Okay, so now that we all know that coupons WILL help you save money— the real question is: “how do I do it?”
You’ve seen Extreme Couponing on TLC, but where do you start? Here are my two universal tips to start couponing, without becoming overwhelmed:
- Write down a weekly budget
- Pick your two favorite grocery stores and become a rewards member
Tip # 1: Write down a budget
Right now, your shopping trip probably looks like this:
You go to the grocery store, you pick out everything on the shelf and are SOMEWHAT cautious of the price. Then you get to the register and you’ve spent $200 dollars, but you can’t put it all back so you suck it up and pay.
How to use Tip # 1:
Write down your grocery list before you go. Then write down the number you are GOING TO SPEND. For instance today on this grocery trip, I am going to budget to spend $150 only.
Make it a priority to stick to this number (or as close to it as you can). Start realistic, and say,”I want to see a savings number of $20, this week from last week on my final bill.”
The second part of setting a budget number is to take a look at what you need for the week, not what you THINK you need. Many of us have duplicates in the refrigerator and the pantry, and we don’t even realize it. We just keep stocking up… just in case.
But before you go to the grocery store this week, go through your kitchen and see what actual items you have to have in order to prepare your meals, for children’s lunches etc. Once you get prepared to shop, you will see your grocery bill slowly diminish!
Tip # 2: Pick your TWO favorite Grocery stores and become a rewards member
Most grocery stores in your area will have bonuses and rewards for becoming a store member or joining their mailing list for deals. They may also offer digital coupons in addition to other savings at local grocery stores. Read more about those here.
JOIN NOW- You won’t be sorry!
When you become a member or join the email list, it’s free (most times). You will start to gain access to free store money, as I like to say. Whether you get money towards gas, emailed coupons, or savings in store, you’re earning money and lowering your bill!
You can benefit from the discounts on personal items, meat, fruit and other BOGO (Buy One Get One Deals). These store savings can be in ADDITION to clipped coupons.
- ACME: Check out the bottom of their website, today. Sign up for email deals and click on their link for MONEY SAVING COUPONS! Join in-store or online.
- Stop & Shop: visit the Stop and Shop website, today. Located at the top of the page is a link for Savings and Rewards. Once you sign up for your FREE Stop & Shop card, you can start earning the store’s best deals, gas rewards, Upromise and more! Read about their coupon policy and more. Don’t you want to save and the pump and in the store, I do!
- Shop Rite: If you shop at Shop Rite, click on the SAVE bar, located at the top of their website. Learn about online promotions, download digital coupons, create online grocery lists and more! You can have all your coupons, digitally loaded onto your Shop Rite card, and redeemed at the time you check out- it’s that simple!
Have fun with this process and learn how your store helps you save money. Don’t become overwhelmed, thinking you have to start out with a massive pile of paper coupons. Start slowly, and learn how it all works. Start with signing up at your favorite store and focus on the in-store deals.
Visit the website weekly to download the circular and find out what’s on sale. Scout your kitchen and pantry for what you really need, and create your list. Upon arrival to the store, focus on the sale items and the member deals (of products you really need).
Upon check out, scan your members card and watch your savings add up.
We will focus on those paper coupons, next week!