The Coupon Skinny

Organizing

When people learn that I coupon, they are often curious how much money I save. And when they hear how much money I save, they often want to try it.  But when I tell them what I do, they often get a dejected and overwhelmed look on their face because most people do not have the time or interest in joining the massive overwhelming cult of couponing. I am not going to lie. Couponing takes a ton of time.

However, it has recently dawned on me that perhaps there are ways to simplify couponing.  So, for those who aren’t ready to commit to another part time job, here are a few SIMPLE ways to try couponing without a huge time commitment.  You might not save quite as much money. But remember, time is money.  You have to figure out which one you have more of.

The Coupon Skinny

(This is for people who want to do no more than 1 hour of shopping trip prep a week. I am not saying that you will save the most money, but this is the LOW time version.)

1.  The day BEFORE you go grocery shopping, go to southernsavers.com or  mycouponteacher.com (There are lots other coupon blogs, but these are the two I use.)

2. Click on your grocery store. (For this area, I recommend Harris Teeter or Bi-Lo. Just trust me.  If you live in a different area, please comment with the coupon blog you follow for others to see.)

3. Find the weekly ad match ups for that week. (“Match-ups” are sales matched up with coupons.)  The new sale week starts each Wednesday, so make sure you don’t get stuck in the switch. (aka: You plan for a sale and then it is over when you get there.)

4. Peruse the list for items on your shopping list or those you regularly buy.  Don’t buy stuff you won’t use just because it is listed unless you want to give it to charity.

5. Focus on items with a PRINTABLE coupon or no coupon at all. These blogs will also list many other coupons that come in the paper, but don’t mess with keeping track of these. (See photo above!!  You will miss deals, but this is the skinny version.)

6.  On both sites I recommended, you can just click the items you plan to buy and create a printable list–even adding items.  There are pros and cons to each site. Southern Savers is bigger and more thorough, but more overwhelming. My Coupon Teacher is local and more easily navigated, but sometimes she doesn’t include unadvertised deals.

7. To the list you have made, add other weekly items that you intend to buy.

8. Print your list.

9. Print the coupons linked by the blogs.  Usually, you can print 2 coupons per computer.

  • The first time you do this, you will have to download coupon printers.
  • Downloading the coupon printers takes a while, so be prepared for extra work the first time
  • If the coupon requires registration, I always fill in a real, but “junk” e-mail address that I rarely check.

10. If you still have time, go to the coupon database on the blog and look up items you plan to buy that aren’t on sale (that weren’t listed on the matchup). There still might be a coupon for an item, which will save you money from paying full price.  Try a few different search terms. (ie: Peanut Butter, Peter Pan, Skippy, etc) Remember HT and Bi-Lo double coupons up to .99 cents.

11. Print those coupons for your non-sale items. (Produce and fresh meat rarely have coupons, but if you can wait for a sale for other grocery items, you will likely get the item for less if you wait for a match-up in a later week.)

12. Take printed coupons and list to the store.  Shop.

13. Buy multiples of items that are on a good match-up if you have a good coupon. (ie: if you are getting sour cream for .50 cents. Buy 2. Sour cream lasts in the fridge for a long time and you won’t see this price again for a while.)

14. Enjoy.

So to summarize

  1. Check blog
  2. Create list
  3. Print coupons
  4. Shop

Dare I ask? Any questions?

If you want to learn more extensive couponing check out the Savvy Shopper course at My Coupon Teacher.


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3 Responses to The Coupon Skinny

  1. Teri October 20, 2010 at 10:48 am #

    I’ve been in a coupon funk lately so I’ve just been doing my own version of skinny couponing. Maybe I’ll get some energy and start clipping again :)
    I use http://www.iheartpublix.com for my publix shopping trips and I’ve been thinking about using a clipping service – our paper just doesn’t get good coupons. The last Smartsource booklet? We had ONE coupon (not even a good one!) and the rest was ads for man-girdles or those creepy porcelain babies. Sigh.

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