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This particular article will explain the basics (as easily as possible) and hopefully it won’t be so confusing for beginners. I know for me, I was so confused at first because I wasn’t really taught how to use the coupons properly or strategically. I had to learn everything by trial and error. My first time using the coupons was a disaster. I was flustered and really didn’t have a good idea how to use them. But as I went on, I started to stock pile groceries and personal items in my pantry and linen closet. As I said, this article is simply to break down as easy as possible the steps to using coupons in order to save enormous amounts of money on each shopping trip. 

There are several different resources available to obtain grocery coupons.  Sunday (or weekend) newspapers, online printables, blinkies (store coupons dispensed in a little black box in front of the actual item for which the coupon is for), stickies (coupons attached to items in the store), magazines, websites and sometimes even printed on the inside of packages, such as cereal boxes, that you can cut out when you’re done with the box. Or if you’re like me and want to use the coupon right away if there is a sale for that particular brand, you can take the bag of cereal or other product out, cut the coupon and save the contents in a storage container with a lid to keep it from getting stale.

So what I usually do is go to the local bodegas (corner store) on the night we have our recyclables picked up and get the box of newspapers they didn’t sell over the weekend. I take the boxes home, sort through each newspaper and retrieve each coupon booklet. Smart Source, Red Plum, Vallasis and P & G are the major coupon distributors for the newspapers.

Once I get my coupons together, I go through the week’s circular for each grocery store. I usually shop at Pathmark, Shoprite and A & P. They always have double coupons. A & P have triple coupons almost monthly from what I’ve noticed. Pathmark and Shoprite have them sporadically so I’m in the process of learning their monthly trends.

For those who don’t have access to getting coupons this way, there are several websites you can print coupons from and also order from for pennies on the dollar. I will post a seperate article regarding those resources.

This is just a basic overview of how to organize, clip, sort and use grocery coupons.

  • Organize all of your coupon booklets, if you have them, putting the matching ones together so that when you go through them, you can take out the pages of the coupons you want to use and clip 4 (or whatever works for you) of the same  coupons together instead of one by one. This saves a little more time and you won’t drive yourself nuts clipping one coupon at a time.
  • Once you’ve clipped out the coupons you’d like to use, organize them by grocery aisle as best you can, i.e. frozen food coupons, health and beauty aids, breakfast foods, etc. that way when you actually go shopping, you won’t be running from aisle to aisle, making yourself dizzy!  I have a small coupon organizer I store mine in for the ones I know I will use at the store that day.  The rest I keep at home in a box. Some people organize all of their coupons in a baseball binder, or actually buy a coupon/financial organizer.  To start out, you can use an envelope or zip loc baggie if you choose, as long as you have them organized.
  • Now, once you go through the grocery store circulars, you simply match up the sale items that you have coupons for (or that you’re interested in purchasing with the coupons you have for them).  The maximum limit per grocery order is 4 for each item. For example, If I have 4 coupons of Colgate toothpaste, I can purchase 4 tubes of Colgate in that same order. You don’t have to use coupons only on sale items but it certainly helps you save alot more if you do.
  • Now to the good stuff. Let’s say the Colgate toothpaste is on sale for 1.09 and you have a coupon for .50 cents off, if your store is doubling coupons then the face value of the coupon will be doubled, making the toothpaste come out to .09 cents each. If you happen to catch a triple coupon sale, the toothpaste will be free because the coupon’s face value is now tripled (automatically at the register) and it will come out to 1.50 off of the 1.09 sale price.

Another example…

Viva Paper towel roll….sale price 1.99 per roll…coupon for .75 cents off…doubled at register 1.50 off…end price .49 per roll. Tripled at register 2.25 off…end price FREE

You can save up to 70% (and sometimes more!) on your grocery bill if you strategically use these methods of shopping. Also make sure you have a “price plus” card or whatever grocery store card they offer to make sure the items that are on sale will be scanned at the sale price. I have gotten free items with coupons in one grocery trip and only paid for the sales tax.  🙂

One last thing. Most stores only double or triple up to .99 cents. I know there are a few stores down south that double up to 1.00. So what I do is shop at Walmart or another store that is having a sale for the coupons that are worth 1.00. You still can save up to 70% depending on what items you buy. CVS, Walgreens and Rite Aid have great sales as well. I will post another article on how to maximize the use of your coupons with other store sales as well.

This is just the basics for now. So please keep checking back for more articles. As I continue to gain more knowledge of resources, I will gladly post them here for you. 

Happy couponing!

Proud $weet $aver,

~Priscilla


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