Sunday, August 4, 2013

Grocery Grumblings: Confessions of a Couponer

Today, I'm very excited to introduce Rebecca Lettelleir, conquerer of the couponing world. Becca will navigate us through her couponing process and will provide you with some excellent tips to get you started saving big as well. Also, a little birdie told me Becca will be teaching a couponing class here soon in the south Atlanta area. Once details are confirmed, I'll pass along the information. Seriously, I envy her coupon expertise. I'll be quiet now and let Becca take over...  

I love, love, love couponing! Once you figure out what you are doing, it is so much fun. It truly is addicting. Hello, my name is Rebecca and I am a couponer. I am sure somewhere in the world, they are starting a couponers annonymous.

I began couponing, not too long after I got married four years ago. I took a couponing class from a friend which jump-started my addiction. I mean, who doesn't love free stuff and spending less on groceries? Couponing quickly becomes a game of finding the best deals every week.

Where To Shop

Photo: Couponing Publix: -7 cents. Yes, they paid me 7 cents to take this from the store. My overage covered tax and then some extra pocket change.
-7 cents. Yes, they paid me 7 cents to take this from the store. My overage covered tax and then some extra pocket change.
Ninety percent of all my grocery deals come from Publix. Many of my friends refuse to shop at Publix because they think it's too expensive. Most of my great deals come from Publix and for $1 or less. I have had experiences where they actually paid me cash money to take items from the store. Who can pass that up? 

One little tip: even if you have overage at other grocery stores, they will not pay you cash, but good ole Publix will. 

Now that you know my favorite grocery store, let's talk drug stores. All the major drugstores like CVS, Walgreens and Rite Aid, all have good deals from time to time. Up until recently, I did not coupon drugstores very much until I realized what all I was missing out on. You can find cosmetics, paper products, household cleaners and occasionally grocery deals at the drugstores. My favorite out of all three is CVS. To me, it is the easiest to learn if our just starting out.

Where To Get Coupons

21 cents!
Approximately 50 percent of my coupons come from printable links online while the other 50 percent come from newspaper inserts. If anyone has ever attempted to coupon, they know what kind of junk comes in the inserts. Three coupons you can use and 75 that you can't. I use to buy two double papers that way I got four of every insert which cost me on average about $8 a week. I couldn't tell you the last time I actually bought a newspaper for coupons.

I now purchase my coupons from Coupon Dede's, a clipping agency online. There is a small handling fee for each coupon and you pay a small amount to ship the coupons. There is a $5 minimum to order so with shipping I spend about $6.15 a week on coupons. I get what I want, how many I want and spend less than the buying the newspaper. Occasionally, there is a limit per household per week on new coupons so you may not be able to buy as many as you want. Even with a limit, it's a better deal than newspapers.

How I Coupon

I use Southern Savers to find my deals for me. This website lists all major grocery stores in the south along with the drug stores. The lady who runs this website is all sorts of awesome. There are a bazillion couponing websites out there, but this is by far my favorite. She breaks down each sale ad every week, pairs up the coupons available, tells you prices and what you will end up paying. Occasionally, her store prices will vary from mine, but the majority of the time she’s right on the money.

Publix changes their sales on Wednesday or Thursday depending on what county you live in. My Publix changes on Wednesday. Somehow, she gets the sale information Monday or Tuesday and posts all the coupon match ups. I like to look at Southern Savers, see what's on sale, find the best deals and make my list from there. Then, I go to the coupon clipping website to find my coupons. If I order before noon on Tuesday, my coupons will arrive Friday.

Lastly, I like to add everything up so I know what I am spending before I go to the store. Occasionally, things do not turn out like I planned, but for the most part things usually work out in my favor.

My Parting Advice

Start small. Try out one grocery store before you try to tackle the drugstores. Like I said earlier, I am just now really learning to work the drugstore system. Drug stores are a totally different ball game compared to grocery stores.


No comments:

Post a Comment