Now, on to my notes from today...
How do you get your coupons?
I order most of my coupons from Coupons and Things by Dede. She’s located in Texas and gets several versions of each insert and you can “purchase” coupons from her as whole inserts or individually clipped coupons. She also ships super fast! I can order coupons today and have them by tomorrow or the next day, depending on what time of day I place my order.
Another way I have gotten coupons is through an agreement I made with a gas station to let me come get the unsold Sunday papers on Monday. They were going to throw the papers out anyway, so I am able to get them for free and also recycle the parts of the paper that I don’t use.
How do you prepare your shopping list?
I have an app on my iPod touch, Grocery iQ, and when I run out of things, I just scan the barcode of the last item and it adds it to my list. I will also add items to my list if I see a really good deal on a blog and I have (or can order) coupons to go along with that deal. I tend to only hand-write my lists if I have a bunch of deals to get using coupons.
Do you shop multiple stores?
I used to all the time. I would shop Kroger, Walgreens, Target, and sometimes Kmart (for their super doubles sales). However, since Chloe has gotten older and more mobile, I’ve chosen not to unless there’s a really good deal at another store that I don’t usually shop at. And especially with price matching being so popular now, I can usually get away with just doing a price match and not have to go to the other store(s).
The Grocery iQ app is great for people who shop different stores. You can have your shopping lists for each store inside the same app.
How do you put together your coupons with sales flyers?
I don’t do it all myself. I rely mostly on other bloggers and/or savings websites and forums to find all the deals. I’ve also gotten so to where I pretty much know what types of coupons are out there and how often certain things go on sale that if I see a good coupon come out, I’ll go ahead and order 10 or so of them, as usually, they’re at the max $0.12 each from Dede’s site.
For example: I follow My Memphis Mommy, who posts Kroger deals on her blog. Since Memphis stores are in the Delta Region, it’s the same flier that we get here. A few weeks back, one of her posts was about getting free pasta that week at Kroger. The person who’d done the matchup did it for a store that has Sunday – Saturday ads (ours run Wednesday – Tuesday), but since it was a reputable blogger (Deal Seeking Mom) I went ahead and ordered coupons from the Coupon Dede website. SO, when the Kroger ad came out Tuesday night (I get them via email) I was able to see that I WOULD be able to get some free pasta…lots of it, in fact, since I got a total of 60 coupons that were each $1/2 and the pasta on sale was for $0.49 each…so I ended up with 120 packages of free pasta when it was all said and done. I got these on 3 separate shopping trips – one on a Friday, one Monday, and one Tuesday, so that I wouldn’t be clearing the shelves and would allow for other coupon users to get theirs, too.
How do you organize your coupons?
I use a zippered binder and baseball card inserts for most coupons. For others, I have adjusted a 4x6 photo insert to fit into my binder. I use those for larger coupons.
I have empty page protectors or zipper pouches in the front of my binder so that as I’m shopping, I can pull out the number of coupons I will need to use and put into that so that I’m prepared when I get to checkout. I used to keep a pair of scissors and a few copies of current inserts in the front of the binder. That way, if I hadn’t clipped a coupon, but needed it while in the store, I could stop and clip it out.
I also keep updated coupon policies in sheet protectors in my binder. These come in handy if/when you get a difficult checker and/or store manager.
How do you keep track of all your coupons in the store to compare with the sales?
When I’m planning on using a bunch of coupons during a shopping trip, I usually make out a handwritten list and list the item, the price, and the coupon(s) that goes with the item, and then the final price after coupon.
I also have my binder sorted by item type: baby, dairy, canned food items, meats (incl. chicken nuggets, bacon, hot dogs, etc), so that if I come across a really good deal, I can look to see if I have a coupon for that item.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask me. Also, please be sure to follow my blog for future updates and deals.