Friday, February 24, 2012

Grocery Couponing 101

This is how I do my grocery shopping in so that I maximize savings as well along with necessity so that every time you go shopping you being cost-effective (and most importantly, not starving).

Step 1: Subscribe to a local Sunday newspaper.

This is crucial to obtaining the most manufacturer coupons and maximize savings before even comparing the savings from grocery store sales.

There are many forums that will show you the best Sunday papers in you area that offer coupon inserts. The major ones are Red Plum, P&G, and SmartSource.  I literally just google'd my location + Sunday coupon and select "Discussions" under search options and found the best option for newspapers that service my area to obtain coupons.  After you select a paper, you may want to see if there is promotional offer going on. For those of you in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area--News and Observer is your best bet. You can subscribe online to get regular Sunday deliveries for $1 (50% off retail price) using promo code SC13". For those of you in other locations, once you find a suitable newspaper, do a quick google search to see if there's any discounts you might be eligible for. You will save significantly on your grocery shopping if you can get your hands on Sunday newspaper inserts.

Step 2: Keep coupon inserts organized (preferably by date).

Sites like will show you the best groceries to purchase with coupons in any given week, but they categorize the coupons used by coupon insert origin and date. If you can make a binder or a folder and have your coupon inserts formed by date, it will not take you long to go through them when you make your shopping list. These websites monitor expiration dates for your coupons so they will help you manage when you should take advantage of the savings.  This makes life much easier and couponing more of a hobby (low time commitment) and less like work. This is where I may lose some of you guys because you may feel too lazy to keep up with this (honestly this takes all of 5 minutes of your time).

Step 3 (optional): Subscribe to posts.

Southern Savers posts daily and can give you the opportunity to grab printable coupons from various website sources for free. This is an optional step, but can help you optimize your savings and what items you buy. I only suggest doing this because manufacturer's release printable coupons for short periods of time even though the coupon expiration dates are much later.

Step 4: On the day of shopping (or day before), create your shopping list and get your deals!

Maximize your savings by checking the Southern Savers weekly specials posts that include coupon matches. Click on the printable links to get the printable coupons (this is where you might notice that some of those printables have expired). This website easily lets you check boxes on items you like and create a coupon savings shopping list (see my prior post with shopping lists I personally used!).

Other steps: Repeat printable coupons daily, differential between grocery stores, DON'T GET CRAZY!

Printable coupons are often limited to once daily printing, you can print more the following day and use it again to buy more of that item at a discounted price. Also Southern Savers offers other grocery stores in your area with sales and you can compare your discount savings across grocery stores. And finally, don't let your friends think you need to be on Extreme Couponing! Practical people understand that sometimes you can't always buy everything on a discount. Buy things you need and want, and definitely don't go hungry or eat unhealthy just because its cheaper! Its nice when you can save but it's not always simple, practical, fun, etc.

Do these steps and save lots of cash on groceries you would purchase normally! Happy shopping!

For next time: Saving Right Now Series! I will begin my advice ways you can start saving money right now!

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