Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Teaching Tuesday: How To Match Coupons To Sale Items

I'm going to let you in on a little secret:  Even though you are using a coupon, you might not actually be saving money!  If you buy items just because you have a coupon for them, you could be paying much more than you need to if the item is not on sale at the time you purchase it!

The most effective way to coupon is to hold onto your coupons until there is a sale, and then buy as many as you have coupons for.  Ideally, that should be enough to last your family until the next time the item goes on sale.

If you are using the whole insert method, like we discussed last week, the coupon databases available now make it super easy to find the coupon you are looking for to go along with an item on sale.

Here's how they work:

I'll use an example from this week's Kroger sales ad:

Grands Biscuits are part of the Mega Sale.  $0.99 is about the lowest price I see these for, so this is the perfect time to stock up (You don't want to have used all your biscuit coupons last week when they were "on sale" for $1.79).

You're pretty sure you have a coupon for this item, but you don't want to flip through every insert you have, so you turn to a coupon database (most will ask you to register, but they are free to use).  My favorite is AFullCup.com, and I'll be using it in my examples.

You type in the product you are looking for in the search box, and any coupons that exist will show up below:

You can see that I typed in "Grands Biscuits", and several options appeared.  On the right hand side, it gives you the date and abbreviation, which tells you which insert to look in.  RP=Redplum, SS=Smartsource, GM=General Mills, and PG=Proctor & Gamble.

Once you know which insert(s) to check, you can quickly find the right one and flip through it and clip the coupons you need.


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