Getting Started

On this page I will explain some of the basics of using coupons to lower your expenses when shopping for food and household items.  In my opinion, shopping with coupons is like a game.  Some people play better than others, but in the end everyone wins in some way.  The only way to lose at couponing is to just not play.  It  really is as simple as that. 

If you use any coupons at all, you will save money.  However, if you make your shopping list for the week and then look and see if there are coupons for what you already plan to buy at regular price, you will not save an incredible amount of money.

The key to truly getting your grocery budget down is to match up coupons with lowest sale prices, and stock up on items at those rock bottom prices.  If there are items that are constantly on your grocery list week after week, buy alot of them when you find them on sale and have coupons for them.  Great items to do this with are boxed goods, canned goods, and frozen items (if you have freezer space).  Once you get a good stockpile of your household's basic needs and a few extras, you should find that your grocery list of items you "need" will be greatly reduced.  This means that there are fewer and fewer items that you end up paying full price for, which further lowers your grocery budget.

I used to do all of my shopping at Wal-Mart or Target, thinking foolishly that I would get lower prices there than I would at grocery stores.  If I have a lot of items on my "need" list, then I will go to one of these stores, or Aldi (so glad that store just opened) and mostly purchase store brands.  If I purchased my needed items at a grocery store at regular shelf prices I would greatly overpay.  That is why I only purchase items at grocery stores that are advertised on sale, and more often than not I have a coupon to use for these items also.

If you are going to shop at grocery stores in your area, the first thing you need to do is learn their coupon policies.  Find out if they double or triple coupons, and if so how many.  This information is usually printed in their sale ads across the top or bottom.  This can mean different things at different stores, or at the same store in different regions, so check with your local store to be sure.

When I begin to plan my shopping trip, I sit down with all of my sale ads.  I flip through them and circle the items that are on sale for low prices (not everything advertised on sale is necessarily a good bargain).  I will search through my coupons and online to see if there is also a coupon for that item.  I then make a list of all the sale items that I plan to purchase.  I write out their sale price.  I subtract the value of my coupons, doubling or tripling them when appropriate.  I gather up those coupons with my list for that store, and take only that with me to the store.  This keeps me from buying any extras also. =)  I also total up what the value should be before I go, so there are no surprises at the register.  I have been pleasantly surprised at how many items I can get for FREE after coupons. 

For more help on with saving money, please visit any of the topics listed below:

What Is A Coupon?
Where Do You Find Coupons?
How Do You Use A Coupon?
What Happens After You Redeem A Coupon?
How Do You Double A Coupon?
How Do You Price Match?
How Do You Stack A Coupon?
When Is The Best Time To Use A Coupon?
All About Stockpiles
How to Match Coupons To Sale Prices
How To Save By Shopping At Drug Stores
Anything Else?

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