Tuesday, September 18, 2012

"Extreme coupon" your way to big savings

I'm thrilled to be a guest blogger at Saving in Branson!  You'll find my blog at ReelMama.com, where I write reviews of family films, share ideas for family fun, and much more. Today I'll be writing about a topic that's very important to all of us: how to save money on your grocery bill.

Perhaps you’ve seen extreme couponers on reality shows jumping up and down after scoring the deal of the century.  Maybe you feel you’re too busy for couponing, or find it stressful to keep up with all those little slips of paper with an expiration date.  

However, with a little time and planning, you too can enjoy the amazing deals discovered by the frugal experts.  You’ll start experiencing a good kind of sticker shock:  the kind that comes from discovering a great bargain.

What’s the best place to look for coupons?
1.  Coupons are available from a variety of sources: check online through Google searches, store websites, and even banner advertisements on parenting websites.  There are even coupon apps available for smart phones.
2.  Junk mail isn't junk! The grocery store circulars containing all the deals arrive weekly.  Review them and circle the items you would like to buy.  You may have to go to more than one store to get the best deals.  Store coupons are also often available for clipping, usually toward the back of the circular, so don’t forget to check the last few pages.  

3.  Coupon circulars also arrive with the “junk mail,” so be sure to flip through the circulars before recycling them.

4.  In the Sunday paper, coupon packets are tucked in the middle of the newspaper with the store circulars.  These are often duplicates of the coupons that arrive in your mailbox.  This can be helpful if you want to purchase larger quantities of an item, especially essentials like detergent or diapers.  

5.  Coupons are also printed along with your receipt at the end of your grocery trip, so keep an eye on these. Stores will often print a $10-off coupon for use on your next shopping trip if you spend a certain minimum.

What’s the best way to organize the coupons?

A mini file from an office supply store is a fantastic way to organize coupons.  Some are labeled by month, and then it’s easy to organize the coupons according to expiration dates.  Devise a system that works for you so that the coupons you need are easily accessible once you are in the store.

What’s the best way to maximize the coupon savings to score those amazing “extreme couponing” deals?

1.  Combine store coupons with manufacturer’s coupons to get more bang for your bucks.

2.  Use the power of “BOGO”: buy one, get one free!  This is equivalent to getting an item at a 50% discount.  Combine this with coupons, and you’ll wind up with some deals that are almost too good to be true.

3.  Take advantage of a grocery store's three- and four-day sales, which usually include the weekend.  This is often when the higher ticket items, such as deli meats and cheeses, organic produce, steak, and seafood are discounted.  Don’t miss it.  Timing is everything.

4.  Create a menu for the week, then shop for the items you need.  Try to stick to what’s on sale and plan around that.  

5.  Using “extreme couponing” tips are a great way to stock up on staples, such as meat, frozen veggies and bread (freeze to make it last longer; there’s no noticeable difference to the taste).  You can store your purchases in the freezer or canned goods and pasta in the pantry, and you’ll have plenty of menu items ready to go when things get busy and you don’t have time to run to the store prior to dinner time.

At the end of your couponing adventure, your fridge will be chock full of goodies galore, and you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment, perhaps even euphoria, at all the money you saved that can be used elsewhere in your family’s budget.

Thank you, Schalonia, for inviting me to take part in your wonderful blog and giving me the opportunity to meet your amazing readers!

1 comment:

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