Tote your toolsYou’ll need your price book, coupons, shopping list, a small calculator and a pen when you shop. Keep them all in notebook, and you’ll be ready to go!Be strategic
Look up high and down low on supermarket shelves for the best prices, check behind items at the front of the shelf for larger bonus sizes, and shop the perimeter of the store to find your grocery basics.
Don’t feel compelled to use all your coupons at once
If you’re redeeming coupons every week, you’re already saving. But just because you have a coupon for something doesn’t mean you should buy it. Hold on to some coupons until those items go on sale. Combining coupons and sales yields the biggest savings.
Use “in-store” coupons
“Blinkies” are those little dispensers attached to the shelves, “peelies” are stuck to the product, and “catalinas” are the coupons that come out of the register on the back or end of the receipt when you check out. Collect them just like coupons from circulars, magazines and the Internet.
Pass up “big” bargains
Sometimes buying in smaller packages can actually save you more. For example, let’s say you have a $1.50 coupon for laundry detergent. If you buy the 200-oz. bottle for $7.49, you pay $5.99, or 3 cents per ounce. If you buy the 100-oz. bottle for $3.99, you pay $2.49, or 2.5 cents per ounce. The smaller bottle is a better value. Collect two coupons and buy two small bottles, and you save even more.
Don’t let one good deal drive you
If you decide to make lasagna because ground beef is 30 percent off this week, you could end up buying full-price tomato sauce and noodles. Instead, buy the beef and freeze it. Continue to collect ingredients as they go on sale, then pull together meals from your pantry.
Track down coupons on the internet, at your favorite manufacturers sites and at the places I have provided for you.
Set up a Coupon Swap
Tell friends, family and neighbors that you’ve got extra coupons to trade. Once you’ve found a partner, ask what type of coupons she’d like. For example, if she has a cat and you don’t, she may want pet food coupons. Likewise, if you have a baby, ask for diaper and formula coupons. Agree on how you’ll exchange the coupons, perhaps by meeting for coffee every other week or dropping them in the mail.
Join some online coupon forums and know the” lingo”
When posting on forums to trade coupons, it’s helpful to know these common acronyms:
P&G: Procter and Gamble
WYB: When You Buy
IPQ: Internet Printable Coupons
BOGO: Buy One Get One Free
B2GO: Buy Two Get One Free
Blinkies: In store Coupons
FAR: Free After Rebate
MIR: Mail IN Rebate
OYNO: On Your Next Order
OOP: Out Of Pocket
PSA: Prices Starting At
UPC: Universal Product Code ( bar code)
Catalinas: Coupons printed on your check out receipt
FSOT: For sale or trade
ISO: In search of (refers to types of coupons you’re looking for)
$1/1, $1/2: One dollar off one item, one dollar off two items, etc.