Monday, March 2, 2009

How to Reduce Your Monthly Grocery Bills...Part 2

Well before we get into the "meat and potatoes" of couponing I thought I would arm you with some more information to get you organized before you start clipping......

Q #1 Where do I get my coupons from?
A: I get four newspapers each week! I clip EVERY coupon except dog and cat items because they don't apply to us. The point of getting four papers is that you have 4 coupons to them use on items when they go on you can "stockpile" items.
I also use some printable coupons off the Internet. There are several different sites that offer printables. Here are a few I use most often, but there are plenty more sites to get coupons.
Also you should know you do have to download the coupon printer software, but it is easy to do and free!!
A helpful hint to know is that you can print off 2 like coupons per computer. I am finding that at the beginning of each month some of these sites reset and then you can print off more needed coupons.

If you want to preview coupons that will be in the Sunday paper you can go to and check it out each week after Wednesday. is another place to sign up and receive coupons that will mailed to your house along with free products!! I just signed up for this program so I haven't had personal experience with it yet, but I know several that have had and I've heard nothing but goods things!

ALL YOU MAGAZINE- sold only at Walmart. This magazine contains lots of coupons, certainly enough to pay for itself each month. A bonus I think is that it is actually a magazine that has some neat articles worth reading.

Q#2 How do I file or keep all my coupons?
A: I feel this is totally a preference thing. I prefer to have all mine in a binder. (I think the cost of my binder was under $10.) I love my binder because it zips up to keep everything nice and tucked inside when traveling. Also on the inside, it has pockets where I will keep the weekly ads for each store. Also I use another pocket to hold coupons I need to clip, and yet another pocket for my envelopes. (I have a marked envelope for each store I shop at. On the outside of the envelope I mark the store the phone number (and for Kroger and Meijer I have a #1 Transaction and another envelope for #2 Transaction.) I use 9 card style clear baseball sleeves to file my coupons. I have them divided in to these categories...again separate them how you like. I like the clear baseball holders because you can view 9 coupons at a time and also easily view expiration dates. ( I think I bought a 10 pack at Walmart for about $5 something each...maybe I really can't remember. I bought 3 packs and that has been enough for me.) I used the sticky post it tabs that are in several colors to flag each category. My categories are as follows...
Canned Goods
Cleaning supplies
Facial Care (Face wash, razors, make-up remover)
Feminine Hygiene
Frozen Foods
Household (Batteries, candles, ect)
Kitchen (bags, foil, containers)
Laundry Needs
Lotions (Soaps, Body wash)
Oral Hygiene
Paper Products
Salad dressings
Toilet paper
I keep a separate envelope that has all the Over the Counter Medications (I file them according to the month they expire within that envelope)

Another way to store coupons is to use a recipe box......the main thing is figure out what works right for you and then do with that option.

Q#3 Do you really save money couponing when you are buying name brand products? Isn't' cheaper to just buy the generic brand and save time and money by not cutting coupons?
A: Yes, you really do save money couponing.....Yes, you can save money buying generic.....but here the difference.
When you coupon the thing you are trying to accomplish is buying items at rock bottom prices then using your manufacture coupons to get those items free or nearly free. I buy ONLY the items on sale that week and NOTHING more...most of the time. The exceptions are things like meat products that are on sale and produce. Ya know the front page of the Kroger ad where they put all their best prices of things???? These are called loss leaders, items the store makes little money on, they want you to come into the store and buy those things and then fill up your chart with other items not on sale......that is where they make their money! Be disciplined and avoid that trap and only get the coupon match-ups for the week and leave.

Q#4 Do I shop at one store?
A: No I shop at 3 stores for groceries! KROGER, MEIJER, and Aldi are the stores I frequent the most.
So here is a run down of how coupons work at each of these stores.
KROGER: First of all you need to have a Kroger card. If you don't have one you can easily get one at the service fee for a card.
*My Kroger store triples coupons up to and including .50
*You can only use 2 like coupons in one transaction if you want them to triple
*I have been told by some women that you can only do ONE transaction with coupons every 24 hours, but I talked to some women who work at my local Kroger and they said that is not the case. I used to always do at least 2 transactions per visit, but that was before the first of the year, so I will have to try it again and see what happens.
*Sometimes you will get coupons with you receipt, these coupons do not double or triple.
*There are loadable coupons...these are ecoupons that load right onto you Kroger card!!!!
These are the sites you can go to in order to load up you Kroger card (50 coupons per site can be loaded onto your card.) When you go to these sites you will input your information and input the number on the back of you Kroger card.
Coupons that are loaded onto you Kroger card are worth face value they do not double or triple.

Also remember to look for "Manager Specials" at Kroger...These are items like meat, produce, and dairy, and all other things that they mark down for a quick sale.

MEIJER: no card needed.
*Doubles coupons up to and including .50
*No limit on transactions
*Also has "Manager Specials"
*Can only use 2 like coupons if you want them to double
* offers coupons on different items in the store to save additional $$$

ALDI: no card, no coupons, no bags!!!!
*Bring a quarter so you can get a cart, and bring your own bags to put your groceries in.
I shop ALDI for staple case you haven't read anything else on ALDi I love them for staple items I keep in the pantry.


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