Tuesday, September 30, 2008

couponing 101 - where to find the deals

Since numerous people have been asking about my mad couponing skills (hahaha), I thought I would dedicate a post (or two or three) to explaining what I do. Please note that I am by no means an expert, but have been able to drastically cut our grocery budget over the past year and a half. I honestly can't even remember how it started, but I believe it was while I was on unpaid leave after Bitty was born. (I hadn't built up enough sick days after Bugman was born and decided to take an extra 2 weeks off making my maternity leave 8 weeks instead of 6).

Many people are able to look through the Sunday advertisements with their coupons and figure out some great deals. I am not one of those people. I was not given the gift, the patience, nor the time to do it, SO I have found some great sources that find the deals for me!!!

The first place I started was The Grocery Game, which is an online subscription. The Grocery Game has a computerized database that matches the best sales with the best coupons each week. This guarantees that you are getting the best prices for the items you need. The database also tells you the best sales on non-coupon items each week (such as meats, milk, etc.). Many of the deals are not listed in the weekly flyer you find in your local paper. The subscription is $10 every 8 weeks for one store and an additional $5 for each additional store. I use both the Kroger and Meijer pages. I would highly recommend starting here because it is EASY PEASY! You simple click on the items you plan on purchasing and print the list to take with you to the store.

Later in my couponing journey I discovered Money Saving Mom. I think I ran across her website when Jenny from Mommin' It Up starting participating in her Super Savings Saturday. She posts a lot of great deals and freebies as well as where to find online coupons. (This is the one downfall of The Grocery Game, while it tells you what coupons to use from the newspaper, it does not take into account very many of the printables out there.)

*Note - If you are planning on using any online printable coupons I highly suggest creating a "Junk E-mail" account to use anytime you are asked for your e-mail. If not you will get a lot of junk in your regular e-mail*

Money Saving Mom also has a great explanation of how to start working CVS for freebies here. I highly suggest reading it to learn more about stacking coupons, rolling Extra Care Bucks (ECB), and getting PAID to shop!

I also frequent Thrifty in the Cincy. Jamie is a couponing mom in Cincinnati who figures out some of the best deals at both Kroger and Meijer. Combine her internet coupon deals with The Grocery Game and you will absolutely save some $$$.

Now, for your homework... check out these three sights, and clip your coupons from Sunday's paper. Remember to clip ANYTHING you would use if you could get it for free or close to free!!

and because a post isn't a post without a picture...


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