my coupon fairying :)
#3- Sign up for a blog or five that breakdown the best deals and tell you what MF coupons to match those deals with. If you like to do your own investigating, just pick through your local ads and match the sales with the coupons you have (or if it's a smokin sale and you don't have a cooresponding coupon, try to find a printable one on a database or if you think you have time to wait, get some off E-bay. some sales are good enough that you don't even need a coupon, but when you have one, sometimes you can make money... I know. Rediculous. Here is an example: THIS WEEK at Walgreens, there is a specific colgate toothpaste on sale for $2.99. A couple weeks ago a coupon came out in one of the inserts for .75c off ANY colgate. Then after you pay, you get a $3 Register Reward (also called Catalinas). So here is your breakdown:
- Buy (1) Colgate toothpase on sale for $2.99
- Use (1) MF coupons for .75c off
- Pay $2.24 + tax and.....You get a $3 RR
- FINAL OOP: FREE + .76c PROFIT!
- Make your list for each store (along with the limits and ad if possible)
- I organize the coupons I am going to use into separate envelopes for each store I plan on visiting
- Make sure to have your coupon binder with you. (You never know when you might find something on clearance that you have a coupon for!)
- Limit yourself. Buy ONLY what you plan on buying and have coupons for. If you don't have a coupon for it and it is not on sale, and you do not HAVE to have it to make dinner tonight or lunches tomorrow, it can wait.
- When there is a FANTASTIC sale on Toilet Paper and you have 20 coupons for that sale brand specifically, STOCK UP. SUPER deals run their course and come back around every couple months or so. Who does it hurt to have a couple months supply of TP? However, if you know that you will be doing this at the begining of the week, give the manager of the store you will be going to a heads up that you are going to be buying X many of that item so that they can order additional in for you and still have some for everyone else. Don't be a rude hoarder!
This weeks mission was to stock up on cereal and spices (remember my McCormick coupons from a couple weeks ago?)
Monday: Walgreens, Albertsons & Walmart
Retail Price: $304.57
OOP: $101.97 + 2 FREE Gallons Milk & a $10 VISA Gift card from Kelloggs
Retail Price: $134.08
OOP: $44.06 + 3 FREE Gallons Milk & a $10 VISA Gift card from Kelloggs
I am always open to questions or if you need help finding a deal on something you need. Let me know and I am happy to help you save!