Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Couponing 101

It's hard to keep with New Years Resolutions. I thought it might help some of you in your "Save Money" or "Use Coupons" goals to have a post on Coupons 101.

Types of coupons:

E-coupons are a new thing stores are doing. You can go to Smiths.com and "load" E-coupons onto your saving card. They automatically come off your order when you purchase that item. Make sure you check your receipt to make sure they did come off.

Coupon Maxing is another thing stores do on occasion. Starting today and ending Saturday, Smith's will max any coupon under $1.00 for $1.00. So, if you have a .25 coupon it's maxed at $1.00 off.

How to get coupons
Some people purchase extra copies of their Sunday paper to get more coupons from the ads. Friends and family that do not coupon might be willing to save the ads for you as well.
Utah Thrifty 101 readers can click HERE to get discounts on multiple newspaper subscriptions.

Look for "peelies" on packages that you can use, tear off pads in the aisle and double check for "cantinas" (receipts that print off with your receipt). Today at Smith's I found a 2 pack of grilled chicken breasts normally $4.99 marked down to $2.49 with $1 peely coupon on it. So I paid $1.49 a package or .75 per chicken breast!

Stores like Target have coupons you can print right from their website.

A trick I have found with coupons, is ONLY CUT COUPONS YOU WOULD USE, or ones you might try if you can get them FREE. It takes time and effort to cut and organize all your coupons. I went crazy after I took the savvyshopper seminar and cut everything that I might possibly ever use. I ended up with a lot of expired coupons and wasted time in cutting and organizing them.

Another little known fact is manufacturer coupons and store coupons can both be used on the same item. An example is with the Charmin I bought a while ago. The store was having a promotion, buy 4 get $4.00 off Mix and Match. I mixed 4 items, one of them was a package of Charmin:

Charmin was on sale for $5.99. I got $1.00 off for buying 4 promo items (buy 4, get $4 off), I had a store E-coupon for $2.00 off and a manufacturer coupon for .25 that was maxed at $1.00 off. So I got a total of $4.00 off that ONE package.....for a grand total of $1.99 for a 12 mega pack of Charmin.

There are many organization methods you can use to store coupons. Envelopes, accordion folders, boxes, 3 ring binders....the list goes on and on. I personally use the 3 ring binder described here on savvyshopperdeals.com. I use baseball trading card plastic pages to put coupons in individually and divide them with page dividers.

Mark downs & coupons
Most people don't realize you can use coupons on mark down and clearance items. I take my folder with me into the store. If I find a dented box of Quaker Granola bars marked down to .78 and I have a .50 off 1 coupon, I just got a perfectly good box of granola bars for .28!

Refrigerated items have a shorter life and are on clearance a lot. I often find Go-Gurt and Lunchables in the mark down area. I only buy them if I have a coupon to go with them, and more often then not I do.

I was told to look at each coupon as the money it represents, not just a piece of paper. If someone were to give you a quarter for buying something you would buy anyways, wouldn't you take it?
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  1. I used my coupon for bounty and got 1 roll for $0.09. It was the Bounty Basic and they didn't have a huge stock. But if they got it it is a good deal.

  2. I spent $51.60 at Smiths this AM and saved $121 for a total of 71% savings. And I am a newby at this, unlike Michelle who is a pro. Seriously people it is worth it. I got my greek yogurt for 0.19 each! Free gum, almonds, body wash, deodorant, febreeze, the list goes on and on.

  3. This is a post from the Thrifty 101 Facebook page from Laurie Clark Jacobson:
    "So i took your advice. I got a binder and clipped 5 weeks worth of coupons last night. Went to king soopers today (which is a Kroger company just like smiths) and shopped their mix and match and had a coupon for every item i bought. I spent I spent $25.26 and saved 33.35. for a total of 57% off regular price." YAY LAURIE!! :D


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