Thursday, September 17, 2009

How I save at the grocery store using coupons!

I'm sure there are many ways to organize and use coupons, this is my version. Once you get the hang of it, you will create your version, but hopefully this helps get you started!

I bought 2 letter sized plastic coupon organizers, I'm sure you have seen them, you can get them anywhere (but the key is letter-size). I placed labels on each divider (frozen, breakfast, Cleaners, Hygiene, Snacks, Baking, etc). Normally, I get a few Sunday Newspapers if I like the coupons and I cut out the ones I know I am going to use. The others that I haven't cut out, I place in a binder, just in case I hear about a good deal or a friend needs them. Next, I sort my coupons from online and the Sunday News and place in the appropriate area, making sure I place like coupons with each other.

Next, I make my grocery list, normally this is everything, what we need, what we would like to have and things that we maybe don't need right now, but we're running low. Now comes the fun part..... I check out the store circulars--all of them! From there, I widdle my list down. If we need something because we're running low and it's not on sale, I don't buy it. If we want something that we haven't had in a while as a treat and it's on sale AND I have a coupon, I buy it. Things that we need that usually don't come with coupons, I buy anyway, i.e. milk, produce, etc. But typically, I wait for a sale to pair with coupons and stock up (I will have another article on this soon!)

Next, I organize the coupons I am going to use that week and place in another coupon organizer. I find this to be extremely helpful, because everyone is busy, you don't have to fiddle around finding a coupon you want to use, it's right where you need it and you don't have to get them out and carry them around the store, just open up your organizer and give the stash to the cashier. I have labels on my organizer, such as: "This Week at XYZ", so I can get what's on the list and check out!

Since I'm a complete nut about organization, I also like to type my list out on Numbers (we have a Mac) and figure out the cost of each item and then subject the sub-total with my coupons to make sure I don't go over budget. (You must think I have a ton of time on my hands, but I really don't. Once you set up the spreadsheet, it takes about 5 mins to input each week. PLUS, it's a really good list to have if your husband goes shopping for you!)

Don't be discouraged if at first you are only saving a few dollars. The more you use coupons, the easier it will become to save and reduce your monthly grocery budget!

1 comment:

Amy said...

Excellent post. Very helpful for someone like me who feels overwhelmed, not knowing how to get organized enough to pull off incorporating this whole coupon thing into my regular shopping routine!