Today I attended my first coupon class. You’ll be glad to know that I didn’t really learn anything “new”, besides a few tricks, which means that you too can self-teach yourself how to coupon. But, you don’t actually have to “self-teach” because I am here to help you. As I attended my class, I thought “I could have done this!” which makes me think that maybe I should have a class someday?? If you think this would interest you, facebook me! Anyways…let’s get to it! Ok, so this post will be about shopping with your coupons.
I ALWAYS bring my binder when I shop. I just do. Before my binder, I would always tend to see some deal where I’d wish I had my coupons with me! I have three little kids and I DO NOT like making multiple shopping trips a week, so I like to do my best to get it all in one shot. Occasionally I will have to run back for a new deal, but only for a quick run. Speaking of new deals, once you find a site you like, check it regularly because new deals are always appearing! This is why I love, love, love “the cents able shoppin”. Sheryl, who I had the pleasure of meeting today, is sooo great at updating new deals daily! There are also unadvertised deals you may score, if you have your binder with you.
When I shop, I like to grab the stuff that may be sold out of first, then begin my regular shopping. I always check sales and coupon prices to make sure that the sale I planned to get it actually the best one, which is why having all your q’s with you is helpful. Now I will go over some basics of couponing:
* read the print on your q, if it says an amount off of 1, you have to buy ONE item and can use ONE coupon. If it says an amount off of 2, then you have to buy TWO items, but can still only use ONE coupon. Make sure you have the correct number of items per coupon or else the register will beep and you may have to adjust something which is a pain and may mess up if you are doing a sale like the “mega” sale, where you need to buy X amount of items to get a certain amount off.
* pay attention that you are grabbing the correct item to match the coupon, read the print, don’t just look at the picture, because you may be able to get a different item than the coupon shows.
* pay attention to expiration dates, MOST stores will not take them after they have expired, the register will beep
* you can use ONE STORE coupon and ONE MANUFACTURE coupon per item. Target is a great example of this. Store coupons are put out by stores, manufacture coupons are put out by companies. Go to target.com/coupons and print their coupons and you can stack that with a manu one. For example, say Gardiner shampoo is normally $2.99 for one but is one sale for $2.49. Say target has a $1/1 and Gardiner has a $1/1 that you got in the paper, stack those and you are now getting shampoo or conditioner for $0.49! That’s a pretty good deal!! Even if I have 5-6 of an item, this is the kind of deal I will always snag, because I KNOW I will need this at some point!
* to coupon well, you can’t be a brand snob. This was a bit harder for me when I first started. I have my limits but I am ok with buying most brands of items, if I can score a good deal. There are certain things I won’t budge on though. like I have to buy “free and clear” laundry soap and I prefer to buy more “natural” cleaners. It’s easy to find deals if you are alright with not always using the same brand of deodorant.
* If the store is sold out of a particular deal you wanted to score, grab a rain check. If it’s an “unadvertised” deal, a store may not give you one, but it can’t hurt to ask.
* Something I forget to mention in my first post about where to get q’s is CATALINAS. A catalina is a coupon that will print when you are checking out. A catalina deal is when you have to buy a certain number of items and you get a coupon that will print out that you can use on your next order (OYNO) for anything. These are great to score, if you can. Here’s example of a cat deal I grabbed this week at frys: fiber one bars (chewy granola and the mini brownies) were on sale at the mega at frys for $1.99 wyb 10 (normally $2.49 each). I bought four and used a $0.50 cents/1 coupon for each that was matched up to $1/1 so I got each box for $0.99 BUT then when I bought 4, I got a cat coupon that printed off for $2.00 OYNO, so it’s almost like getting each for 49 cents, which is pretty good since normally they are $2.49! Look for cat deals to print at the end of your transaction and also listed on deal sites.
* Stores are paid 8 cents per coupon, so don’t feel bad about using them!
* Break apart your transactions if your store limits the number of coupons that will double. If your store only lets you use three like coupons, but you want to buy 6 items, split your main transaction into smaller ones to maximize savings. My fry’s still isn’t limiting, but many are, so just be prepared. Get a copy of the store’s coupon policy and carry it in your binder! That way if some fool check out lady (yea, it’s usually the ladies that give you the most trouble) questions what you are doing, you can whip out your policy and prove her wrong.
* Speaking of check out people….CHOOSE WISELY. I have a list of people I will go to and won’t. Try to shop at the same times so you know they’ll be there! I love my fry’s guys! The fry’s ladies?? Not so much…Teenagers are ALWAYS a great choice, they could give a sh*t about you and your q’s, they send them ALL through 🙂 Im my experience, STAY AWAY FROM THE OLD LADIES. Trust me.
* Varying stores are different to shop at: shopping at walgreens and cvs are totally unique, if you want to know how to shop there, let me know, it’s a pretty major event. Walmart will price match, but I hate walmart so I don’t care about them
Ok, I’m DONE typing for tonight…I hope to GOD someone is reading this and is being inspired, because this is a lot of work!! Ha! I need some more wine! Good night all!
Check out the other posts in this series: