So you’re new to couponing and want to know where to begin? With shows on tv like TLC’s Extreme Couponing, which has sparked interest in learning to get tons of groceries for a small amount of money. Here, you will learn everything you need to know to be successful with couponing and stretching your families budgets. Take a few minutes of your time to explore our pages, learn the couponing lingo and even read some interesting couponing myths! If you go through the info and are still not fully understanding something, please feel free to shoot us an e-mail or post the question on our facebook wall at B and V Savings.
Getting the Bang for your Buck
Sales + store coupon + manufacturers coupon = rock bottom prices.
2. Learn to be NOT brand specific: Sometimes some of the best sales are on items that you may have never purchased in the past. Be open minded! I would have never bought Fiber One Chocolate bars, but I picked them up because they were free. And you know what, they are very good!
3. Study the weekly sales circular. What is a circular? This is the newspaper sales advertisement usually located upon entry to the store. You can also find a copy of the circular in your weekly paper, if you subscribe to it.
4. Plan your shopping list using the stores weekly circular, and by planning your menu based on sale items. I love this tip because it really forces me to write down what I am having during the week for dinner and plan ahead. Cuts down on impulse buying.
5. Join your store’s rewards program, they are free to join. i.e., Extra Care Bucks (CVS), +UPs Rewards Program (Rite Aid)
6. Use store coupons for the best savings.
Nabisco 100 Calorie Pack $2.00
Store Coupon $1/1
Manufacturer Coupon $1/1
Final Price: FREE
You can also use a clipper service, you pick the coupons you want and how many you want, and they cut them out and send them to you.
You can also order newspaper subscriptions at Discount Newspapers, just put in your zip code and see your options!
One of the most frequently asked questions is how do I get started using coupons and saving money. When I talk to people about how to use coupons and save I usually get things like, oh, “they never have coupons for the stuff I buy”, “it takes too much time” or “it’s just too confusing”. I just shake my head and say no, no, no. These are just excuses pure and simple. Anyone can save even a little bit and it’s easier then you think. Here are ways to get it going:
1. Have an open mind!This is the most important part of saving money. Without an open mind, it’s just not going to happen. You must be open to trying new products and new brands. Throw your brand loyalty out the window. Trust me on this one. Let yourself go for a couple of weeks to just try it. It will work but only if you let it.
2. Change the Way You Shop: You will no longer be shopping for the week, you will now be shopping to stock up.Throw out the thought of clipping your coupons from the Sunday insert and taking those newly clipped coupons to the store to shop. You are just not going to save money that way. You are now going to shop the circular. Look for the best sale prices on an item and match a coupon to score them at the lowest price.Once an item is available at a super low price, it’s time to stock up. Buy 4 or 6 of the item so you have enough until the next time the price drops low. This simple money saving technique is referred to as stockpiling and it is the key to saving money.
3. Start Small: Don’t try to become the coupon queen or king overnight.Taking on too much too soon can overwhelm you and burn you out very quickly. Trying to master 3 drugstores, a grocery store and a bunch of catalina deals in a month is only going to have you seeing stars. Don’t do it. Start small with 1 drugstore first, learn how the deals work at that store and get the best deals there. Then move onto another store.
The best place to start CVS
It’s simple, easy and the deals are basic. You can build up your stockpile of health and beauty aid products fairly quickly (and food too). And, while you are doing it, you will be learning and gaining more confidence that will help you to conquer another store.
4. Gather Your Coupons, because without coupons, none of this works.
The first few weeks as a new couponer, you will come across a few deals that you just don’t have the coupons for yet. Maybe they were from an older insert or they were printable coupons that are not available any longer. Don’t worry about missing out on some deals. Know that there are plenty of them. So, just concentrate on using the coupons you have and organizing them. In no time, you’ll have enough coupons to wallpaper your kitchen.
5. Stacking Coupons
There are two types of coupons – a store coupon and a manufacturer coupon. You may use one manufacturer coupon per item. However, to maximize your savings, you can use both a store coupon and a manufacturer coupon on one item. This is referred to as coupon stacking. Coupon stacking is one of most effective ways to save money.
Coupon stacking is not to be confused with doubling coupons. Doubling coupons means the store will take the value of your coupon and double it. Coupon stacking means using two coupons on one item.
Each store has its on policy on whether they allow stacking. If they do permit stacking, this will allow one manufacturer coupon and one store coupon per item. Remember, you have to determine if your coupon is a store or manufacturer coupon before you try to stack. Just because a coupon has a store logo on it, it does not automatically make it a store coupon. You will want to check to make sure it is a true store coupon and not a manufacturer coupon.
Some of you have looked at the verbiage on the coupon that says that you may not use the coupon with another offer. When you see this verbiage, it means you may not use two manufacturer offers or two store offers together. It does not mean you cannot use a store coupon and manufacturer coupon together.
It is important to know your stores policy. Here are some common stacking policies:
Rite Aid actually allows 3 coupon per item. Per their policy you may use one manufacturer coupon, one Rite Aid RC48 coupon and one Rite Aid RC49 coupon. To determine what the RC code is, look at the 4 four digits of the coupon. Regardless of the source, you may only use one of each type per item.
Target allows one manufacturer coupon and one Target Store coupon per item. Target Store coupons include those found instore, online and in newspapers. Regardless of source, you may only use one Target Store coupon per item.
CVS allows one manufacturer coupon and one CVS coupon per item.
When purchasing a single item, Walgreens accepts one manufacturer coupon and applicable Walgreens coupon(s) for the purchase of a single item. The only caveat at Walgreens is – The number of manufacturer coupons, including Register Rewards manufacturer coupons, may not exceed the number of items in the transaction.
Remember, not all stores allow coupon stacking. Some stores do not offer store coupons at all. Please check with your store to see what your stores policy is.
Rice & Pasta
Snacks (crackers, nachos, salsa, popcorn)
Canned goods (tomatoes, sauce, soups, vegetables)
Cleaning supplies (cleaners, garbage bags, laundry)
Drinks (water, soda, iced tea, coffee, tea, juice)
Dairy (butter, creamers)
Meats & Fish (keep frozen)
Health & Beauty Products (band aids, shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, soap, etc)Start your stockpile slowly only looking fBreads (keep frozen)
or those items that are cheap or free. Within 4 weeks of starting your stockpile you can start to see approximately $50 knocked off your grocery bill. Within 8 weeks you can get to as much as $100 or even more off your weekly bill.
Back to School: pudding cups, lunch meat,
Staples and Office Depot penny items
Disinfectant: Clorox, Purell
Clearance: insect repellant, sunscreen, charcoal
Seasonal Produce: Gravenstein apples, avocados, beans, green beans, berries, corn, cucumber, eggplants, figs, grapes, melons, onions, peaches, Bartlett pears, bell peppers, plums, raspberries, summer squash, tomatillos, tomatoes
Back to School Sales through Labor Day: crayons, pencils, folders, binders
Diabetes: Bayer glucose meters, Glucerna cereal
Seasonal Produce: apples, artichokes, beans, bell peppers, chili peppers, cucumbers, eggplants, grapes, onions, Valencia orange, pears (Asian, Bartlett), pomegranates, squash, tomatillos, tomatoes, winter squash
Beginning of the baking sales: canned pumpkin, evaporated milk, baking chips
National Seafood Month
Adopt a Shelter-Dog Month: Pedigree, Purina
Seasonal Produce: almonds, apples, artichokes, arugula, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, chard, chestnuts, cranberries, lemons, parsnip, pears, pomegranates, potatoes, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, spinach, winter squash, turnips, yams
Baking Sales in full swing: nuts, chocolate chips, evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, coconut, cake mixes
Canned foods: soup, broth, condensed milk, vegetables, fruits, spaghetti sauce
Thanksgiving: turkey, canned pumpkin, Stove Top stuffing, Betty Crocker boxed potatoes, gravy mixes, Rhodes rolls, frozen pies, cranberry sauce, Jello, marshmallows
Seasonal Produce: Anjou pears, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, celery, Comice pears, cranberries, kiwis, lemons, oranges, potatoes, squash, yams
Clearance: After Halloween Sales are the time to stock up on things for the next year. I like to buy the Halloween candy-alternatives like Halloween crayons, erasers, watches, spinning tops, etc. I mix this in with my next year’s candy bowl, and it stretches my loot for all the neighbor kids!
Holiday Dinner: egg nog, deli platters, instant potatoes, gravy mixes, Rhodes rolls, frozen pies, cranberry sauce, Jello, marshmallows
Baking: flour, sugar, butter, cream, cake mixes, brownie mixes, muffin mixes, breads, pie crusts, marshmallows, whipped cream
Canned foods: soup, broth, condensed milk, vegetables, fruits, spaghetti sauce
Clearance: Buy all your Thanksgiving decorations, extra table settings, and turkey carving products now once they’re at least 50% off.
Here at B and V Savings, we do the work so you dont have to.