HOW TO SHOP WITH GROCERY STORE AND SUPERMARKET COUPONS
-- Cut your food and grocery budget -- Strategies for low price shopping --
Covering coupons, rebates, sales, stock piling, convenience stores, substitutions, scams, refunds
Consumer guide to frugal living. From previously published Newsletters © Copyright 1995-2000 by SAVVY-DISCOUNTS.com
This is a free service by the nation's #1 free newsletter for smart consumer ideas
click here to find our more about SAVVY-DISCOUNTS.com
6.1 HOW TO SHOP WITH GROCERY STORE AND SUPERMARKET COUPONS
By Debi Drecksler
As a 'die-hard' coupon shopper, I do my homework ahead of time. First I check the paper for store specials and then I go through my coupons to see if I have any for products the store is already discounting. This gives me a double savings. One rule I follow is...DO NOT CUT OUT COUPONS FOR PRODUCTS YOU HAVE NO INTENTION OF PURCHASING. This eliminates a lot of extra work when sorting through coupons.
Another helpful rule is...TAKE A FEW MINUTES AT THE BEGINNING OF EACH MONTH AND PULL OUT ALL THE COUPONS THAT EXPIRE THAT MONTH. This measure is useful because it eliminates the chance of your coupons expiring before you have had the opportunity to use them. I find when I put those coupons in a separate labeled envelope and keep them in my purse, I tend to use them more often.
My method of filing coupons is very simple. I divide them into two categories, food and non-food items. Years ago I used to have everything divided by products such as vegetables, juices, etc. but I found that it actually became too complicated and time consuming. (Sometimes I accidently filed a coupon under the wrong category and then spent too much time searching for it). So I switched to this easy system and have had much better success. SIMPLIFY YOUR ROUTINE; YOUR TIME IS PRECIOUS. After I have searched for coupons for in-store specials, I go through my weekly grocery list and look for coupons for items on my list.
Write out your grocery list putting a star or some other marking by each item that you have a coupon for. Then go one step further and list any important information about the coupon. For example: must buy 2 items or must buy 16 oz. or larger. List your items and coupons by product category so you don't have to backtrack down an aisle a dozen times. If you are very familiar with your store, you can list your items ahead of time according to the aisles in your store.
When you are filling your cart make an effort to separate perishable from non-perishable foods and cleaning items from food items. This will make easier to get the cooperation of your bagger when you request your items to be packed like that. (Who wants their floor cleaner packed with the fresh fruit?) Cashiers and baggers love anything that makes their job a little easier and you will have more time to concentrate on the items being scanned.
Watch carefully as the cashier is scanning your coupons. If you are shopping at a store that doubles coupons up to a specific amount, check your receipt carefully to make sure they are indeed being doubled. On coupons that offer a free item, try to be helpful by writing that amount on the coupon as the item goes through the scanner. Cashiers hate to have to hold up the line by going back and searching the receipt for the price of the "free' item.
Also it is wise to look over your receipt after every shopping trip to check all scanned prices. Incorrect pricing happens all the time.( I once got charged 10 dollars for 3 green peppers).