One of my favorite things about using coupons is being able to stock up on groceries without adding anything extra to my grocery budget. I love having a full pantry. It saves me when I don’t have time to run to the grocery store and it makes me feel a bit more secure knowing we’d have food to eat in the event of an emergency. I’ve talked with many people that are surprised I take the time to cut coupons because they don’t think that cutting coupons is worth the time and effort. What they don’t realize is that cutting coupons allows me to buy my groceries for 70-100% off regular prices and takes me no more than an hour a week. That’s a pretty good hourly wage for cutting coupons as far as I’m concerned.
Get Multiple Sunday Papers
Most newspapers will offer you the option of subscribing to only the Sunday paper at a discounted rate. The biggest mistake people can make when starting to cut coupons is to only get one Sunday paper. When you do that, cutting coupons is absolutely not worth your time because you go through the time and effort of finding a deal, and you can only get one of each item. Get one Sunday paper for everyone in your family so that when something goes on sale you can buy multiple products. There are 5 people in my family so I usually get 5 Sunday papers. I’ve cut back to 4 papers right now because we have just moved and we currently don’t have the space to store too much extra food or household cleaning items so I’ve cut back for now.
Match up Coupons with Sale Prices
The most effective way to use your coupons is to wait until the item goes on sale for the lowest price, then add your coupon on top of that. You can get even better deals when a sale price combines with a store promotion. The best part is, you don’t have to do the work of matcing up the coupons. Many coupon blogs will do the matchups for you. I prefer to use Grocery Smarts.
In the above picture I got 20 packages of yogurt. For all of that yogurt, I paid – nothing. Yes, you read that right. How did I do it?
The yogurt was on sale 2 / $4.00
I had a coupon for $1 off 1 which made each yogurt $1 – a great deal to start with.
The deal got even better though because the store was having a promotion that offered you a coupon worth $5.00 on another shopping trip if you bought 5 items from the dairy section.
So, I bought 20 packages of yogurt priced at 2/$4 and used 20 coupons for $1 off (This is where having multiple Sunday papers comes in handy. These coupons were offered in several papers so I ended up with a whole stack of them).
Total OOP (out of pocket) – $20.00
Total value of coupons received back – $20.00
Final cost: FREE
The question becomes, can I eat all of that yogurt before it goes bad? Yogurt has a fairly long shelf life and my kids love it so I do try and stock up when it’s on sale, but no, we probably can’t eat all that before it goes bad. It turns out that my kids aren’t too picky about the form their food comes in though so I threw half of these in the freezer and they are eating them as desserts.
By stocking up on everything when the price is low I no longer have a need to buy things that are not on sale simply because I need it. Chances are, I already have some in my pantry or freezer.