I am Dian, a stay at home mother of four, and I want to thank you for taking the time to read my ebook “Learn How YOU Can Grocery Shop For FREE!“. My hope is that you come to enjoy shopping as much as I do and are able to have plenty for your family and enough left over to give and help others!
I began coupon shopping after one of my teenage sons came home from a friend’s house talking about how he loved going there. He was always talking about how much cereal they had and that he could eat all he wanted. I never bought cereal because my 3 boys would eat 2-3 boxes in one sitting! Being 16 at the time, he was quite impressed with the seemingly endless boxes of cereal! (He loves cereal.) He also talked about how they had “tons” of frozen pizzas and they could eat as many of those as they wanted, too.
So, Of course I was curious and I asked why his friend’s mom had so many boxes of cereal and frozen pizzas at any given time. He simply said “She coupon shops”. Well that got my attention! I had always thought about coupon shopping, but all of the finding and cutting out of coupons all to save a quarter, I never was motivated enough. It just didn’t make sense to me. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I would cut them out and keep them; I even bought a coupon filer a few times.
Does this sound familiar? I would get the newspaper, cut out the coupons I might use, file them in my filer, then totally forget about them! Then, when I would remember them or find them in my purse and look at them (after I had already been to the store, of course) and sure enough they would be expired!
So, I thought, I would call this woman with all of the endless pizzas and cereal and ask how she did it. She told me she would be happy to teach me and that was good news! I called a friend and she was interested also. So, we got some friends together and this lady came and taught us how to do it, and we have been doing it ever since and have been having a great time, sharing bargains and savings stories! So, I am now going to share with you what she shared with us.
Get Your Coupons:
The coupons come mostly in the Sunday paper. There are anywhere from 1-6 booklets of flyers or inserts in the Sunday papers. Usually there’s always a Smart Source and a Red Plum, and sometimes there are more than one Smart Source or Red Plum, and then sometimes a General Mills, or a Proctor & Gamble. Each week on Thursday i update the Coupon Preview, here on the site – which will tell you what coupons will be in the paper that coming Sunday.
The store sales ads are usually (in our area) in the mail on Tuesday or Wednesday, or they might be in the paper. In our area the stores sell the early Sunday edition of the newspaper on Saturday in a two pack. So, we can buy 2 newspapers and get two sets of coupons at a time.
You can also ask your neighbors, friends, and family to keep coupons from the Sunday paper for you, too. Many times I have been in a restaurant and seen that someone left the paper behind and I just get the coupons out of it.
Once you have the coupons what now? I usually get 10 newspapers each week. No, you don’t need that many, but, when I first started my friends and I found a way to get them FREE, so why not? There was a group of local restaurants that got the Sunday paper to give out to their customers and they kindly gave us the leftovers! So, check around, ask around and see what you can find, there might be a way for you to get some extra papers, too
Sorting and Clipping:
Now, this is where you have to find your own way of doing things. I will tell you a few ways that I have tried in the past:
A. You can take your coupon flyers and write the date on the front and put them in a file or basket, and then when you need a certain coupon you can find it easier.
B. If you have acquired more than one paper, then you have more than 1 set of flyers. So, you can take a particular flyer, (say you have acquired 2 papers and have 2 sets of flyers) get two of the same flyer and put the identical pages from each flyer together. So, if your flyers were 10 pages, and you had 2 identical flyers, you should have 10 stacks of 2 identical pages together. Now, paper clip each set of coupons together. So, if you have 3 coupons on the front of one stack and 2 on the other side of one stack, you would need 5 paper clips, paper clip the identical coupons together. Try to put your paperclips over the UPC Code so that you don’t accidentally cut the code off. Now, you can do this two ways. You can file them as they are now and when you need some of them you can pull them out and cut them, or you can cut them all now. If you choose to cut them later, just put them together and file them by name of the flyer and by date (i.e. Smart Source 2/13/11). Again, so that you can find them when you need them. If you want to cut them you need a place to put them where they are easy to find when you need them. You can buy a large notebook and buy either baseball card holders or photo pages to put them in. Either way it’s up to you and what makes it easier for you. I tried the photo pages and then changed to the baseball card pages, now I use a combo of baseball card pages and files. If you choose to cut them all and put them in a notebook, you can take your notebook with you to the store every time and then when you see an unadvertised sale you will have all of your coupons and you can use them for the sale!
C. Now, personally, I paperclip and file mine in a filing cabinet with the date and name of the flyer on the tab of the file folder. I put any coupons that I cut to use at the store and then didn’t use in my notebook.
Now how do I use these coupons to get FREE Stuff?!
Ok, if your store doubles or triples coupons, you are in a great place to start!
So let’s look at what that means: If I have a $.25 off coupon for butter and butter is $1.00 and my store triples coupons up to $.39, then my coupon is good for .$75, not just $.25! So, that makes my butter $.25, now when was the last time you bought butter for a quarter?! So, even better, what if you have 2 coupons for butter or 4? You would have enough butter until the next time it goes on sale!
So, let’s look at doubling: if your store doubles up to $.50, then your $.25 butter coupon would be good for $.50, not $.25, so then your butter would be: $.50! Still pretty good!
Now, you need to know the rules at your store (check out all the Store Coupon policies here), because there are rules. First of all print all of your stores coupon policies and carry them with you. Some stores will only double or triple one like coupon (1 butter coupon, not 2) per order and then treat all other like coupons at face value. In these cases the district manager has told us that as long as we aren’t holding up a line we can check-out more than once. Now my being able to get butter for a $.25 makes me not mind standing in line and checking out a few times. Try to go when the store isn’t really busy.
But, we haven’t talked about FREE! That’s right there is always FREE! I love FREE! If there is a 10 for $10. sale on butter at my store, I know that means I can buy 10 butters for $10., but, does it mean I HAVE to buy 10 butters in order to get the sale price? NO! Absolutely not! You can buy 1 or 3 or however many you want and they will all ring up for the $1.00 price. It’s kind of simple when you think about it, but, I didn’t pay much attention, I always thought, “I don’t need ten of those!” Never thinking I didn’t have to buy ten!
So, now I am buying hand soap and I have a $.35 coupon for it, and they are on sale 10 for $10. and my store triples up to $.39, so my hand soap is FREE! Now, notice that the $.35 coupon will triple and become $1.05, you will not get the extra $.05 back, but sometimes I have had to add a candy bar to my order for it to come out right. Most of the computer registers are set up to not give you that extra five cents, but, some are still not, so just grab a candy bar or use it to purchase something you don’t have a coupon for, but NEVER take the money. It’s just not right. We want to do things the right way so that the stores continue to accept coupons and double
Now how do I find the deals?:
I do coupon and sale match ups and weekly shopping lists for you so you know where to go to find the coupons and where to use them!
Just check out the Penny Pinching Bargain Bunch and find your area and your store to find the deals in your are!
You can check out My Coupon Database, it’s FREE and you can search for any coupons you may want. It will show you any printable ones, or any in magazines or mailers you may have and also which week in the newspaper inserts you will find certain coupons!
After I file away my coupons I can go to My Coupon Database & say you want to buy syrup you can go to the database and type in syrup and it will tell you what syrup coupons you have and where to find them.
So, that’s about it! I know there is a lot of information here and some of it can become confusing so, if you have any questions or need clarification for anything you have read here, please feel free to contact me!
I LOVE couponing and LOVE to teach and help people do it! I hope this helps you, let me know how much you are saving!
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