Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Couponing Tips

Savvy Shopping & Saving
Goal: To cut grocery costs by more than 50%
How: To purchase items when they are on sale & use coupons to get the best price possible. Use this method to stock up on these items for a 6-8week period (the sales will usually repeat within 6-8weeks)
Misconception: Buying things that I have a coupon for is always a good deal.
I. Meal Planning... If you don't know where you're going, you might end up somewhere else.
A. Plan your menu based on what is on sale.
B. Reduce your costs by using what you already have on hand.
C. - type in ingredients that you have on hand & it will give you several
suggestions for new recipes.
D. Freezer Method Cooking
Basically, you choose a day where you will have a few hours available to cook &
freeze ahead of time. It saves alot of time because you are only chopping, cooking &
baking ONCE! You can begin slowly by simply making 2 cassaroles the next time
you are cooking. Put 1 in the freezer for another occasion.
II. Set a grocery budget
A. Make it your goal to lower your spending each week. Don't expect to save 50% your
first week. Take baby steps to spend less & less. Make it a fun, challenging game for
III. Stocking ahead
** Look for weekly sale items that are the foundation of your meal planning in order to have
them readily available....STOCK UP WHEN YOU CAN GET A GREAT DEAL!
A. Common food staples
* Pantry - canned tomatoes(paste, sauce), chicken broth, pasta, cereal, oatmeal,
Bisquick, flour, crackers/snacks, canned vegetables & beans, rice, peanut
butter, evaporated milk/condensed milk, cake & brownie mix
* Freezer - chicken, ground beef, roast, veggies, chicken tenders, pizza, bread/rolls,
(get great savings on bread at a discount bread store & freeze the loaves until
ready to use...they thaw in minutes!)
* Refrigerator - milk, yogurt, sour cream, cream cheese, eggs, OJ, shredded/sliced
cheese, lunch meat, celery, lettuce, broccoli, carrots, fruit
IV. Planning your shopping trip
This will take some time, but with careful planning you will reap the reward of your labor.
Would you work for 1 hour if the pay was $40/hr? Money saved is money earned! Think of it as earning an income to help with your family's budget goals .
A. Make a list based on sale ads
1) How to shop the sale ads (Publix is used as the example here)
* Shop the "Loss-leaders" on the first page of the sale ad. Stores usually are
losing money on these items in order to get you in the store.
* Publix sale ads runs weekly - Wed.-Tues.
(Shop once a week & get what you need)
* Publix penny item coupon (redeemable every Sun. & Mon. with the coupon
found in the Sunday paper - Publix ad)
* Buy 1, Get one may purchase only one at Publix & it will be 1/2
price! Also, you may use a coupon for each item...this makes it really cheap!
* 5 for $10 - you do not need to purchase 5. Each one will be $2.
(always have sale ad with you to verify the correct size of oz./lbs. for sale
* Get a raincheck if they are out of a sale item. This also gives you a chance to
find some coupons before you purchase it.
* Rebates - receive back part or all of the purchase for a product through the
mail. Take advantage of rebates when possible.
* Special store offers - Register for Publix Baby Club & Preschool Pals and the
store will send you coupons in the mail.
B. Coupons
* Buy Sunday paper & look for Smart Source, Red Plum & other coupon inserts.
* Organize in a way that works for YOU
-Alphabetically by manufacturer
- Coupon expiration date
- By category...beverages, breakfast, frozen food, etc.
1) Types of coupons
* Manufacturer coupons - found in Sun. paper, stickers on the product...
* Store coupons - says "redeem at Publix"
* Check to see if store accepts competitor coupons. Publix will accept Winn Dixie's
store coupons & even "catalina " coupons (coupons which print out with your
with your receipt--"Save $10 on next $50 purchase)
* Free helpful websites
( matches up sale items with coupons for you. It will even tell you how much your bill will be. It is a great resource for making your list. You will have to SKIP a bunch of advertisements when you first sign up, but it's free info & you will only have to do that ONCE.)
* Free printable coupon websites
C. Make your list
* Make a list based on what you need, what's on sale & your coupons
* Don't go to the store hungry!!
D. Checking out
* Watch the prices as the cashier scans the items to be sure that they ring up at
the correct price.
* Hand over any competitor coupons first
* Pay close attention as the cashier rings each coupon. Sometimes coupons may
get stuck together or the cashier may miss some.
* Always check your receipt before leaving the store. Publix has a price guarantee
and will give you the item FREE. Customer Service will give you the full refund
if you have all ready paid for the item so ALWAYS take a few minutes to check
your receipt!!
E. Helpful Hints
* If you have a Sam's or Costco membership, know your prices, but produce is
usually a good deal here. Always check Costco for their store coupon booklet.
Costco marks down foods that are nearing their "sell by" date. Look for
specially marked YELLOW tags.
* Try to shop without the children when possible. Stores are far less crowded
early in the morning.
Saving Money When Eating Out
- Plan to visit a restaurant where you have a coupon, or kids eat free.
- Drink water...It's free & we probably need to drink it more often anyway.
- Skip the appetizer unless it's a better deal for small children to split as a meal.
- If the kids meal is large enough, split it between 2 children.
Sit down restaurants with "KIDS EAT FREE" deals:
(These are based on Montgomery restaurants, call ahead & check if you live elsewhere)
* Chappy's - everday & free ice cream
* O'Charley's - everyday - 2 children eat free per 1 adult
* City Grill - Tuesday evenings kids eat free
* Moe's - Monday evenings - 1 child eats free per 1 adult purchase of $5+
* Lonestar - Tuesday & Saturday (11am-4pm) 2 kids eat free per 1 adult
* Pizza Hut buffet - Tuesdays (6pm-8pm) - Atl. Hwy. & Colesium Blvd.
* Applebees - Wednesday - Kids eat for $1.99/ 1 adult.
* Captain D's - Everday kids eat free - DINE IN ONLY