Couponing 102

Now that you have mastered the concept of couponing, it is important to look at how to apply this knowledge at your local grocery and drug stores!

Step 1

Pick 1 grocery store and 1 drug store to start out.  DO NOT try to tackle all the sales and deals because I can promise you that you will get overwhelmed and want to quit.  Have you picked your stores?  Then you will want to review their coupon policy.

Example:  Shoprite of Hamden, CT is the store I prefer to grocery shop at.  Their policy states they will only accept 4 like coupons in one transaction.  This is key information to know before you start collecting inserts.  You will want to review the entire policy for the store and maybe even print it out to take with you, again, just in case you get a cashier that doesn't understand the store policy.  Some store will not accept internet coupons, some stores will.  Some stores will take one type of internet coupon and others do not.  This is all very important information to know before you even start collecting coupons!

Coupon Policies by Store
Be sure to check with the specific store you shop at to confirm details like doubling limits etc.  Below are some local stores to Connecticut.  Please let me know your stores and I will gladly post additional information on shopping at your specific store!

Shoprite          Stop & Shop          Rite Aid          CVS          Walgreens          Walmart

Step 2

Determine how many inserts you will need.  Since my store only accepts 4 identical coupons per transaction and really, I don't find it worth the time to do multiple transactions, I get 4 copies of the weekly inserts.  I have 3 papers delivered to my home and I purchase the 4th.  Buying the paper IS worth the investment.  You can usually receive a good deal on delivery service being a new customer.

Where else can you get inserts?  Recycling centers!  Neighbors!  Ebay!

Start collecting a supply of inserts while you coupon.  YOU WILL MOST LIKELY NOT SEE THE BIG PAYOFF OF COUPONING FOR APPROXIMATELY 4 WEEKS!  This allows time for you to collect the coupons to get the deals and to start seeing a real stockpile.  Do not get discouraged by deals you can't get yet because you do not have the coupons.  These deals will come again and you will have the coupons if you continue. 

I use 2 computers to be able to print 4 internet coupons total (2 per computer).  Keep this in mind when a deal involves 4 internet printed coupons. 

Step 3

Follow a blog!  The easiest way to find a blog for your area and store is to Google "coupon match ups Shoprite*"  OR "coupon match ups for Shoprite New England*"

If you are reading this and I've met you out at the stores, the site I use for couponing is:

Other people can use this for CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid, and Walmart!!!  These stores have similar sales nationally.  Here is the general formatting for a blog:

$0.55/1 Pepsi Max 2-Liter, exp. 10/22/11 (Pepsico Moments)

Deal Idea:
Buy 5 Pepsi Max 2 liter $1.00 each
-(4)$0.55/1 Pepsi Coupon
$0.20 each after coupons 

Line 1 is the item and the sale amount.  The lines that follow the first line are the coupons, amounts, and where you can find them.  Many times there are multiple coupons.  The final line is the final price after using the highest value coupon.  Here is another example with multiple coupons:

$1.50/3 Mars Fun Size M&Ms, Snickers, Milky Way exp. 10/31/11 (RP 09/25/11)
$1.50/2 Mars Fun Size Snickers, Milky Way exp. 10/31/11 (ALL YOU Oct '11)
as low as $1.12 each after coupon

This highlighted one is the highest value.  All You is a magazine.  If you do not get this magazine you'll have to use the other coupon which is from Red Plum coupon insert.

Now that you have a blog, it is important to know how to use the blog and how to make this all work with your coupons (the amounts differ regionally) and your store's sales.  Here is an example: