Social Icons

Follow Xoxo Frugal Momma on Facebook Follow Xoxo Frugal Momma on Twitter Follow Xoxo Frugal Momma on Instagram Follow Xoxo Frugal Momma on Google Plus

Friday, February 8, 2013

Coupon 101 Lesson 5: Hitting the Stores

We've covered quite a few topics about coupons--from coupon lingo to coupon organization. Now that you know all of the important aspects (like where to find coupons), it's time to plan! When I first started couponing, I stuck with one store. It makes things so much easier and helps you to not become overwhelmed. You will have to decide what store you want to start with. I chose to start with a drugstore (like CVS and Walgreens). You don't have to do this! You can go straight to shopping at a regular grocery store. Alright, do you have a store in mind? Let's get started.

These are the steps you will need to take:

1. Find a great blog.
  • I follow the Krazy Coupon Lady for the drugstores. She explains things really well. In order to get to the drug store on her page, you go to the "Find My Store" tab.
  • In order to find a blog in your area, do a Google. Seriously, I just typed "coupons Arizona" or "coupon matchups Arizona."
  • Most blogs tell you the price of the item on sale and where to find a coupon to make it even cheaper. Sometimes they will give you a link to a coupon and other times they will tell you that it's in an insert. If the coupon is in an insert (these are found in Sunday newspapers), you will see something similar to SS 12/9. This means that you can find the coupon in the Smart Source insert that came in the December 9th newspaper. 
  • Getting started may seem difficult because you might not have the inserts that people (blogs) are talking about. It's okay! I promise! I started that way, too, and I missed a few hot buys but I have since caught up. The sales ALWAYS come back around!
2. Go to your selected store's website and find their coupon policy. You can even Google "(insert store name) coupon policy."
  • What is a coupon policy? It tells you how the store allows you to use coupons at their store. It lets you know if this store allows you to use free coupons in their store and other things like that. The policy might also let you know if your store doubles coupons (a 30 cent coupon might actually be worth 60 cents instead). My store makes all coupons $1. If I have a 10 cent coupon, it automatically gets rounded up to $1. 
3. Go shopping!
  • Before leaving home, I make sure that I have my list of items that I hope to buy. I also write down what the price should be before the coupon and after the coupons. The reason I do this is to make sure that things are ringing up correctly at the register and I'm not being overcharged. Here's an example:
          Frosted Flakes 1.99 (I have a 50 cent coupon)
          Chicken Noodle Soup 1.29 (I have a .20 coupon)
          Gallon of milk 1.57

          Total before coupons: 4.85
          Total after coupons: 4.15 (or 2.85 if your store doubles coupons!)
  • I put all of the coupons I'm using into an envelope to keep everything organized.  
4. Rainchecks!
  • These are little strips of paper heaven. Upon entering the coupon world, you may find that there are a lot of couponers! You may find that some items have been wiped clean off the shelves (which is evidence of there being a lot of couponers). This happens A LOT at drugstores because they don't carry a large quantity of each item. If you go into the store and the item that you want isn't there, no need to fear! Get a raincheck!
  • What is a raincheck? It's basically a piece of paper that guarantees that you can buy the item that you want at the sale price listed at a later time. (Example: "X" shampoo costs 1.99. Your store doesn't have any of that shampoo left. When you go to check out, ask for a raincheck. They will write down the name of the item, price, and how many you want. If the item still isn't in stock when the sale ends, you have your raincheck for the sale price.
  • How to use the raincheck: Be sure to go to the store before your raincheck expires. (NOTE: CVS rainchecks are awesome because they have no expiration date!) Pick up the item(s) that your raincheck is for and go to the cash register to check out. BEFORE the cashier scans your items, tell them that you have a raincheck. The cashier will do their fancy work and give you the price listed on the raincheck. Tah-dah. Work's all done.
When you are all done shopping, breathe a sigh of relief, and enjoy your new found savings ability
Remember, if you have any questions, just ask. Unasked questions go unanswered. Welcome to the fabulous coupon world!

Blog Archive