Thursday, January 7, 2010

Beginner Couponing

I've been couponing for almost a year and I'm addicted to the deals and savings. Most coupon blogs are confusing and aggressive, some of my beginner friends are having a hard time sorting through all the mess.
Today I'm going to post a super-beginner-easy coupon trip to Albertsons. They are having a great sale (ends tuesday jan 12th) right now that is an easy way to start. So get excited ladies, your first savings adventure of the new year. If you live in town, I'd be happy to go with you (my little guy loves riding in shopping carts) but I'll keep everything simple so you can handle it by yourself too.

Step one: Creating your shopping list
If you get the Wednesday newspaper, grab your ad, I don't so I look online. Visit www.albertsons.com, find "today's savings" and "view your ads." I like to click "browse by page" for easy viewing. To save the most $$ you want to combine what's on sale this week with a coupon. Go to page 6 of the ad for our great deal this week. The offer says that if you purchase $20 worth of items from this page, you get $5 back. So, look over all of the items there and choose the ones you use or like the most. Get your calculator ready, you want to get to $20, try to get as close as you can.
Here are 2 sample scenarios I did lastnight (and yes, you have to check out twice, I just put a divider between piles and paid twice, no big deal):

3 boxes of Honey Nut Cheeries - $1.88 each
1 box Multigrain Cheeries - $1.88
2 Betty Crocker fruit snacks - $1.88 each
1 box yellow Cheerios - $1.88
2 boxes 40 oz. bisquick - $2.99 each
1 Green Giant steamer veggies - $1.49
--------------------------------------------$20.60 total

4 boxes chicken, tuna, hamburger helper - $1 each
4 boxes Gushers - $1.88 each
2 boxes Betty Crocker fruit snacks - $1.88 each
2 boxes Honey Nut Cheerios - $1.88 each
1 Green Giant steamer veggies - $1.49
--------------------------------------------$20.53 total

My friend Jaimie got lots of Progresso soups, the yogurts are a great deal also, mix and match to whatever your family eats. As you can see, we like cereal and fruit snacks! Make sure you have a list written down, so you grab the right amount at the right price when you're shopping. Step one - done!

Step Two: Finding your coupons
I find most of my coupons online. The sunday insert has some, but you can do just fine without subscribing to the paper. To print coupons you need to install the coupon printer, super easy, free and takes a few seconds. The first place I look for coupons is bettycrocker.com. You do have to register with an email, but it's free. On the very top you'll see "coupons" click there. Scroll down and check mark all the coupons that match what you selected on your shopping list. Do you see bisquick, yoplait, progresso, fruit snacks, gushers, green giant, fiber one? Ta da!!! You can print each coupon twice from this website, it will ask you to install when you hit print.

The second place I look for coupons is at coupons.com. Do the same thing, scroll through the pages and find ones that match your list. You can print each coupon twice from this website also.

The third place I like is coupons.smartsource.com. Same rule here, twice per computer.

Read each coupon carefully and make sure if you have to buy 2, you have 2 on your list. Make any adjustments to your list and you're done with step 2!! Note on the printing - it lets you print twice per computer, so if you have 2 computers in your house you could have 4 coupons. Sometimes I even go to my mom's house and print, lol. Whatever works!

Step 3: Hit the aisles!
I go with my detailed shopping list and my coupons paper-clipped to the back. I put all of the items in order when I shop, and hand the cashier my coupons after he's done scanning everything. Your $5 off (called a catalina) will print AFTER you pay. If it doesn't print, speak up and the cashier will have to go over your receipt and get you one, this rarely happens. Most of the time I use that $5 off coupon right there, and check out a second time with my non-coupon items like cucumbers, tomatoes, eggs and fruit.

Alright - does that sound do-able? Is couponing attainable for the new year?

Comment if you have any questions, I'd love to help. I love being a stay-at-home mom and if I have to spend an hour clipping and gathering coupons every week to save money, then I'll do it. The more I can save, the more I'm gaurenteeing that I won't have to go back to work. It is fun though, searching for the deal and getting name brand products for cheap. Happy couponing!!

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1 comment:

Larsen said...

Bwahahah! I thought you were my neighbor Camille when I read your comment on our BloggyGotBack website. Which was weird cause, I just designed a Valentine one for her! Hee Hee!

(This is Gina, one of the designers.)

Hired someone to design your blog, huh. That is interesting, esp. when you can get blog looks for free!

That is what Dana and I do. So if you have something specific in mind, for a blog background, email me at kyleandgina@gmail.com and tell me what you are looking for.

That lime Rickey one does seem to suit you now that I see your the look of your 'Freshly Sweezed" blog background!

Don't worry about making your designer feel bad. She certainly knows that you have your freedom to changed you blog look depending on your mood! Use us, don't use us. For a week, for a month, for day. Spread the love of blog backgrounds, just for the sake of it!

Fun to meet you!

Gina

(Also, you might get even more comments if you go into your Settings, select comments, the select "pop-up window" instead of Embedded below posts.)

Happy Bloggin' Girl!

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