Thursday, March 19, 2009

New to Couponing?

SET A GOAL TO ESTABLISH A STOCKPILE - Think about setting a goal to have 6-12 months of these products on hand. By doing this, you eliminate buying out of necessity, which is when you pay the most. For example: if you have a stockpile of shampoo, you'll be able to wait three months until it's at its rock bottom price before buying more. In contrast, if you are out of shampoo and buy one at a time, you'll most likely pay the shelf price for it!

-Break it down into monthly goals:
• Canned goods
• Frozen foods
• Breads
• Personal Hygiene
• Household miscellaneous
• Non-parishables
• Fruits (frozen & canned)
• Meats
START YOUR COUPON STASH - The two best places to find coupons are the internet and newspaper inserts but there are a few more I have listed as well.
-Newspaper Inserts:
Consider buying multiple copies of the newspaper. The Seattle Times carries all the coupon inserts for our area. How many copies should you get? You can get a sneak peek at coupons for the upcoming paper (available Thursday evenings) by going to Taylor Town Preview[1] Then you can adjust the number of papers you buy to fit the quantity/desirability of the coupons! Most stores have their Sunday papers already by Saturday night so you don’t have to wait until Monday morning.-Internet Printables:
Hot Coupon World[2], A Full Cup[3] offer a comprehensive list of internet printable coupons. Both have a search feature so you can see all the available coupons for each product. Krazy Coupon Lady [4]also has the most comprehensive internet printable database on the web. Bookmark these sites!
-Ask Friends and Family:
Ask co-workers, friends and family for their inserts. If they aren't going to use them, you might as well ask.
-Coupon Clipping Service:
According to the law, no one can sell a coupon. But they CAN charge you for the time and effort put into clipping it. You'll find lots of coupons for sale on eBay, Coupon Clippers[5], and The Coupon Master[6]. My favorite site for our area is called Manufacturer’s Coupons [7]. The owner lives in Marysville and will put your coupons in the mail the same day you order. I have always received mine the next day. This is great for expiring coupons or if you want to get in on a hot sale before it is over. But you need to be quick! The good ones are bought up fast!
-Recycle Bin Digging:
I know this sounds crazy but try it. As long as you don’t climb into the bin, you are perfectly legal. Oft times, the newspapers are stacked so high that you can reach them right through the deposit holes. Just root through and pull out the coupon inserts from the Sunday papers. Start keeping an index folder for each weeks inserts. Then you can access them easily when a website tells you that something is on sale and what coupon to use from a specific insert date.

MATCH COUPONS WITH SALES - For example, if Softsoap hand soap is $2.29 and you have a $.35 off coupon, that's not going to do you much good right? But if you wait for the soap to go on sale for $.99 THEN use your coupon, your OOP will be $.64 or 72% off the regular price! If you have 3 coupons for Softsoap, you will pay less for 3 than you normally do for 1. The extra two go into your stockpile and you don't have to buy hand soap until it goes on sale again!
Digital Coupons- Shortcuts[8], Cellfire[9] and P&GeSaver [10] have ecoupons that you can “add” to your Safeway & QFC store cards.
• They will deduct from your shopping trip only once but each site will give you the savings.
• These will work in addition to a manufacturer coupon.
• For example: Yoplait yogurt is on sale for $2.50. On cellfire and shortcuts, there is a $1 off 1 Yoplait yogurt and you also have a manufacturer coupon for $1 off 1 you cut out of the Sunday paper. If you load that coupon from both sites onto your card and then go to the store with your paper coupon, your total will actually be free plus a $ .50 overage. Free yogurt! And most of it came from carrying your card, no coupon clipping required.

QFC- QFC has markdowns on Dairy ALL THE TIME. They call them “Manager’s Specials.” Look for yogurts, sour cream, milk, cottage cheese and eggs. When you go through your Sunday inserts, always cut out dairy coupons and keep them with you for those quick trips in to QFC. My favorite tip at QFC-I rarely buy milk at full price. I go through the dairy items I want to purchase and look at the expiration date. If the item expires within 4 days, you can ask the dairy manager to mark it down for you. I usually pay 99 cents for my gallons of milk. With the continuous coupons that come in the Sunday paper, I usually get my yogurt for pennies. (I have spoken to the dairy manager and he is more than happy to do this for you. Just taking the time to ask and wait for them to mark it down is worth the savings.

EBAY- For Ebay coupons, look for sellers that live closer to you in the country. This makes it less likely that you will miss a sale and the sooner you get your coupons, the more likely you will get the quantity at the store. My favorite ebay coupon seller is fairladycoupons[11]. This is the same person who runs the site, Manufacturers Coupons[12].

WAL-MART & TARGET - Wal-Mart and Target will both price match competitors so bring in the competitor’s ads and get cheaper stuff all in one stop.

· You can use a manufacturer’s coupon in conjunction with a store coupon for even more savings.
· Before purchasing mass quantities of coupons online, make sure your store will have the stock on hand. They are more likely to stock mass quantities of jello boxes over packages of paper towels. Many stores will be happy to order mass quantities for you and hold them for when you come in. This is a great way to assure your desired quantity. (Walgreen’s and Albertson’s for sure will.)
· Don’t forget about rain checks.
· Devote time daily or weekly to really looking over the deals. Tuesdays for the upcoming grocery store ads and Sundays for the Drug Store Ads. (At least those are the days for our area.)
· Start small, one deal at a time. Baby steps.
· You can use a B1G1 free coupon with a B1G1 free sale to get both items for free.
· Read the small print in ads and coupons. Don’t forget to compare product sizes and quantities or you could end up ordering coupons for an item that they will not work on.
· Don’t go shopping with your kids unless you absolutely have to. (self explanatory)
· Don’t hesitate to email me!
· Train yourself to be on the lookout for:
Ø PEELIES - coupons found on the product itself.
Ø TEARPADS - just what it sounds like.
Ø BLINKIES - the small red blinking coupon machines located throughout the store.
Ø HANGTAGS - just what it sounds like.
· I have found that to make the most of couponing, it is important to ask yourself these 5 questions when you are interested in purchasing an item in bulk:
1. Will it expire before I can use it all?
2. Will it stack and do I have space for it? (Do I have freezer or fridge space?)
3. Will anyone in my family eat it or use it? (Will I really ever use that many?)
4. Am I buying enough for my needs?
5. Is it necessary? Am I taking it away from someone who does need it?

BOGO/B1G1 = Buy One Get One
CATALINA = Coupon printed at register after purchase is made
MANUFACTURER’S COUPONS = general coupons found in newspapers (does not have a store logo on it)
OOP = Out of Pocket
P&G = Proctor & Gamble (Newspaper Insert)
RP or V= Red Plum (aka “Vlassis”) (Newspaper Insert)
SS = Smart Source (Newspaper Insert)


Michelle said...

Thanks, Rachel! I know the Seattle PI stopped printing. Do you personally get a subscription to the Times? Are the coupons in the Sunday edition? Thanks! Michelle

Laura said...

You rock!

Beth said...

Rachel I attended your class in the Cedar River Ward a week ago or so and you gave us the name of an ebayer who was local who sells coupons and I can't for the life of me find her anywhere on ebay. You said her name was myfairladycoupons and I have tried searching for different variations of this username. Have you used her at all recently?

Rachel A said...

Sorry, it is fair lady coupons, not myfairlady.
Here is her store:

Post a Comment

Hi, I am Rachel

Hi, I am Rachel
Welcome to my website.