~coupon clipping~

Coupon clipping can be so fun and rewarding.
Don’t let it become debilitating though, use coupons to enable you.

Why spend money when you don’t have to. Always shop the deals it will pay off. I recently saved $80 on my $125 grocery tab. Literally.

Shopping locally for produce can help and of course shopping in season. Use programs like “Saving Cents in Silverdale” on facebook or blogs like http://www.couponmom.com/ who will shop the deals for you.

Always look through the ads that come in your mailbox, the “junk mail” maybe begin to feel less like junk and more like treasure. Valpaks are great for eating out on date night. Costco’s coupons sometimes cut your cost nearly in half. At Costco the kinds of coupons they put out are cyclical so buy the limit listed on the coupon (usually 2)and 2 weeks later when you run out there is usually another coupon available for that same or a similiar item. I do this for kitty litter and usually save enough on the first one to get the second one free!

I use a little folder, I got at the dollar store, to keep my coupons organized. They are in groups and semi alphabetical (I am not too detailed on that) so that they are easier to find. Don’t worry about taking the extra time to pull your coupons and and use them. But also, don’t let the coupons completely dictate what you buy. For instance don’t buy a specific cleaning product, with a coupon, when a very similar, just as effective, and less expensive product is sitting right next to it. You can save even more by using the manufacturer’s coupons with already discounted products.
Albertsons will discount a product by a dollar or two, you have a coupon from the manufacturer (and then if you wait until Albertons puts their “twice the value” coupons in their ad, then you get double the amount on the manufacturer’s coupon) you can save a great deal! The item might cost you as little as 25% of the original price.
Once every two weeks or so, before I go grocery shopping I sift through the coupons and remove ones that are expired. That will get you every time. Don’t let it frustrate you.

If you carry them in your folder at all times, and the folder just stays in your purse like a wallet, you will always have them. The back pocket of the folder is where I keep receipts and gift cards when I have them.

On a regular basis I will shop for the bulk of my groceries at Albertsons using manufacturer’s coupons from Better Homes and Gardens (I subscribe) or coupons I find online. I use the Albertsons coupons, including the ones they print when I shop (which like facebook ads, usually pertain to me and the kinds of things I already buy). Then I also use the “twice the value” and always pair those with the largest coupons in your stack. The ladies at the counter don’t mind. I think they find it rewarding too to help us save money.

I like to get produce at our local Red Apple Market as it is generally cheaper if I am shopping seasonally. I  recently heard of a strategy to help you know if something is a “good deal.” A lady I know kept a small black book with her coupon folder and when she got something on a super sale or the lowest she had seen it she would record it. That way she would know if it really was a deal (in the long term). Be sure to use the unit price (per lb. etc) that is listed on the very bottom of the label.

The unit price is important whenever you are deal hunting look at that price as it will help you differentiate which item and in what quantity to buy. Most times a larger quantity (say of flour or sugar) will be a better price like buying in bulk, but sometimes when the 5lb. bag is marked down and the 10 lb. bag is not the unit price will reveal that it is better to buy to 5lb. bags then it is to buy 1 10 lb. bag. Don’t assume anything. Look at that all so important unit price.

Leave your tips for successful coupon clipping here…

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  1. We all love the the "scones at the fair" which are Fischer Scones. Well they are normally about $4.50 a bag (18oz and makes a batch, 12 scones)
    In the "Bulk section" at Central Market you can get the mix for $1.47 a lb!!! I just fill each little bag to 18 ounces and I have the same thing for one third the price!!!

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